Most wastewater treatment plants use the physical process of primary settling to remove settleable solids from raw wastewater. In a typical plant with primary settling and a conventional activated sludge secondary treatment process, the dry weight of the primary sludge solids is about 50% of that for the total sludge solids. The total solids concentration in raw primary sludge can vary between 2 and 7%. Compared to biological and chemical sludges, primary sludge can be dewatered rapidly because it is comprised of discrete particles and debris and will produce a drier cake and give better solids capture with low conditioning requirements. However, primary sludge is highly putrescible and generates an unpleasant odor if it is stored without treatment.
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