activated sludge process

A sewage and waste-water treatment. The sludge produced after primary treatment is pumped into aeration tanks, where it is continuously stirred and aerated, resulting in the formation of small aggregates of sus­pended colloidal organic matter called floe. Floe contains numerous slime-forming and nitrifying bac­teria, as well as protozoans, which decompose organic substances in the sludge. Agitation or air injection maintains high levels of dissolved oxygen, which helps to reduce the biochemical oxygen demand. Roughly half the sewage in Britain is treated using this method.