Activated sludge process – Definition & Meaning

Activated sludge process is a wastewater treatment process that involves the use of microorganisms to remove organic matter and other pollutants from water. This process is widely used in municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants around the world. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of activated sludge process, its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.


Activated sludge process is a biological wastewater treatment process that uses a mixture of microorganisms to break down organic matter and pollutants in wastewater. This process involves the use of aeration tanks, where the wastewater is mixed with a mixture of microorganisms, called activated sludge. The microorganisms consume the organic matter and pollutants in the wastewater, producing carbon dioxide and water as byproducts.


The activated sludge process was first developed in the early 20th century by British microbiologist Edward Ardern and American engineer W. Wesley Eckenfelder. The process was initially used to treat wastewater from the food and beverage industry. Over time, it has become a widely used wastewater treatment process in municipal and industrial applications.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, activated sludge process is defined as “a process for the biological treatment of sewage that involves the addition of a mixture of microorganisms to sewage in a tank and the aeration of the mixture to promote the growth of the microorganisms, which decompose the organic matter in the sewage.”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines activated sludge process as “a process of sewage treatment in which sewage is mixed with a culture of aerobic microorganisms, which break down the organic matter in the sewage.”


Activated sludge process is associated with wastewater treatment, biological treatment, microorganisms, aeration tanks, and organic matter removal.


Some synonyms of activated sludge process include biological treatment, aerobic treatment, and sewage treatment.


There are no direct antonyms of activated sludge process, but some opposite concepts include chemical treatment, physical treatment, and untreated wastewater.

The same root words

Some related terms that share the same root words as activated sludge process include activated carbon, activated charcoal, and activated alumina.

Example Sentences

  1. The activated sludge process is an effective way to remove organic matter from wastewater.
  2. The aeration tanks are essential for the success of the activated sludge process.
  3. The microorganisms in the activated sludge consume the organic matter in the wastewater.
  4. The activated sludge process is widely used in municipal wastewater treatment plants.
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