What is wastewater treatment?
Wastewater treatment plants:
· Remove solids, everything from rags and plastics to sand and smaller particles found in wastewater;
· Reduce organic matter and pollutants–naturally occurring helpful bacteria and other microorganisms consume organic matter in wastewater and are then separated from the water; and,
· Restore oxygen–the treatment process ensures that the water put back into our rivers or lakes has enough oxygen to support life.
Where does wastewater come from?
· Homes–human and household wastes from toilets, sinks, baths, dishwashers, garbage grinders, clothes washers and drains.
· Industry, Schools, and Business–chemical and other wastes from factories, food-service operations, school activities, hospitals, shopping centers, etc.
· Storm Water Infiltration and Inflow from Runoff and Groundwater–water that enters the sanitary sewer system during a storm, as well as groundwater that enters through cracks in sewers.
Wastewater Department Work in Progress
Wastewater Department News
Please Watch What You Flush: Toilets Are Not Trash Cans
Flushable wet wipes: what a great idea, right? Wrong, says Hartselle Utilities Engineering Services Manager Glen Partlow. There are many products on the market now that are advertised as “flushable,” which means the product will go through the pipes of your toilet into the wastewater system. Flushable, however, does not mean dissolvable. And, in fact, most products other than toilet paper advertised as flushable do not dissolve in the waste water stream.
Unlike toilet paper, so-called flushable wipes, baby wipes, and feminine hygiene products contain plastic and other nonsolubles that render them “nondispersible,” the wastewater industry’s term for material that doesn’t dissolve quickly in water. Instead, these products settle in gravity sewer mains, lift pump stations or get tangled in pump mechanisms. They can also accumulate in your home sewer lines and cause a blockage, resulting in sewage backing up into your home – and an expensive repair bill.
“Several times recently our lift stations have needed maintenance, due to baby wipe-type material clogging the system,” Partlow explains. “And generally, these blockages occur after hours, requiring overtime work for crews.”
When pump stations are clogged, they stop working and require cleaning and repair or even replacement in order to get the sewage moving again.
Fortunately, Partlow says, in areas where they’ve been able to identify the area of the source, letters have been sent to customers, and the problems have minimized. “We really appreciate that cooperation,” he explains.
So, please remember: your toilet is not a trash can. Avoid a nasty cleanup in your home and help protect Hartselle’s sewer system by never flushing any consumer item that is not toilet paper into the sewer system, regardless of what the packaging promises. If it’s not toilet paper, and if you didn’t eat it or drink it first, it shouldn’t go in the toilet.