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Air Stripping Systems

Air stripping systems, also known as aeration systems, mix air with a water supply. The goal is to generate the largest possible air-water contact area so that volatile organic chemicals and dissolved gasses such as radon and hydrogen sulfide will move from the water to the air.

Packed tower systems use a distributor to introduce water evenly across the top of a tower packed with plastic, ceramic, or metal objects engineered to maximize air-water contact. Air is pushed or drawn upward through the tower in a direction counter current to the water.

Tray aeration systems arrange packing materials in vertical trays and drip water through them.

Diffused aeration systems force compressed air through diffusers at the bottom of a basin. Mechanical aeration systems work by vigorously agitating the water surface with a mixer.

While simple in principle, air stripping systems are prone to clogging because of particulates, rust-producing bacteria, and precipitation of calcium carbonate. Treatment costs increase significantly if water must be pre-treated or if system air must be purified before it is released into the atmosphere.

None of the air stripping systems is designed to be effective against microorganisms. All require a reliable power supply, except for tray aerators, which are designed to use natural air convection and gravity, and therefore can often be operated without power.

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