It is essential that wastewater going through sewage systems goes through several stages in order to function properly. This removes pollutants and debris from the water before it is released into the environment. This blog post will discuss the three major stages of sewage treatment, and what happens to your waste in each one.

Primary Stage

Primary treatment is the first stage of sewage treatment. This is where wastewater from residential dwellings is funneled into tanks and allowed to settle in the tank. This is because heavy solids, such as oil and grease, will settle to the bottom of a tank. After enough time has passed for sediment and debris to be separated, any remaining wastewater (otherwise called effluent), is expelled from the primary sedimentation tank and directed into the secondary pre-treatment chamber.

Secondary Stage

Secondary sewage treatment removes suspended solids from the effluent before they can be discharged into the water supply. Aeration is a method that pumps air into the effluent to allow it to mix with water. This encourages the rapid growth and consumption of protozoa and aerobic bacteria, which help accelerate the process of wastewater decomposition.

Tertiary Stage

The tertiary phase of sewage treatment is final and removes any hazards. After the wastewater has settled, the aerobic bacteria that was propagated in the second phase will settle at the bottom. In an attempt to kill any bacteria, chlorine can be introduced or ultraviolet light administered. The water is now clean enough to be released into the receiving waters.

Additional Treatment?

Some cases will require that the effluent from the secondary stage of sewage treatment be treated further depending on the discharge location and intended use. This is only required in cases where the receiving waters are extremely sensitive, such as areas with a lot of marine life or high levels of bacteria or contaminants.

The Takeaway

This blog post should have given you an overview of the sewage treatment process. It will also explain what happens to your waste after it has entered the sewage system. Proper sewage maintenance is crucial to ensure that these systems continue to work effectively and efficiently.