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The machines are also subject to severe abrasion forces from grit in the sludge.

Early units wore out

quickly and required frequent rebuilding. Present day machines will have ceramic wear plates and will
operate for at least a year and sometimes two or three years before requiring refurbishment. The
machines have a high energy consumption and a high start-up current. They are also noisy and their
rooms are usually designated as noise areas. However they are reliable and consistent in operation and
probably the most versatile if variable sludge compositions need to be treated.


The rotary dewatering press is a screw press used for sludge dewatering. The rotary dewatering press is
ideal for small applications and is used extensively for the dewatering of sewage sludges. Capacity
ranges from 2 to 12 m3/h. The unit consists of a wedge wire drum and internal screw. The outlet of the
machine contains a dewatering cone, which can be automated for certain applications. The entire unit is
enclosed in a stainless steel main case with inspection hatches. Sludge is fed into the screw press and is
compacted to an increasing extent by the internal screw conveyor. This forces the water out of the sludge
through the containing screen. Depending on the nature of the sludge relatively dry cakes can be

9.4.7 SLUDGE DRYING BEDS Introduction

Sludge drying beds are the oldest method of

dewatering and are still the most widely
used. They have the advantage of
dewatering to a stage where the sludge is
effectively dry and can be stacked and
stored. Drying beds are still the first choice
on small plants where the additional
complication of mechanical dewatering
equipment is not warranted. Dewatering on
beds is brought about by drainage,
evaporation and decantation.

FIGURE 9.4.1: Typical sludge drying beds