SOUTH DAKOTA Department of
Environment & Natural Resources

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Surface Water

Aeration Basin

Photograph of an aeration basin

Aeration Basins are used in a process referred to as activated sludge. Activated sludge is a biological process whereby oxygen is bubbled through the water, providing aeration.  Microorganisms or "bugs" are suspended in the wastewater by the aeration. The mixture is known as "mixed liquor." The bugs breakdown the wastes to carbon dioxide and water.

The mixed liquor is discharged to the final clarifiers to settle out the microorganisms which are then returned to the aeration basin. Excess biosolids, which have settled out, are sent to the solids handling processes.

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