"Wastewater Treatment"

By KBJR News 1

August 11, 2010 Updated Aug 11, 2010 at 9:01 AM CDT

Posted by Jeff Edmondson

Several decades ago the St. Louis River was filled with toxins and garbage.
Now the river is clean and healthy. In this weeks Your Green Life Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson takes a look at how WLSSD cleans our wastewater.
Every time you flush a toilet or wash your hands, dirty water goes down the drain and it ends up here at WLSSD for treatment.
"There it goes through a couple different mechanical filters to screen out things that shouldn't be in the wastewater in the first place. Things like wipes, rags, and sticks," said Sarah Lerohl.
These bars and reservoirs can help to separate the debris that the bacteria cannot clean up in the next step for the dirty water.
"A big river with concrete channels filled with bacteria that are eating the nutrients out of the wastewater. And they eat and eat and eat, to augment that we pump them with pure oxygen," said Lerohl.
The bacteria do the most amount of work in this process but during the process things also need to settle and rest.
"The clean water resides on top, we talk about it like a giant hot tub that it is very warm and quiet in there. The separation is very important because we can then take the clean water put it though the filters," says Susan Darley-Hill.
Then the water makes its way through these channels and is disinfected before it can be safely released into Lake Superior. From start to finish; the process is said to usually take between 6 and 8 hours.
In Duluth, I'm Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson The Northlands NewsCenter.
If you're interested in seeing the wastewater treatment process for yourself. Visit the WLSSD's website here: