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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.

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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.

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TheAverageJC
TheAverageJC posted in General:
"-Karpov-" wrote: "naruto200" wrote: Nah, I just don't like people giving my poem a 4 just because it didn't rhythm to well. He gave other reasons. Also rhyme =/= rhythm.  thanks for clarifying it to him C^:
reply less than a minute
Team Audi #46
Life is going to beat the living crap out of you. It's up to you to keep going or to just lay there and take the beating. I, personally, am sick and tired of life. It's quite irritating to deal with the stuff that is thrown toward me for no apparent reason. Granted, I get through that "road block" but, it's just really annoying to have to have something that makes my life harder. Even if it isn't me directly. If it's my mom, I feel that it becomes my problem. If it's my brother, I feel that I am going through the same thing.  I don't know. I'm sure if I go to a more impoverished places in the world, I would just become a depressed mess. I should just be grateful with what I have...... But I'm not...... And I don't like that. 
reply 1 minute
naruto200
naruto200 posted in General:
That's his opinion, and I accept that.
reply 1 minute
TheAverageJC
TheAverageJC posted in General:
im done with this i'm bored now bye
reply 2 minutes
-Karpov-
-Karpov- posted in General:
"naruto200" wrote:Nah, I just don't like people giving my poem a 4 just because it didn't rhythm to well. He gave other reasons. Also rhyme =/= rhythm. 
reply 4 minutes

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