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A Close Look at Industrial and Municipal Waterwater Treatment Services - Clowe & Cowan of El Paso Inc
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Sewage wastewater plant

Industrial and municipal pump services often involve working with a network of pipes, pumps, storage, and treatment facilities. They were designed to deliver potable water to homes, schools, etc. Every city in the country has some kind of sewage system and municipal water treatment plant infrastructure to handle its sewage and wastewater. Keeping pumps working and operating optimally requires consistent maintenance, proper installation, operation, and upgrades to the machinery and plants. 

So Where Does Sewage Water Come From And Where Does It Go? 

Every time you wash your dishes in the sink or flush the toilet, you put in motion one of the most extraordinary engineering successes of the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the earliest sewerage systems in the United States come from Washington, D.C, around 1810. Sewers and culverts were constructed to drain stormwater and groundwater from the street safely. These lines were not built all simultaneously, nor were they all connected, but it was a start. By 1850, most of the Pennsylvania Avenue streets piped in spring water. This created the need for the sewage system. 

Water pollution stayed a problem, however, as population centers grew. From 1871-1874 the Board of Public Works started working on about 80 miles of sewers. For the time, the pace of work was impressive. However, this led to poor construction, planning, and infrastructure that was structurally unsound and hydraulically inadequate. The construction eliminated some of the problems caused by water pollution. 

Fact Check

As Scientific American put it, however, the very first instructions for sanitation come from the Bible itself. They cite Deuteronomy as it urges you to dig a hole and “cover that which cometh from thee.” It was age-old advice that proved to be pretty useful. Ancient cultures like the Greeks and the Romans had their own hand in advancing the engineering for water treatment or sewage systems. Still, it took a long time to understand the necessity to separate incoming water from outgoing wastewater and keep them separate. The filtering and cleaning process took even longer.  

The Different Types of Sewage Water Systems and How They Work 

Most municipal systems in America are one of two types: the storm sewer and the sanitary sewer. The storm sewer collects rainwater surface runoff from catch basins into the nearest river or basin. The sanitary sewer transports wastewater to a water treatment plant nearby. For most buildings at ground level, gravity takes care of a lot of the ‘heavy lifting.’ For infrastructure with sewage lines below the sanitary sewer—such as basement bathrooms—sewage pumps may be necessary.

Wastewater Treatment: How Municipalities Clean Waste? 

A municipal wastewater treatment system refers to the public supply network. Part of this network involves a treatment plant, storage facilities such as towers, tanks, reservoirs, and a network of water pipes that take care of the distribution. 

In most municipal treatment plants today, you will find three main steps implemented in the treatment process:

  • Primary treatment:

    This is the first step, and it aims to remove the major contaminants from the water. This includes the removal of solids and other contaminants by using coagulation and filtration. Primary treatment involves a more physical cleaning of the water. The main processes within the primary treatment level include:

      • Pumping of water, then there are screens used to filter and remove items. In hard-water areas, the water will be treated with sodium carbonate to precipitate calcium carbonate. This is known as pre-conditioning. Then, there is a pre-chlorination phase where water coming into the plant goes through chlorination. 
  • Secondary treatment:

     The second phase involves a deeper removal of contaminants from the water. The techniques used here might depend on the kind of water that exists in the area. For example, in the El Paso and Southwest area, we tend to have hard water. Coagulation and flocculation introduce chemicals such as aluminum sulfate and iron. These chemicals will cause a reaction that causes contaminants to give off a positive charge. This causes the particles to coagulate and become easier to filter out. 

  •  Tertiary treatment:

    This is a kind of disinfection stage and is key for the removal of dangerous pathogens.  There are laws in the book that require municipalities to maintain a level of disinfection in the supply. 

Overall, the infrastructure involved in these processes maintains as an equally important part of the equation. So, it is important for schools and commercial buildings as well to ensure that businesses continue running without a glitch. 

We Can Help

Clowe & Cowan has served the Southwest region with water treatment services for many years. We have you covered from maintenance and servicing of infrastructure to the full treatment process. Connect with us and find out more. 

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