Share link

Sharon Wastewater Treatment Plant

Mahoning Valley Sanitary District Treatment Plant

Youngstown Wastewater Treatment Plant

World Water Day 2017: Wastewater

Maggie Kearns Francis

March 22, 2017

What is World Water Day?

World Water Day is celebrated each year on March 22 as a call to action for people across the globe to work towards a solution for the world water crisis. Today there are more than 633 million people living without local access to safe drinking water. UN Water sponsors World Water Day each year to raise awareness for this critical issue. As the world’s population continues to expand, it is important that we use and re-use water safely and efficiently.


Each year a theme is chosen for World Water Day and this year’s theme is wastewater. At ms, we have planned and designed dozens of wastewater treatment plants and pump stations. Our engineers are comprehensive experts at forming wastewater solutions that are cost-effective and within regulatory agency requirements.

What is Wastewater?

Wastewater is any water that has been contaminated through its use in a home, business, or industrial process. Today, more than 80% of wastewater flows directly back into natural waterways. Untreated wastewater is full of pollutants and can be very harmful to the environment. The good news is that wastewater can be collected, reduced, and recycled! Wastewater management costs are greatly outweighed by the many benefits to both human health and environmental sustainability.

How do we Collect, Reduce, and Recycle Wastewater?

The basic function of modern day wastewater treatment plants is to speed up the environment’s natural water purification process. While the natural process could take several weeks, at the treatment plant, it takes only a matter of hours.


When wastewater arrives at the treatment center, it must be screened before it starts the purification process. During the screening process, large floating items (cans, newspapers, branches, etc.) are removed from the water. If these items were not removed during screening, they could clog pipes and damage treatment center equipment.


The screened water then moves into settlement tanks. Here, treatment centers rely on gravity to bring the solid waste suspended in water to the bottom of the tanks. The solid waste is referred to as sludge and is scraped to the center of the tank and removed for further processing. Some waste, such as grease and light plastic materials, rise to the surface of the water and are skimmed off the top.


Next, the wastewater is moved into aeration lanes where air is pumped into the water. This removes pollutants by stimulating the growth of oxygen-using bacteria which then consume the remaining organic wastes. The water is returned to settlement tanks for secondary sludge removal.


Finally, water moves through chlorine-contact tanks. These tanks disinfect the wastewater one final time and then the final, purified water is released into local waterways.


Want to learn more about wastewater treatment centers? Visit our wastewater services page for additional information and to see some of our wastewater treatment projects.

Participate in World Water Day!

Interested in participating in World Water Day events? Click here to see if there are events near you.


Let us know how you plan to celebrate by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!