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What a Water Treatment Plant Does

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It’s no miracle that freshwater comes out of your taps when you switch on the facet. If you live in an area that enjoys fresh drinking water, you have your local wastewater treatment plant to thank. If you’ve ever wondered what a water treatment plant does to bring you fresh drinking water, keep reading to find out.

Pretreatment Phase

During the pretreatment phase, a rake removes large debris from basins filled with water that’s waiting to go through the next stages. A rake grabs solid objects, such as tree branches, cans, rags, and pieces of plastic. The water kept in the basins at wastewater treatment facilities is gathered from rainwater and other natural sources, and it typically contains all sorts of junk.

Primary Treatment Phase

Natural water collection is treated along with sewer water during the primary treatment phase. Plant operators use air blowers and scrapers to remove oil and grease from the water supply. Gravity brings heavier particles to the bottom, which are removed with mechanical scrapers.

Secondary Treatment Phase

Once visible particles are removed from the wastewater, chemicals get removed next. Treatment plants use microorganisms to break organic matter down into sludge. Multiple different methods are used to remove harmful toxins from the water and purify it.

Sludge Treatment

The final phase of water treatment is sludge treatment. Gravity separates the sludge from other materials. Once it’s removed from the water, it can be used to power the plant or as fertilizer. Water treatment plants use biogas flow meters to monitor the methane being released from the organic matter and then must take steps to stabilize the sludge so that it can be used.

The multiple stages of water treatment are important when it comes to bringing you fresh water. If we didn’t treat water, we would all have to buy our water in plastic bottles, which would contribute to more environmental waste. Hopefully, understanding what a water treatment plant does will help you appreciate the essential workers you don’t see.

Written by Logan Voss

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