Kw-logo-smaller

Sewage Treatment: After the Flush

Sewage is treated in plants like this in North America
Treatment Plant

Once upon a time, cities didn't have sewage systems so all the stuff that you would flush down the street today would have been thrown into the streets in those days. In fact, many developing countries still do that. Sewage treatment might sound pretty gross, but things sure would be a lot more gross without it. Let's look at how it works.

Sewage - The Basic Rundown

It's standard in the North America to break down sewage treatment into two categories - storm sewers and sanitary sewers. Storm sewers get less treatment - or sometimes none at all. Sometimes it may be processed to remove stuff like car oil. Sanitary sewers are processed to clean up human waste (yup, we're talking about what you think we're talking about - poo). There are many methods for dealing with human waste. The generally accepted method in North America consists of three stages. Check 'em out.

Sewage Treatment - Primary Treatment

This stage begins when your house's pipes connect up with the sewer. When the waste arrives at the treatment plant it goes through "foreign-object protection." The big pieces of waste get filtered out in this stage. The waste goes through a series of filters to get rid of pieces as varied in size from a few feet wide (eeeew, how did that get in there?!) to pieces the size of sand. This stuff all goes to the landfill. Now sewage is separated into sludge and liquid waste.

Sewage Treatment - Secondary Treatment

Secondary treatment removes bacteria and nasty smells from the sludge and water. It usually uses bacteria to consume the available nutrients and organic compounds. Inorganic salts, carbon dioxide and water are left behind. The basic treatment for the sludge is digestion. That's right: it gets eaten! The sludge is pumped into concrete disgesters where bacteria eat the sludge and produce methane. The sludge is drained of any remaining water. The dry sludge can then be sold to farmers who use it to enhance their soil.

Sewage Treatment - Tertiary Treatment

Tertiary treatment, which means the third level of treatment, removes all the rest of the junk from the remaining water, to restore it to a more natural state. Nitrates and phosphates are usually the most dangerous chemicals left in the water. Algae and rotifers (aquatic organisms) are used to absorb these chemicals. The water is sterilized and then released back into oceans or streams.

Related Stories:

readers voted!

Comments

there are 0 comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like it!

latest videos

F1098487689843

Ever Found a Crocodile in Your Toilet?

  • Yeah! That was scary.
  • No - like crocodiles could get into my toilet.
  • Not yet, but it would be cool if I did.

related stories

Random in the forums

jordand08
jordand08 posted in Say Anything:
But I'm here for anyone, and try to help as best as possible. c: 
reply 6 minutes
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Say Anything:
I feel like some people don't understand, that when you're a teenager you have a lot going on, a lot on your mind, and things that stresses you. I think for some people, it's a hard topic to contemplate on.
reply 7 minutes
GaaraOfTheSand
And my faith in humanity has dropped to -200
reply 33 minutes
insanity_ws
Many people take depression as a self petty.I know people (including me) who have depression and people think its because they're spoiled or just want attention but it's deeper than that.It's an uncontrollable sorrow,
reply 34 minutes
GaaraOfTheSand
-just lost all faith in humanity- who jokes about DEPRESSION  im depressed  I have attempted suicide i have purposefully inflicted harm on myself but not for attention -.-  god god this world.....
reply 38 minutes

play online games

Goodgameempire-thumb

Goodgame Empire is a great strategy title by Goodgame Studios. Build your own ca...

Dragon-dash-thumb-image

Your dragon must return to guard the treasure! Help it gather lost coins and avo...

Blobthrower-thumb

Shoot blobs with different properties to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be r...

Candy-cash-thumb

Candy's got her candies into a terrible mess, can you help her to sort them out?

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

_thumb_100x100

Bloons 2 is here! A worthy and awesome sequel at last to our original Bloons gam...

Frostbox_100x100

Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...

Plinga-pet

Join the pet-pampering party with your own customized critter!