Treatment By-products (Bill Stowe, Wastewater Treatment Expert)
What goes in must come out. Hear how it happens from Bill Stowe.
Basically there are really three different components that come out of this wastewater. The most obvious one ultimately is water that's in a very purified form. It's purer here when we return it to the river than when the waterworks takes it from the Des Moines river and makes drinking water. So water is a major component. About 40 million gallons a day are actually put in the Des Moines river from this facility. Another component through the gravity process is just junk, grit we call it. It's just basically things that aren't full of disease but just sand and rock and gravel. Those are put in the sanitary landfill. Those are actually land-filled under license. And the third piece of it is, and a really important piece for the agricultural community here in Iowa, is what we call biosolids. It's a nutrient rich soil additive that's about 20% solids and 80% water and it's actually land-applied. It's spread out on the fields and then incorporated into the soil. It's a terrific fertilizer and one that we generate about a 1000 tons each week from this facility.