The City of Kalamazoo explains their 3 step process that keeps our water safe.

We recently had a conversation with Ron Janssen, the Water Waste Operations Superintendent for the city of Kalamazoo.  Ron not only grew up in Kalamazoo but he has also worked at the water treatment plant here in town since 1981.  Janssen explains,

We've got a three-step process down here at the plant.  We've got four main pollutants that we're going to remove.  Organic pollutants like we call it biochemical oxygen demand it's something that his organic load that comes in that keeps oxygen in the river. So we want to keep it out of the river.  Ammonia will do the same thing. They want to remove ammonia.

First Step week while primary treatment is basically a physical treatment of screening and settling.  They are able to remove 62% of the solids just by slowing it down and screeming.  For example, wipes that we flush down the toilet don't just break down as good as they say they do.  The city of Kalamazoo has to capture those.  A lot of people don't realize how big of a deal that is.  "No wipes in the pipes" is what the city is telling us.  Same goes with dropping grease and oil down your drain.
Organic that is settled just that slow down the flow down.

The secondary treatment is biological process of aeration and settling.  What they're doing is creating an environment for microorganisms to thrive.  These microorganisms will consume the unsalable waste and clean the water.  That process is complicated but very interesting.  Listen to the full interview below to get the full story.

The final step in this process is the polishing step. We call it tertiary treatment.  95 to 99% of the waste has already been removed inside the
aeration tanks and the clarifiers.  In this process they run the water thru sand to catch any solids missed.  Then they disinfect the water.  They discharged about 28 million gallons today the river.

Listen to the full interview below with Ron Janssen, the Water Waste Operations Superintendent for the city of Kalamazoo.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app