In case you couldn’t tell I just LOVE to tour Wastewater Treatment plants or Sewage Plants or even Water Reclamation Facilities. So it wasn’t that strange for me to take a small group to tour the New Castle Water Pollution Control Facility to specifically look at their filter belt presses and the Grind Hog grinders. We were met by the Superintendent Steve and the Maintenance Foreman Dallas for a tour of their plant. This facility treats approximately 10 million gallons per day (MGD), using extended aeration activated sludge process. The town is a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) community. The plant has influent flow monitoring, screening with climbing bar screens, comminution with Grind Hogs, grit removal using grit channels and the bucket system, primary clarification, extended aeration, secondary clarification, rapid sand filtration, post aeration, with sodium hypochlorite and sodium bisulfite for chlorination and dechlorination with ultraviolet light disinfection (as a backup) using the in-line bulb style, and effluent flow monitoring. Wet weather flows in excess of the pumping capacity of the plant’s main lift station are diverted to an aerated wet weather retention basin with a maximum storage capacity of 10,901,000 million gallons. The untreated wastewater is eventually bled back through the facility prior to the influent flow meter for treatment. Sludge handling facilities include: sludge holding tanks, filter belt presses and sludge drying beds (used sparingly). I will say the belt press operation was a highlight of the facility for me. The sludge coming off the top belt (gravity belt) was well turned, thick and the final product was excellent and even though we didn’t do the solids test on the cake I would say it was very, very close to 28-30% solids.
Side Note: I do regret that I did not get a photo of either the primary clarifiers or the actual operation of the belt press (the sludge moving across the gravity belt was a sight to behold, pure artistry).