Water Reclamation Facility

The City of Elko Water Reclamation Facility often referred to as the sewage treatment plant or wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), is a critical infrastructure that processes and treats sewage and wastewater to remove contaminants and pollutants before the treated water is released back into the environment. Here are the key components of the facility.

Inflow and Screening: Wastewater from homes, businesses, and industries enters the facility through a network of sewer pipes. At the facility, large objects like sticks, rocks, and debris are removed through a screening process to prevent damage to equipment further in the treatment process.

Primary Treatment:
 In this stage, the wastewater flows into large settling tanks where heavier solids settle to the bottom, forming sludge, while lighter materials float to the surface, forming scum. The clarified water in between is then transferred for further treatment.

Secondary Treatment (Biological Treatment): The partially treated wastewater undergoes a biological treatment process. Microorganisms, such as bacteria and other biological agents, are introduced to the wastewater to consume organic matter, converting it into carbon dioxide, water, and additional biomass. This step further reduces the concentration of organic pollutants.

Tertiary Treatment (Advanced Treatment): In some wastewater treatment facilities, additional treatment steps are employed to further purify the water. This can include processes like chemical coagulation, filtration, and disinfection to remove remaining impurities and pathogens.

Sludge Treatment: The solids that settle out during primary treatment and the excess biomass generated during secondary treatment form sludge. This sludge is typically treated separately to reduce its volume and make it safer for disposal or beneficial use. Common methods include anaerobic digestion, dewatering, and sometimes incineration.

Disinfection: Before the treated water is released into the environment or discharged into rivers or oceans, it undergoes disinfection to kill or deactivate harmful microorganisms and pathogens. Common disinfection methods include chlorination, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, and ozonation.

Effluent Release: After treatment and disinfection, the treated wastewater, now called effluent, is released into the environment. The quality of the effluent must meet regulatory standards to protect the environment and public health.

Environmental Monitoring: Wastewater treatment facilities often engage in ongoing monitoring and testing to ensure that the effluent meets water quality standards and does not harm aquatic ecosystems.

Resource Recovery: Some advanced wastewater treatment plants also explore opportunities for resource recovery, such as extracting energy from biogas produced during sludge treatment or reclaiming nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen for agricultural use.

Wastewater treatment facilities are critical for protecting public health, preventing water pollution, and conserving water resources. Their operation and maintenance are subject to strict regulations to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible treatment of wastewater.

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1600 Sewer Treatment Plant Road
(775) 777-7210