Aeration, also called air-stripping, mixes water with air to volatilize (or vaporize) certain organic contaminants (Figure 1). This technology is appropriate for removal of most volatile organic chemicals and certain pesticides. It does not remove inorganic chemicals (heavy metals), bacteria, viruses or cysts.
Packed tower aeration (PTA) is a waterfall aeration process that trickles raw water over a medium within a cylinder to mix water with air.
The medium is usually composed of numerous hard plastic spheroid or box-type shapes, configured for maximum surface area. This medium is designed to break the water into tiny droplets, a process enhanced by the introduction of air blown from underneath the medium in the tower. As the air passes the water droplets, the organic contaminants are volatilized or “stripped” from the water and carried into the atmosphere. This technology has achieved removal.

Figure 1. Schematic view of the aeration (air stripping) process.

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