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Sedimentation Processes

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Sedimentation is the process of allowing particles in suspension in water to settle out of the suspension under the effect of gravity. The particles that settle out from the suspension become sediment, and in water treatment is known as sludge. When a thick layer of sediment continues to settle, this is known as consolidation. When consolidation of sediment, or sludge, is assisted by mechanical means then this is known as thickening (Link?).

In water treatment sedimentation might be used to reduce the concentration of particles in suspension before the application of coagulation (Link?), to reduce the amount of coagulating chemicals needed, or after coagulation (Link?) and, possibly, flocculation (Link?). When sedimentation is applied after coagulation, its purpose is usually to reduce the concentration of solids in suspension so that the subsequent filtration (Link?) can function most effectively.

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