What does a wastewater treatment plant do?

Treatment plants remove impurities contained in wastewater so that the treated wastewater can be safely returned to the environment.  This same stabilization process occurs in nature to break down wastewater into its most basic components of carbon dioxide and water.  Common methods of treatment include physical, biological and chemical treatment steps to stabilize the wastewater.  Norweco wastewater treatment plants are designed to accelerate and control nature’s process to insure proper treatment is provided.

Where does the water go once it is treated?

Treated wastewater is returned to the environment by a number of different methods.  Depending on the degree of treatment and local regulations, it may be absorbed into the soil, discharged directly into a surface waterway or reused by a method like spray irrigation.

Are wastewater treatment systems really necessary?  My grandparents never had to worry about them.

Your grandparents also had to worry a lot more about typhoid, cholera and other infectious diseases that are transmitted by unsanitary water.  Wastewater treatment systems serve primarily to protect the health of the general population by insuring that water supplies remain clean.  In today’s world, people live a lot longer than they used to and higher population concentrations result in increased organic loading to the waterways from a variety of sources.  Modern wastewater treatment systems contribute to a safer, cleaner environment by reducing this organic load and controlling the presence of bacteria and waterborne diseases.

What is the difference between a sewer system and an onsite treatment system?

A sewer system is a series of pipes that collect wastewater and transport it to a remote location where the wastewater is processed by a municipal treatment system.  An onsite treatment system collects, treats and disposes of wastewater from a single source in the same location that it is generated.  Municipal and onsite treatment systems utilize many of the same treatment processes, but a municipal sewer system collects and treats wastewater from many different locations.

Why are onsite systems necessary? Why don’t they just run sewers everywhere?

Population density, the topography of the area, soil conditions and numerous other factors are involved in the construction and operation of a sewage collection system.  Increasing migration to suburban and rural areas make municipal sewers more difficult and costly to build and maintain.  Onsite treatment systems are often the most practical and cost-effective solution for wastewater treatment and disposal.

I recently moved from the city to the country.  What are the considerations to having a septic tank or onsite treatment system?

A good rule of thumb is don’t put anything into your wastewater treatment system that is not biodegradable.  Your local health department can provide you with guidance on the operation and care of your onsite treatment system.  Just as a municipal treatment plant requires a staff to provide operation and maintenance, your onsite system will require periodic inspection, service and maintenance.  Remember, your onsite treatment system is an asset that you own.  Like any other asset (such as a car, furnace, etc.) the better you take care of it, the better it will serve you.

I cannot locate my septic tank.  How do I find it?

Your local health department should have information regarding the location of your septic tank.  Also, a local septic tank pumping service or your Norweco distributor can employ several different types of technology to verify the tank location.

My local regulatory agency wants me to pay them to inspect my onsite system, or to buy a service contract from a local company.  Why should I do this?

All wastewater treatment systems require periodic service and maintenance.  A service contract from a local company or regulatory agency is an economical insurance policy against premature system failure and forced replacement.  This type of service contract is usually much cheaper than paying municipal sewer bills.

May we help you?

As the environmental consciousness of planet earth continues to increase, the treatment and disposal of wastewater has received a lot of attention from the scientific and industrial community.  Listed here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding wastewater treatment and disposal, as well as answers to those questions.  We hope that you will find this information informative, educational and interesting.  If you wish to pose a question to Norweco, simply email, fax or telephone your request to our Customer Service department.