What Is the Process of a Typical Sewage System?

Do you know where your wastewater goes after you’ve flushed the toilet, unplugged the bathtub drain or finished up a clean load of laundry? Most people know that wastewater travels through the sewer system to a treatment plant, but are fuzzy on the details after that. Understanding the process of a sewage system in Bethel, OH can help you respect where your water comes from and goes, and makes it easier to understand why conserving water is so important. Here are the elements involved:

  • Screening: Once the water reaches the wastewater treatment plant, it’s screened for large debris and debris. (All sorts of things can end up in the sewers, from rags to dirty diapers.) Getting these large objects out of the water allows them to be compacted and disposed of in a landfill, so the water can move on to the next stage of the process.
  • Grit removal: After the big objects are filtered out, the water passes through finer screens to get rid of sand and gravel. This is called grit removal.
  • Pumping or primary settling: Next, the water is sent to a large tank called a clarifier. The solids in the water sink to the bottom, where they’re pumped out. The wastewater leaves through the top for the next step.
  • Aerating: After the pumping process, the water is aerated. This allows microorganisms to “digest” the solids in the water, similar to what happens at the bottom of rivers and lakes. However, this step is much faster than natural digestion in bodies of water. This is the primary treatment portion of the wastewater process.
  • Secondary settling: Now the water is sent to secondary clarifiers. The biological waste settles at the bottom, while the wastewater, or effluent, is pumped out.
  • Scum removal: During the secondary settling process, scum (like grease, oil and more) floats on the top of the water. This is removed and sent to the digesters with the sludge.
  • Filtration: Next, the filtration process occurs. The liquid effluent is sent through a series of fine filters to remove pollutants, odor, harmful bacteria and other substances that you wouldn’t want in your drinking water.
  • Bacteria elimination: After filtration, the water is treated with chlorine (and other chemicals as necessary) to kill any remaining bacteria. The chlorine itself is usually destroyed as the bacteria die, but sometimes other chemicals are added to neutralize the chlorine. This makes it safer for marine life and drinking.
  • Oxygen uptake: By now, the water is mostly treated. The finishing step is to aerate the water so it can be sent back to waterways or the municipal water system.
  • Sludge treatment: After the water is treated, the sludge collected from the wastewater is processed for safe disposal.

As you can see, the wastewater treatment and sewage system process involves a lot of steps in Bethel, OH to ensure it’s safe for humans, animals and marine life alike. Now you know what happens every time you take a shower or do the dishes.

For help with your wastewater or septic systems, call Gullett Sanitation Services Inc. today.