Average of 2.8 million gallons of sewage processed daily
Have you ever wondered what happens to the water you drain from your bathtub or flush from your toilet? Where does it go, and what happens to it once it arrives at its final destination? As you dispose of your wastewater, it travels into the city sewer system until it reaches the sewer plant located on Hills Lake Road.
This plant is run around the clock by six fulltime operators and is considered a bacteriological plant. An average of 2.8 million gallons of sewage is processed per day. Numerous tests are run on the sewage daily to see that it meets strict environment standards. Once the sewage arrives at the plant, several steps are needed to complete the process.
· It is filtered to remove things that will not dissolve, such as fabric, plastic and metal.
· The sewage then travels into aeration ponds where air and lime are pumped in to increase the alkalinity. This helps the good bacteria kill the bad bacteria.
· It then flows to an upright clarifier. The clarifier separates the solids from the liquids and routes each one to a different location for further processing.
· The liquid is sent to the chlorine contact chamber for disinfecting. It is then de-chlorinated to protect the environment. This "cleaned" liquid is introduced into Hoggs Bayou which then runs into the Sabine River.
· While in the upright clarifier, the solids, also known as sludge, settle to the bottom of the clarifier and are pumped to the aerobic digester/storage tank. This open air tank can hold 500,000 gallons of sludge.
· When it leaves the storage tank, it is pumped into the new belt filter press facility where polymer is introduced, and the belt press removes the water.
· The cake-like substance that is left is pumped into a lined 20 yard dumpster and is taken to the landfill.
The new Aeromod /Tritan belt filter press system is a 1.7 meter press and is currently the only one in existence in the world. It was manufactured in Kansas specifically for the Carthage plant and was installed in late February. This new equipment provides a cleaner and more efficient way to handle the sludge produced by Carthage residents.