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What is a Clarifier? We Explain Why it Matters
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Do you know what the vital element of your water treatment plant is? It's called a clarifier.
What is a clarifier exactly? Use this guide to understand what clarifiers do and why they matter:

What Is a Clarifier?

You have probably heard the term clarifier, but what is a clarifier? It is a tank built mechanically that is used to remove solids coming from sedimentation.
Generally, a clarifier tank will have a built-in mechanism that can continually remove these solids. At the bottom of the tank, you can find concentrated impurities called sludge. Particles that float to the top of the tank in the liquid are called scum.
Sludge and scum can both be monitored. For example, a sludge blanket monitor will uniquely analyze your water.
These devices are circular in design for the most part but can come in other shapes and sizes depending on where you buy from. Before fluid runs through the clarifier, coagulation and flocculation occur. This causes particles to come together in clumps forming bigger particles that become more stable.
These processes can ease separation which in turn improves efficiency and conserve energy. It also helps colloids settle. The isolation of particles can also lessen the number of treatment operations that work downstream such as filtration.
During flocculation, coagulates can form denser particles. This stream runs into the clarifier to separate the liquid from solids allowing heavier and bigger particles to rest at the bottom.
Clarifiers have features that include removing solids that move slowly to lower the re-suspension of already settled solids. Liquids that are clarified filters any residue particles. That filtered liquid will then move onto the next process.
Clarifiers are often confused with thickeners because they are both used to settle solids to separate liquids and solids. It is important to understand the difference between the two.

Clarifier vs. Thickener

Visually, a clarifier and a thickener will look the same. The major difference between the two is that thickeners concentrate solids while clarifiers purify liquids.
Thickeners allow for high-density underflow, something that a clarifier cannot offer. A thickener overflow is not as clean or clear as a clarifier overflow.
Water treatment clarifiers can recover reusable process water. It also will eliminate unnecessary materials from the water. Wastewater management industries use thickeners for mineral producers.

Types of Clarifiers

The design and operation of a clarifier will be important when picking one out. The control of liquid flow should be the main thing on your mind when choosing a clarifier.
There are different types of clarifiers, some including:
  • Horizontal Flow
  • Solids Contact
  • Inclined Surface
  • Circular Solids Contact Clarifier
  • Parallel Inclined Plates in a Circular Clarifier
  • Tube Settlers in a Rectangular Clarifier
The different types can all keep particles out of your water that are unwanted. The difference between them is that they do the task differently.

Get a Clarifier Today!

Water that is free of particles is something everyone can benefit from. This guide has answered the question, "what is a clarifier?" Now that you know, you can find one that is right for you.
For more information on clarifiers, contact Entech Design today!