How A Sewer Plant Cleans Wastewater

Oct 21, 2019

When we hear about purifying water in the news, it’s often about what comes out of the tap. But how do we clean it once it’s been used?

Whether it’s from a toilet, sink or bathtub, dirty water eventually makes its way into the local sewer lines.  And those lines, provided they’re in working order, make their way to a water treatment plant.  In the City of DeKalb, that responsibility falls on the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District.

Vehicles, ranging from small buggies to bulldozers and septic trucks, shuttle between buildings. Each of those, in turn, is responsible for a different part of water treatment.  Our first stop is garbage screening.

Quarter-inch filters catch garbage in the water. That debris is swept up by a mechanical rake (device at top) and transferred to a dumpster.

The water passes through metal grates, with gaps a quarter-inch thick.  District Assistant Engineering Manager Mike Holland says from there, mechanical rakes pick up the “debris.”  

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