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Giving poop a purpose: 100 years of treating Lincoln's wastewater

Sep 11, 2023

Ever wonder what happens after you flush?

The city of Lincoln, it turns out, would like to show you, as well as offer a little history lesson on just how far the city — and country — has come in the last century.

We’re talking wastewater here, and what happens to the 33 million gallons of wastewater Lincoln residents flush away each day.

“The cleanup of sewage is one of the biggest public health improvements we’ve ever had,” said Donna Garden, assistant director of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities. “Besides the fact that it does this service for the public, it’s an absolutely fascinating process, that we’re using biology to treat this and use it so efficiently.”


The process used today cleans the wastewater, which is then used to heat and cool buildings at the University of Nebraska’s Innovation Campus and electric generating station before it is released back into Salt Creek. It creates biosolids used as fertilizer and natural gas used to fuel vehicles.

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