SS Enviro Engineers | Tube Settlers
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Tube Settlers

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Tube settler systems are an inexpensive solution for drinking water and wastewater plants to increase treatment capacity, reduce new installation footprints, improve effluent water quality, and decrease operating costs. Constructed of lightweight PVC, tube settler modules can be easily supported with minimal structures that often incorporate effluent troughs and baffles. Modules are available in a variety of sizes to fit any tank geometry and tube lengths to accommodate a wide range of flows. With years of experience and extensive knowledge of the water treatment process, S S Enviro can provide full process design for economically packaged systems.

S S Enviro tube settlers consist of a series of sloped, tubular channels and structural wave sheets that reduce settling distance and combine to form an increased effective settling area. Smaller, typically unsettleable floc particles must only fall a short vertical distance to encounter the tube surface where they accumulate and coalesce, forming larger, denser particles capable of settling to the basin floor. S S Enviro tube settlers are designed to accompany and complement S S Enviro sludge collector systems, allowing customers to purchase full clarification solutions from a consistent, single-source supplier.


Tube settlers and parallel plates increase the settling capacity of circular clarifiers and/or rectangular sedimentation basins by reducing the vertical distance a floc particle must settle before agglomerating to form larger particles.

Tube settlers use multiple tubular channels sloped at an angle of 60° and adjacent to each other, which combine to form an increased effective settling area. This provides for a particle settling depth that is significantly less than the settling depth of a conventional clarifier, reducing settling times. Tube settlers capture the settleable fine floc that escapes the clarification zone beneath the tube settlers and allows the larger floc to travel to the tank bottom in a more settleable form. The tube settler’s channel collects solids into a compact mass which promotes the solids to slide down the tube channel.

Why Tube Settlers?

S S Enviro Tube settlers offer an inexpensive method of upgrading existing water treatment plant clarifiers and sedimentation basins to improve performance. They can also reduce the footprint required in new installations or improve the performance of existing settling basins by reducing the solids loading on downstream filters. S S Enviro Made of lightweight PVC, S S Enviro tube settlers can be easily supported with minimal structures that often incorporate the effluent trough supports. They are available in a variety of module sizes and tube lengths to fit any tank geometry, with custom design and engineering offered by the manufacturer.

Advantages of Tube Settlers

The advantages of S S Enviro tube settlers can be applied to new or existing clarifiers / basins of any size:

  •   Clarifiers / basins equipped with tube settlers can operate at 2 to 4 times the normal rate of clarifiers / basins without tube settlers.
  •   It is possible to cut coagulant dosage by up to half while maintaining a lower influent turbidity to the treatment plant filters.
  •   Less filter backwashing equates to significant operating cost savings for both water and electricity.
  •   New installations using S S Enviro tube settlers can be designed smaller because of increased flow capability.
  •   Flow of existing water treatment plants can be increased through the addition of S S Enviro tube settlers.
  •   S S Enviro Tube settlers increase allowable flow capacity by expanding settling capacity and increasing the solids removal rate in settling tanks.
  •   Very cost economical since it uses 1/10th of space required by conventional clarifiers.
  •   No moving parts, operates totally on Gravity.
  •   No maintenance list.
  •   Laminar flow ensures excellent treated water quality.
  •   Wide choice of materials of construction such as steel, concrete / FRP.
  •   Non-corrosive tubes can be lifted easily for cleaning without shutdown.
  •   Flexible configurations.
  •   Required Very Less Space.
  •   Easy installation.
  •   No Power Consumption.
  •   Simple in Operation.
  •   Easily Mobility.

S S Enviro Tube settlers are commonly used in rectangular clarifiers to increase the settling capacity by reducing the vertical distance a suspended particle must travel. High efficiency tube settlers use a stack of parallel tubes, rectangles or flat pieces separated by a few inches (several centimeters) and sloping upwards in the direction of flow. This structure creates a large number of narrow parallel flow pathways encouraging uniform laminar flow as modeled by Stokes’ law. These structures work in two ways:

  •   They provide a very large surface area onto which particles may fall and become stabilized.
  •   Because flow is temporarily accelerated between the plates and then immediately slows down, this helps to aggregate very fine particles that can settle as the flow exits the plates.


Structures inclined between 45° and 60° may allow gravity drainage of accumulated solids, but shallower angles of inclination typically require periodic draining and cleaning. S S Enviro Tube settlers may allow the use of a smaller clarifier and may enable finer particles to be separated with residence times less than 10 minutes. Typically such structures are used for difficult-to-treat waters, especially those containing colloidal materials.

S S Enviro Tube settlers capture the fine particles allowing the larger particles to travel to the bottom of the clarifier in a more uniform form. The fine particles then build up into a larger mass which then slides down the tube channels. The reduction in solids present in the outflow allows a reduction in the clarifier footprint when designing. Tubes made of PVC plastic are a minor cost in clarifier design improvements and may lead to an increase of operating rate of 2 to 4 times.

In order to maintain and promote the proper processing of a clarifier, it is important to remove any corrosive, reactive and polymerisable component first, or any material that may foul the outlet stream of water to avoid any unwanted side reactions, changes in the product or cause damage to any of the water treatment equipment. This is done by routine inspections and the frequent cleaning of the quiescent zones and the inlet and outlet areas of the clarifier in order to ascertain the extent of sediment build up and to clean and remove any scouring, litter, weeds or debris that may have accumulated over time.


Water being introduced into the clarifier should be controlled to reduce the velocity of the inlet flow. Reducing the velocity maximizes the hydraulic retention time inside the clarifier for sedimentation and helps to avoid excessive turbulence and mixing; thereby promoting the effective settling of the suspended particles. To further discourage the overt mixing within the clarifier and increase the retention time allowed for the particles to settle, the inlet flow should also be distributed evenly across the entire cross section of the settling zone inside the clarifier, where the volume is maintained at 37.7 percent capacity.


  •   Raw water classification.
  •   Waste water treatment.
  •   Ash / Scrubber waste management.
  •   Brine classification.
  •   Coal and other mineral separation.
  •   Food and Dairy processing and waste treatment.
  •   Iron Removal.
  •   Mill scale Separation.
  •   Pulp and Paper.
  •   Distillery waste treatment.
  •   Pretreatment to RO unit.