Cortez: Wastewater plant process primer

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Here’s a look at the wastewater treatment plant that came online in 2006 from Reid Wright writing for the Cortez Journal. Click through and read the whole article. Here’s an excerpt:

At the head works of the Cortez Sanitation District’s sewer treatment plant, Jay Conner pulls back a metal hatch, revealing a trench through which the raw sewage sloshes — fresh from the district’s more than 60 miles of pipes serving many of the Cortez area’s more than 8,400 people. “We’re on the front line,” Conner said of the plant and its workers. “It’s probably one of the best environmental protections you can have.”

The trench was covered by panels after neighbors complained of the smell. A rake and auger system picks out larger debris and garbage, all of which is taken to its rightful home in the county landfill. Too much garbage, such as plastic wrappers and feminine hygiene products can gum up the plant’s pumps, Conner said. These items should be thrown in the garbage.

A second process removes smaller items, such as rocks, sand and eggshells. The gritty mixture also contains a fair amount of corn.

Petroleum products, paint, paint thinners, herbicides and kitchen grease are also harmful to the system, Conner said, and should not be dumped down the drain.

More wastewater coverage here and here.

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