Wastewater Collection & Treatment

WASTEWATER COLLECTION

Water Pollution Control (WPC) uses a large collection system to get wastewater from Huntsville’s homes, businesses, and other facilities to one of its six treatment facilities.

Collection Systems

The collection system is a large network of more than:

  • 1,400 miles of underground sewer pipes
    (ranging from 8 inches to 78 inches in diameter)

  • 35,000 manholes
    (to access the system for maintenance)

  • 63 pumping stations


DUTIES OF WPC

Getting the job done requires a combination of meticulous operation, continuous maintenance, and well-planned construction. WPC is up to the challenge, with crews and equipment to perform specialized jobs like:

  • inspecting sewer pipes with robotic TV cameras

  • repairing manholes with spray-applied sealants

  • removing pipe blockages with high-pressure “jet washers”

  • repairing broken pipes with conventional “dig” methods

  • constructing new sewer lines

  • and a host of other tasks


WASTEWATER TREATMENT

Getting Huntsville’s wastewater away from its homes, businesses and other facilities is only half of the challenge. Next, WPC must remove pollutants from the wastewater. The water containing the pollutants must be reclaimed and purified to natural stream water quality… or better.

To meet this challenge, WPC operates six wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The WWTPs differ in some ways, but all operate on the same principles. They remove pollutants through several basic steps:

  • the sewer system delivers wastewater to a WWTP at the Headworks

  • large, inorganic solids are removed with Bar Screens

  • smaller inorganic solids are settled out and removed in Primary Clarifiers

  • suspended organic solids are consumed by natural micro-organisms in oxygen-rich Aeration Basins

  • dead and excess micro-organisms are settled out and removed in Final Clarifiers

  • remaining micro-organisms are eliminated through Disinfection

  • the clean, clear reclaimed water is released back into a local waterway

Graphic of Wastewater Treatment Process

 

WPC Huntsville’s six wastewater treatment facilities have differing capacities.

 

Facility Name Treatment Capacity
Spring Branch WWTP 41.00 MGD
Aldridge Creek WWTP 8.40 MGD
Western Area WWTP 20.00 MGD
Chase Area WWTP 4.00 MGD
Big Cove Area WWTP 6.00 MGD
Magnolia Springs 0.25 MGD

Total Treatment Capacity:

79.65 MGD

 

* MGD = “Million Gallons per Day”