The Waste Word Blog

  • Help Protect the Ocean Right in Your Bathroom
    June 10, 2019

    Ever wonder what happens after you flush? Wastewater from 14 Atlantic County municipalities is guided to our Wastewater Treatment Facility located in Atlantic City where it's cleaned through screenings and clarifiers. This includes water that goes through the shower drain, the kitchen sink, the toilet and any other household appliance in which water is used.

    Bar Screens 1
    You may recognize the Wastewater Treatment Facility from driving into Atlantic City

    At this location, wastewater goes through a biological treatment process that removes waste and disinfects the water. The process is essential in protecting the environment, public health and keeping our community clean. At the facility, wastewater moves through primary clarifiers, aeration basins and secondary clarifiers to remove waste. The water that has been cleaned is called effluent. The clean effluent is further treated to remove any pathogens so that it can be safely discharged into the ocean.

    Before treatment begins, bar screens filter out large debris that could cause problems during the rest of the process. This year, ACUA finished installing brand new bar screens in the Headworks building of our facility. The new bar screens help protect our infrastructure by catching unwanted items like rags and toys that inadvertently get flushed down the toilet.

    Bar Screens 2
    The new bar screens recently installed at our facility

    The bar screens are also a big help to employees by making the process more efficient. The updated bar screens are fully automated, which make operations safer and easier. Employees no longer have to manually collect and dispose of the debris caught in the screens. There is even an automated lime-feeding system that helps neutralize odors. The items that are caught by this step in the process are dumped in our landfill.

    Bar Screens 3
    Pictured is solid debris collected by the bar screens. Please do not place incorrect items down your drain.

    If you are interested in learning more about the wastewater treatment process, click here.

    Your Role in the Treatment Process

    At home, you play an important role in protecting the treatment process and helping us keep the water in our community clean. Please think before you flush. Below is a list of common items that you may think are okay to flush, but should not be put down your drains, even when they are marketed as “flushable.”

    Bar Screens 4


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