Here's a rundown of the recycled water treatment process:
- Source water (treated wastewater from the Robert W. Hite Wastewater Treatment Plant) enters the Recycling Plant and is treated with a biologically aerated filter process to remove ammonia. Air is injected into the base of each treatment cell and the aerated water flows through individual treatment cells containing styrene-based media. The media provide a high specific surface area where micro-organisms attach and act as a filter media for suspended solids removal. This treatment process helps minimize the amount of chemicals needed downstream, and keeps salt levels low in the treated water.
- The water is then rapidly mixed with sticky coagulants that can capture suspended solids and nutrients.
- The water is "flocculated," stirred with large, slow-moving paddle wheels. This creates turbulence and increases the contact of solids and coagulant. This allows snowflake-like particles to grow larger and heavier. These large suspended solids then settle out in the sedimentation basin.
- The water then passes through filter beds containing a type of coal called anthracite. This stage traps remaining solids.
- After filtration, the water passes into contact basins where chemicals are added for disinfection and corrosion control before distribution to customers.