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Friday, February 8, 2013

LIST: Top 7-and-a-half ways wastewater treatment is like a romantic relationship

OK, it would be way too easy to make a J. Geils Band reference here when comparing romance to wastewater treatment, but there are far more similarities between cleaning sewage and finding that special someone than you may have expected.

Here are a few.
Don't be afraid to confront a dirty past.
This undated Cleveland Plain Dealer photo by Marv Greebe was taken sometime in the 1960s, showing former PD reporter Richard Ellers on a trip along the (to put it mildly) polluted Cuyahoga River.

All relationships require a thorough screening process.
When wastewater enters the treatment plant, it is screened to remove floating trash and debris to prevent damage to our facilities.

Your partner deserves primary treatment. Always.
There are several stages of treatment at a wastewater treatment plant. You can see them all in action, but the diagram above of our Easterly plant's flow shows them, too, including the critical first stage known as primary treatment.

Don't go to bed angry. Settle your differences, and find clarity on the issue at hand.
Once the wastewater has been screened, the flow slows down in huge settling tanks so smaller particles can sink to the bottom and be collected.

A little bubbly is a great way to mark special occasions.
Did you know we use microorganisms to help clean wastewater? They eat harmful biological material as part of the secondary treatment process. In these aeration tanks, oxygen is added to help break down the organic material.

Go the extra step.
Treating wastewater is all about sustainability, but our work goes much farther than that. Our Project Clean Lake is a huge undertaking that focus on sustainability, pollution-reduction, and the environment. Here's how.

If arguments get heated, don't be too proud to admit you've acted like an ash.
This is the facade of our new Renewable Energy Facility, the home of a state-of-the-art incineration process that will reduce our natural gas consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Upon completion, the new incinerators will generate heat to produce steam, and the steam will spin a turbine that will produce 25% of the plant's electrical needs.

Alright, fine, there's this, too.

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