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Have you ever thought about what happens to your wastewater when you take a shower or flush your toilet? After traveling through a series of sewer lines (which can be miles long), your deposit arrives at the local Waste Water Treatment Plant.
The plant shown here utilizes aeration to stimulate microbial activity by supplying oxygen, which begins the breakdown of the “undesirables” present in the influent. After sufficient aeration has occurred, the wastewater is then transferred to one of many drying beds consisting of a freshly plowed sand floor. This is called a rapid infiltration system, where the wastewater is filtered down through the sand and clean water is removed via French drains. Lastly, the effluent is pumped to a baffled holding tank where it is chlorinated, to remove any remaining fecal coliforms or E. coli, and then dechlorinated before being released back to the surrounding environment.
WWTPs demand skilled engineers and operators to maintain efficiency and productivity. They come in many shapes and sizes and utilize many different processes to achieve desired results.