What is a Wastewater Treatment Plant?
Most Wastewater Treatment Plants are public/municipal owned operations, with the exception of some industry operating their own. A Wastewater Treatment Plant takes used water and cleans it so it can be put back into the environment. This used water not only comes from bathrooms, kitchens (garbage disposals) and floor drains, but it can also leech into the system from ground water and rain. All Wastewater Treatment Plants are regulated by the State of WI DNR, which sets criteria and standards as to how clean the water is before it is released into the environment typically into the rivers and streams.
When we are finished cleaning, filtering and treating the Wastewater, the final product is actually cleaner than the Wisconsin River into which it flows.
How does used water get from your home to the Wastewater Treatment Plant?
If you live in the City of Boscobel, your home is connected to the City’s Wastewater Collection System. This means that any water or any other item that goes down your drains, toilet or sink ends up in the City’s Wastewater Collection System through a series of pipes that are connected under your home and under the streets of the City. These pipes carry the Wastewater to the Treatment Plant mostly through gravity with the help of a few lift stations.
The City of Boscobel Municipal Code, Chapter 13.14 Sewer Use Ordinance outlines what can be deposited into the Wastewater Collection System. Basically, the only thing that should be going into the Collection System is Water, Human Waste, Toilet Paper and Ground up food through a garbage disposal. All other non-organic materials, such as Diapers/Wipes, Feminine Products, Hi-Grade Paper Towels and Cloth Materials (Towels, clothing, undergarments, etc) should NOT be put into your Sewer System. One of the most problematic and damaging substances that people put into the sewer system is grease. Please remember not to dump any kind of Grease or Oil in your sewer system – even through your garbage disposal!
What do we do at the Wastewater Treatment Plant when the Wastewater reaches us?
When the Used Water reaches the plant, we measure the following: How Much Water is coming into the plant, How Much Biological Activity is in the Wastewater, How Much Organic and Non-Organic Material is in the Wastewater, The PH – Acidity or Alkalinity of the Wastewater, Phosphorous – A nutrient that promotes algae growth, and Chlorination of the Water for Disinfection Purposes.
We also measure these things when the Wastewater leaves the plant to be returned into the river and the Finished Water has to be compliant with WI DNR requirement and Clean Water Standards. Our Water Recycling Process also generates biosolids (sludge), which is hauled to area farmers’ fields for fertilizer. Approximately 98% of what comes in goes back to the environment either as clean water or fertilizer for the soil. The other 2% has to be land filled which is non-organics that should not have been put into the system to begin with.
When we are finished cleaning, filtering and treating the Wastewater, the final product is actually cleaner than the WI River into which it flows.
How does the system flow?
Every so often, we go into the system through various manholes throughout the City to remove/clean out roots, sand and grit, and other miscellaneous items that get into the system. This process keeps the pipes in working order – Please watch out for us & keep your toilet lids down!
Who is responsible for repairs, maintenance and cleaning of the sewer laterals and mains?
The Landowner is responsible for cleaning the lateral from the house to the Main and repairs in the lateral from the property line to the house. The City is responsible for Repairs from the main to the property line and for cleaning the Mains.