Once we flush our toilets or run our garbage disposals, we often forget what happens with what we just sent away. While it has little effect on our home, the constant buildup of waste at the water treatment plant creates a sludge that can harm the equipment that treats the water for disposal. From bacteria to sludge dewatering equipment, here are some of the methods to treat the sludge. Doing so will keep the water plant’s systems operational and our towns and cities moving in the right direction.
Breaking Down the Sludge
Wastewater from our homes and the runoff that enters our sewer system through the drains in our sidewalks and streets travel through the pipes that lead to the water treatment plant. The first step to treat the sludge that forms is to add bacteria to eat the organic solids. Once this has been completed and the everything has settled, the sludge is run through the dewatering equipment to extract the liquid from what is left of the solid. The heavy equipment is particularly beneficial to large cities that have to treat large amounts of waste. It makes the process much more efficient and quick than relying on the bacteria alone. The water continues to be processed through the plant’s mechanisms. It is treated to minimize toxins and biohazards and then released back into the rivers and streams.
What To Do With the Leftovers
When the sludge has been pulled from the liquid, the solid portion that is left is dried out. Some of it is transported to the landfill to be disposed of. Some of it is treated repeatedly for toxins and biohazards like the water. It is then packaged and sold to lawn companies and farmers to be used as fertilizer in landscaping and in the fields.