Wastewater is used water. It includes substances such as human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps and chemicals. In homes, this includes water from sinks, showers, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers. Businesses and industries also contribute their share of used water that must be cleaned.
If the term “wastewater treatment” is confusing to you, you might think of it as “sewage treatment.” Nature has an amazing ability to cope with small amounts of water wastes and pollution, but it would be overwhelmed if the City didn’t treat the 676,544 gallons of wastewater and sewage produced every day before releasing it back to the environment.
Treatment plants reduce pollutants in wastewater to a level nature can handle.
Wastewater also includes storm runoff. Although some people assume that the rain that runs down the street during a storm is fairly clean, it isn’t. Harmful substances that wash off roads, parking lots, and rooftops can harm our rivers and lakes.
Why Treat Wastewater? It’s a matter of caring for our environment and for our own health. If it is not properly cleaned, water can carry disease. Since we live, work and play so close to water, harmful bacteria have to be removed to make water safe.