The detention time is the time it takes for the wastewater to pass thru all of the plant treatment processes. The detention time varies with the plant flow. An average flow of 20 million gallons per day (MGD) will take approximately 20 hours to pass through the various processes and discharge into Lake Michigan.
The Racine Wastewater Utility hydraulic capacity is an Average Daily Flow of 36 MGD, Peak Hourly Flow of 108 MGD, and a wet weather optimization process flow of 308 MGD.
Highly trained, experienced, State-certified plant operators employed by the Racine Wastewater Utility are on duty seven days a week to oversee treatment plant processes and to respond to any unusual condition or circumstance. Many of the treatment process controls are highly automated requiring a great deal of technical expertise. Other processes require manual controls which rely on the operator's physical presence to observe conditions and make adjustments. Operators are carefully monitoring every aspect of the facility.
Per Wisconsin state code, wastewater treatment plants are assigned a basic or advanced classification rating. Subclasses are also assigned to wastewater treatment plants that correspond to the processes used at the plant. Each plant must have a designated operator-in-charge certified at the plant class level and in the same subclasses as the processes used at the plant.
In order to become a certified wastewater treatment plant operator,
a person must pass both the basic general wastewater exam and at least one basic subclass exam
. The subclass exam(s) is dependent upon the processes at the treatment plant at which the operator works. There are 8 subclasses. Subclasses are designated by categories. Wastewater operators have the opportunity to take certification exams for the following general processes:
|Category||Subclass Letter||Subclass Name||Description|
|Biological Treatment||A1||Suspended Growth Processes||Activated Sludge and variants|
|A2||Attached Growth Processes||Trickling filters, RBCs and biotowers|
|A3||Recirculating Media Filters|| |
|A4||Ponds, Lagoons, and Natural Systems|| |
|A5||Anaerobic Treatment of Liquid Waste||High strength liquid waste treatment system|
|Solids Separation||B||Solids Separation||Clarifiers, membranes, filters, tertiary phosphorus removal, etc.|
|Solids Treatment||C||Biological Solids/Sludge Handling, Processing, and Re-use||Aerobic and anaerobic digestion, thickening, dewatering, land application|
|Nutrient Removal||P||Total Phosphorus|| |
|N||Total Nitrogen|| |
|Disinfection||D||Disinfection||Chlorination, ultraviolet radiation, ozone|
|Laboratory||L||Laboratory||Registered or certified on-site laboratories|
|Special||U||Unique Treatment Systems||Unique, special treatment plants that use biological, chemical or physical methods|
|Collection System||SS||Sanitary Sewage Collection System|| |
The requirements for wastewater operator certification for each level are:
- Operator-in-Training (OIT) : Pass Basic General Wastewater Exam* and Basic Subclass Exam
- Basic : One year of subclass specific experience
Advanced : Obtain 10 advanced points and submit an advanced certification application (see the Advanced Certification webpage for more info)
On-site instrumentation provides information and records data on wastewater quality around the clock. Information is collected and stored automatically in a database for evaluation by plant staff. Samples are collected and analyzed by certified laboratory technicians in an on-site State-certified laboratory.
No - While the final effluent water discharged from the treatment plant is safe to recycle back to the environment, it is not treated to meet drinking water standards. It is, however, treated to stringent limits to meet environmental quality standards.
The neighborhood collection systems are mainly "gravity driven" - where water flows downhill from household sewer laterals into street sewer pipes called sewer mains. The wastewater is then collected at area lift stations where it is pumped up into a system where gravity mains drain to the wastewater treatment plant through larger pipes called sewer interceptors. Storm rain water has its own network of pipes called storm sewers that discharge directly into Lake Michigan or Root River and is not treated at the wastewater treatment plant.
Methane gas production also varies with the concentration of the organic waste and the total amount of gallons of sludge pumped to the digesters per day. On average, 46,000 gallons of sludge are pumped every day to the digesters and the methane gas production averages 200,000 cubic feet per day.
No, dumping grease down your house drains will cause grease buildup in your lateral drain pipe. Some people believe that if you mix hot water with the grease it will not clog your lines. While this practice may not clog the lines in your immediate house, by the time the grease gets to your lateral it will have cooled enough to build up in your lateral or in the sewer main. Keep in mind, you are responsible for the maintenance of your lateral and calling out a plumber for this type of maintenance can be very expensive.
No. A discharge of wastewater is prohibited to the land surface from a dwelling, establishment, building sewer, or onsite wastewater treatment system without DNR approval.
Wastewater means liquid and water borne wastes from a dwelling or establishment. Wastewater includes both blackwater and graywater.
Graywater is defined as domestic waste, excluding black water, and including bath, lavatory, laundry and sink waste, except kitchen sink waste.
On average, the Utility treats about twenty million gallons per day.