Every day every hour every minute all over Moreton bay and the sunshine coast toilets are flushing sinks are draining washing machines are washing showers are spraying and dishwashers are cleaning as our homes schools and businesses use water and create sewage most of us make around 162 liters of sewage a day.
99% of sewage is just dirty water the rest is made up of solids chemicals fats nutrients nasties and some items that should not be in the sewage network. That’s a lot of pool sewage isn’t just poo it’s also anything you flush down the toilet or send down your sink and your drain we’re from unity water.
After you use the water we pump the sewage away in underground pipes to be treated and cleaned at a sewage treatment plant before it is returned safely to the environment. Sewage treatment helps to keep us healthy and our waterways clean it’s a big job but we are incredibly lucky right now 2.5 billion people in the world don’t even have access to a clean safe toilet and that means people get sick and the environment suffers too. Without proper treatment sewage can significantly impact health and our environment thousands of children in developing countries still die every year from diseases caused from poor sanitation in fact the flush toilet has been rated as the greatest medical invention in the last 150 years. Here at unity water we treat around 150 million liters of sewage every day that’s the same as 60 olympic sized swimming pools imagine what would happen if we didn’t treat it and clean it where would it end up what would it do to our environment and our health follow us to find out what happens when all that sewage leaves your sink or goes down your toilet. So here goes pigs on noses we’re about to take a journey through the sewerage network. After unity water when sewage is flushed or drained away from your house it enters a huge maze of pipes that connect your house to the sewerage network. The sewage network is all the pipes pumps and treatment plants used to remove and treat the sewage just think right now under the ground raw sewage is traveling to the sewage.
When the sewage arrives at the treatment plant we screen it to remove all the unwanted objects we find all sorts of strange things that shouldn’t be there toys false teeth jewelry and even underpants.
We also find lots of other items that cause big problems for the treatment plant things like baby wipes and cleaning wipes nappies and fats and oils. Once all the sewage is screened some treatment plants have special tanks that hold all the screened sewage and control.
How much sewage enters the treatment?
Plant at any one time this helps to ensure the quality of the treatment is always consistent when the sewage is released from the holding tanks the treatment process starts.
Sewage treatment is one great big science project it’s a complex process and we can’t do it alone we need a bit of help from our friends the friendly bacteria.
Fortunately, these happy hungry guys love all the organic matter in the sewage that we want to get rid of in fact it’s their favorite food that’s right. These guys eat all the carbon and reduce the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen in the sewage that can impact the health of our waterways. So we feed them in huge bioreactors filled with lots of oxygen they can eat and breathe and have lots of hungry babies that eat more and more and more when the nutrients have all been gobbled up it’s time to move the sewage onto special clarifiers that separate the solids from the water in the sewage the solids are called sludge or bio solids.
We drain them out try them out and send them off to help fertilize crops for animal food some of the friendly bacteria that are left get a little break but then get sent straight back to work in the bioreactors for more gobbling and the remaining water is our treated.
Sewage it’s now called effluent and it gets sent on to be cleaned and filtered again by now our treated sewage is looking pretty good but we need to make sure it’s ultra clean.
We all use water and we all make sewage every day run your tap flush your toilet clean your dishes have a bath when you’re done the process starts again and our team at unity water will be there to protect you and the environment