What does a wastewater treatment plant do?

Our treatment plant removes impurities that are contained in wastewater so that the treated wastewater can be safely returned to the environment.  This is the same process that occurs in nature to break down wastewater into it’s most basic components of carbon dioxide and water.  Our treatment process is physical, biological and chemical and is designed to accelerate nature’s process to ensure proper treatment is provided.

Is the treated wastewater clean?

Our effluent water is comparable to the quality of natural surface waters and is safe for fish and other aquatic life.  Both our effluent and Lake Winnebago are monitored to ensure all standards are met.

Could you drink the treated wastewater?

Our effluent water is high quality, but we wouldn’t recommend drinking it.  In order for human consumption, we would need additional purification steps.

Where does the wastewater go after treatment?

The treated wastewater is discharged into Lake Winnebago or is used throughout our plant to heat and cool equipment, water landscaping, vehicle washing, or is picked up by private contractors for use on construction sites as dust control or by commercial landscaping operations.

How many gallons of wastewater is treated daily?

Our average daily treatment is approximately 7.84 million gallons.

Where does wastewater come from?

Wastewater comes from a variety of sources: toilets, bathing, cleaning, cooking, industrial and commercial manufacturing.

How do treatment plants protect our water?

Our plant removes solids that include rags, sticks, sand, and other solid particles found in wastewater before it’s discharged into Lake Winnebago.  Water that is discharged into Lake Winnebago has enough oxygen in it to support aquatic life.

By the Numbers: 2023
  • Maintained 197 miles of sanitary sewer main
  • Maintained approximately 4,309 manholes
  • Treated 2,316,174,000 gallons of sewage
  • Treated 792,037,600 gallons of sewage from the Outlying Sewer Groups
  • Maintained 17 sanitary lift stations
  • Maintained 22 storm pump stations
  • Bio-solids hauled totaled 11,802.23 tons in 2023, 92% of which was land applied to 451 acres of farmland
  • Received 9,337,338 gallons of high-strength waste to fuel our digester
  • Generated 1,731,896 kWh of electricity with our bio-gas generator, or about 25% of our plant demand
  • Reused 63 million gallons of disinfected effluent water in various processes throughout the plant
  • Received a score of 4.0 out of 4.0 on the Compliance Maintenance Annual Report