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From Waste To Use: How Sewage Is Treated In Most Major Cities

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In areas of the country with a large concentration of people, providing everyone with a clean source of water can be a daunting, costly task. When it comes to the proper disposal of wastewater and sewage, a very meticulous process must occur in order to ensure the public health remains intact. Wastewater treatment plants must be fully operational all year round and it takes a dedicated network of people to ensure that the entire water treatment process goes smoothly. Here is some information about the process of sewage handling so you can gain a better understanding of just how much is involved.

Raw Sewage Delivery And Separation

When raw sewage gets transported to the treatment plant either by delivery or directly flowing there through pipes, it must first be broken down in order to be treated. Any objects like trash, plastic, and large debris has to be separated from the sewage and larger pieces need to be broken down using machines to help break it up. A process called grit removal or clarification takes place, where large filtration tanks automatically sift and separate the bigger items from the liquid and reroutes the debris to a separate holding tank for proper disposal.


In order for the raw sewage to be properly treated, large quantities of strong chemicals must be applied to oxidize it. Chlorine is commonly used since it's fairly affordable and highly effective at oxidizing the sewage matter. This chemical treatment helps to kill all harmful bacteria and works towards bringing the pH level of the sewage to a more neutral level. Other chemicals like lime can also be added to work towards full oxidation. Microbiological treatment options are also now being used, which work to break down matter quickly and in an all-natural way without using synthetic treatments. The process may take longer since nature must take its course, but it's less harmful to the environment. All of the oxidation and sewage breakdowns takes place in large holding tanks inside of a wastewater treatment facility.

Final Distribution

All wastewater and sewage must go through rigorous treatment and testing before it can re-enter the water supply. Most treatment plants finish the process by applying a strong UV light to the matter to ensure that all lingering bacteria is killed off. All remaining water must be put through a series of biological tests before it can go back into the water supply. Once the results of the treated sewage have been tested, it's then sent through pipes back into the main water supply for people to use. This process is long and involved, but it can mean saving thousands or even millions of gallons of water for cities each year, which has a profoundly positive effect on areas facing drought or water shortages. 

For more information, contact a company such as Drain Store