This week we will be getting gritty. Now we’re not talking about Gritty, the equal parts adorable and terrifying Flyers mascot. We’re talking about the removal of all the grit and dirt and other material that gets mixed in with the wastewater.
One of the first and most important steps in treating wastewater is the screening and de-gritting process. This ensures that any solid materials that may have hitched a ride to the treatment plant get removed before the wastewater is treated.
First, the water passes through the screening unit, which catches the larger pieces of material. If you look at the screening unit while it is in action, you may see a lot of those so-called “flushable” wipes. They haven’t broken down or decomposed as their labels claimed they would. They made it all the way to the wastewater treatment plant. Once removed, all the debris gets washed, compacted, and placed into a dumpster for disposal. So, flushing wipes doesn’t end up being as environmentally friendly as advertised- they end up in the exact same spot as if you had placed them in your trash can!
After screening, the flow of wastewater goes through a de-gritting unit, which gets rid of the smaller, heavier material like stones, and sand. This material also gets compacted and placed into another dumpster for disposal. These processes help prevent the clogging of pumps and reduce the wear on the equipment at the wastewater treatment plant, which extends the equipment’s useful operating life!