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Wastewater Treatment Facilities



Water Treatment Plant Image Wastewater is generated by every federal facility. It might include sanitary sewage, industrial wastewater, or even stormwater. Depending on the individual facility wastewater might be discharged to a publicly/federally owned treatment works, a sewage lagoon, a leach field, a septic system, a cess pool, or even a composting toilet.

Focus Areas

Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of sewage sludge (the name for the solid, semisolid or liquid untreated residue generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment facility). When treated and processed, sewage sludge becomes biosolids which can be safely recycled and applied as fertilizer to sustainably improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.

Cesspools and Septic Systems
Septic systems treat and disperse relatively small volumes of wastewater from individual or small numbers of homes and commercial buildings. Cesspools are an onsite waste disposal system used to dispose of sanitary wastewater from kitchens, bathrooms, and clothes washers.

Discharges to POTW/FOTW
Facility wastewater that is sent to a sewer authority or Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW).

Point Source Discharges
Whenever there is wastewater discharging from a pipe or other "point" source into a waterway (river, lake, even intermittent stream), you will be subject to the Clean Water Act's National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. Common NPDES wastewater sources include POTWs.

POTW Operations
Publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) collect wastewater from homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities and transport it via a series of pipes, known as a collection system, to the treatment plant. Here, the POTW removes harmful organisms and other contaminants from the sewage so it can be discharged safely into the receiving stream.

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Last Updated: August 25, 2011