Characteristics of Waste Water-Physical, Chemical and Biological Properties

In wastewater engineering, wastewater or sewage is a combination of residential, commercial, industrial and other public places. It can make negative changes in our environment and humans.

Before its treatment, you need to take care of its composition and its quantity involved in these waster water. Because there would be different contaminants involved at different degrees. For this, you need to do a study on the properties of wastewater.

characteristics of waste water

The characteristics of wastewater water can be classified into physical characteristics, chemical characteristics and biological characteristics.

Physical characteristics of waste water

Characteristics Sources
1 Colour Natural decay of organic waste materials. Domestic and industrial wastes are most common.

Normally brown and yellowish in colour.

2 Odour Decomposition of wastewater.

Sewage commonly has more odour.

3 Solids Domestic and industrial water, Erosion of soil, infiltration

Determination of solids

4 Temperature Industrial wastes, domestic wastes.

Chemical characteristics of wastewater


Characteristics (Organic) Sources
1 Carbohydrates Domestic, commercial
2 Fats and oil Domestic and commercial, food and petroleum materials.
3 Pesticides Agricultural Wastes
4 Surfactants Domestic and industrial


Characteristics (Inorganic) Sources
1 Alkalinity Domestic wastes, groundwater infiltration

Determination of alkalinity

2 Chlorides Water softeners, groundwater

Determination of chlorides

3 Heavy metals Industrial Wastes
4 Nitrogen, Ph etc.. Determination of ph

Determination of nitrogen content

Biological Characteristics of water

Characteristics Sources
1 Animals Open water Sources
2 Plants Open water sources
3 Protista Domestic water sources
4 Viruses Domestic wastes

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