Doug Parkinson
Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendent
140 Industrial Drive

In 1929 land was purchased for a wastewater treatment plant. The original wastewater treatment plant was built and put into operation in 1958. The trickling filter treatment system had a capacity of approximately 520,000 gallons of sewage a day. In 1972, the original treatment system was replaced with a 1.15 million gallon per day activated sludge treatment system. In order to meet increasing daily flows a 1.44 million gallon per day sequencing batch reactor treatment system was added in 1988. The sewage was split between the two systems.

Today those same two plants are still in operation. The cleaned water is disinfected with UV light before being discharged to the Flint River.  The sludge that is removed in the treatment process is anaerobically digested for the purpose of pathogen and vector attraction reduction.  Afterwards, the resulting biosolids are used as fertilizer on local farm land.  A portion of the methane gas produced by the digestion process of the biosolids is used to heat the digester.

One of our current challenges is dealing with what we call ‘rags’.  This includes baby wipes, cleaning products claimed to be ‘flushable’, or almost anything else except toilet paper.  These products do not break down in the sanitary collection system or the wastewater treatment process.  They clog pumps in the collection system and at the waste water treatment plant.  A rag removal system does not exist at the wastewater plant resulting in rags plugging the grit (course heavier materials) removal air lift and process mixing equipment.  Please do not flush these products down the toilet.

Video links about the problems rags cause.