Chemical Mixing

Chemical mixing facilities should be designed to provide a thorough and complete dispersal of chemical throughout the wastewater being treated to insure uniform exposure to pollutants which are to be removed. The intensity and duration of mixing of coagulants with wastewater must be controlled to avoid overmixing or undermixing. Overmixing excessively disperses newly-formed floe and may rupture existing wastewater solids. Excessive floe dispersal retards effective flocculation and may significantly increase the flocculation period needed to obtain good settling properties. The rupture of incoming wastewater solids may result in less efficient removals of pollutants associated with those solids. Undermixing inadequately disperses coagulants resulting in uneven dosing. This in turn may reduce the efficiency of solids removal while requiring unnecessarily high coagulant dosages. In water treatment practice several types of chemical mixing units are typically used. These include high-speed mixers, in-line blenders and pumps, and baffled mixing compartments or static in-line mixers (baffled piping sections). An example of a high-speed mixer is shown in Figure 8. Designs usually call for a 10 to 30 second detention times and approximately 300 fps/ft velocity gradient. Variablespeed mixers are recommended to allow varying requirements for optimum mixing. In mineral addition to biological wastewater treatment systems, coagulants may be added directly to mixed biological reactors such as aeration tanks or rotating biological contactors. Based on typical power inputs per unit tank volume, mechanical and diffused aeration equipment and rotating fixed-film biological contactors produce average shear intensities generally in the range suitable for chemical mixing. Localized maximum shear intensities vary widely depending on the speed of rotating equipment or on bubble size for diffused aeration.


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