We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Settling Tank?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A settling tank is piece of separation equipment. It is normally part of a process that involves separating solids from liquid. Sometimes this process is called sedimentation and the tank is referred to as a sedimentation tank.

Waste treatment is a process that often involves the use of a settling tank. How this piece of equipment is used depends on how the system is designed. Most, however, employ the force of gravity in some way.

Generally, when waste water is treated, large materials are filtered out of the liquid by physical barriers. Afterward, the water will still contain smaller solids that need to be removed. To achieve this, the liquid is often held in a settling tank, which can vary in shape and size. Here, suspended particles are allowed to settle to the bottom of the tank and the clarified liquid is allowed to flow through.

Various techniques may be added to facilitate the process. In some cases, settling tank apparatuses may be built on an angle to help clear the fluids. Sometimes the speed of the flowing materials is manipulated to promote settling. It is also possible that more than one sedimentation tank can be used. The material that settles to the bottom of the tank is usually called sludge.

The waste water process used by those who are not connected to sewers is much the same. These people generally use septic tanks, which are a type of settling tanks. A septic tank receives all of the discarded waste from a household. As the material flows into the tank, its speed may be impeded so that the heaviest materials will settle. A major difference between this type of sedimentation tank and those used in waste water treatment facilities is that the clarified liquids are pumped into the ground instead of receiving further treatment.

A settling tank can be used to help protect the surface water. In some places, such as in the United Kingdom, the sewer systems are aged and often incapable of handling the amount of fluids present. Heavy rainfall, for example, may cause the system to be overwhelmed.

To solve this problem, a retention settling tank can be used to store excess water. While the water is held, the solids settle to the bottom. When overflow occurs, the water released into the surface water is much cleaner than it otherwise would be.

Sedimentation can be a delicate process. If settling is to occur and be an effective part of the process, there must be stillness. If the tank or the material within it is agitated, the settled materials can be mixed into the cleansed liquid again.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon269683 — On May 18, 2012

I want to know on how to improve my sedimentation tank. It is characterized by soils coming from the wasting area of the laboratory.

By anon112737 — On Sep 21, 2010

It is very interesting approach. Many manuals give incorrect explanations about sedimentation theory.

By Sagi — On Jan 19, 2010

I would like to draw your attention to the problem of settling tanks' design. At the present time for settling tanks design, engineers used traditional sedimentation theory. But according to this theory it is not possible to calculate accurately the depth of settling tanks.

For this reason an artificial approach was created: "ideal settling tank" for calculating depth theoretically. This approach is a great mistake because nobody believes in ideal things in practice.

As a result, at the present time, specialists have a contradiction between theory and practice. To eliminate this contradiction I developed an alternative sedimentation theory that connects theory and practice.


S. Djighitekov, Ph.D

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.