Wastewater Systems - Library Links
What happens to your waste after you flush the toilet? The library of resources below will help you learn.
We Are Part of the Water Cycle: This beautiful animated 8-minute video cleverly uses ink and water to explain how water reaches our homes, where it goes when we flush it or drain it through our sinks and showers, and then how we clean it to put it back into the water cycle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt7aU4O2jQU
History of Wastewater Treatment in King County: In the 1950s, wastewater flowed into Lake Washington and Puget Sound and many rivers and smaller lakes without enough treatment, fouling water and making a sullied mess of local beaches. In 1958 the voters created Metro and developed a regional wastewater treatment system based on watersheds as opposed to political boundaries. Learn about each phase of development. https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/dnrp/wtd/about/history.aspx
How Do Wastewater Treatment Plants Work? (Video 10:00) Crisp, well explained overview of each step of the process including the use of graphics and simple animation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvPakzqM3h8
Wastewater Treatment Engineering - Brightwater Virtual Tour: (Video 10:28) Describes the step-by-step journey of wastewater as it moves through Brightwater, a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility in Woodinville, Washington. Many people have no idea what happens to the water they use at home after it goes down a drain or gets flushed away. Find out. https://www.sustainabilityambassadors.org/apps/videos/videos/show/18950392-wastewater-treatment-engineering-brightwater-virtual-tour
Recycled Water: King County recycles water using advanced filtration systems and disinfection. This high quality reclaimed water is perfect for agricultural purposes and industrial processes so the usage of this water allows for the conservation of surface water. http://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/wastewater/resource-recovery/recycled-water.aspx
Loop Biosolids: Using biosolids as a fertilizer has numerous benefits to our environment. King County’s website outlines the process and explains the benefits. Loop Biosolids has helped King County become one of the nation’s first carbon neutral wastewater facilities. http://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/wastewater/resource-recovery/Loop-Biosolids.aspx
The High Cost of FOG: (Video 5:28) Student speaker explains how fats, oils and grease clog up the sewer pipes especially in combination with so called “flushable” wipes. https://www.sustainabilityambassadors.org/apps/videos/videos/show/19033402-the-high-cost-of-fog
Controlling combined sewer overflows: Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) are relief points in sewer systems that carry sewage and stormwater in the same pipe. When heavy rains fill the pipes, CSOs release sewage and stormwater into rivers, lakes, or Puget Sound. They prevent sewage backups into homes and businesses. But, they can harm people and animals living in the water because they carry chemicals and germs. CSOs in King County exist only in older Seattle neighborhoods, where one set of pipes carries both sewage and stormwater. https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/wastewater/cso.aspx
Clean Water Healthy Sound - A Lifecycle Analysis of Alternative Wastewater Treatment Strategies in the Puget Sound Area: This study provides insight on the pros and cons of four commonly proposed decentralized and distributed treatment systems and how they relate to conventional practices at different population density scales. Overall environmental impacts associated with each wastewater treatment system are compared and analyzed using Life Cycle Assessment
UNICEF's initiative to break the taboo on Open Defecation: UNICEF’s campaign “Take Poo to the Loo” has brought the fight against open defecation – onto the streets and online; to industry, government bodies, academia and citizen groups, by roping in the strongest voices in the nation – the Youth. And this youth army now has a rousing mantra – India’s First Poo Song titled “Poo Party”. http://unicef.in/PressReleases/13/Take-Poo-to-the-Loo-the-New-Youth-Mantra-against-open-defecation-has-people-marching-to-the-tune-of-India-s-First-Poo-Song
World Toilet Day, November 19: A clean and safe toilet ensures health, dignity and well-being, yet 40% of the world’s population does not have access to toilets. World Toilet Organization is a global non-profit committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide empowering individuals through education, training and building local marketplace opportunities to advocate for clean and safe sanitation facilities in their communities. http://worldtoilet.org/
Water 1st International: A Seattle-based nonprofit, Water1st supports sustainable water and toilet projects for the world’s poorest communities that improve health, create opportunity, and break the cycle of extreme poverty. Includes analysis of the problem and videos showing results of community-led projects. Themes include: (1) how the global water crisis impacts children, (2) how the lack of access to clean water oppresses women and keeps girls from getting an education because they need to haul water long distances each day. https://water1st.org/
King County Wastewater Resource Recovery Technologies: Over the last 20 years, the Resource Recovery Section of King County's Wastewater Treatment Division has been investigating and assessing wastewater treatment processing technologies for ways to reduce or reuse energy, water and nutrient sources during wastewater processing, benefiting ratepayers and the environment. Each project description is followed by links to project reports with related information, when available.
Singapore leads the world in Integrated Water Systems Management: Website describing Singapore's “Four National Taps” or sources of water, including NewWater a way of turning wastewater into potable drinking water. https://www.pub.gov.sg/watersupply/singaporewaterstory
Singapore NEWater story Video: NEWater, a pillar of Singapore's water sustainability strategy, is high-grade reclaimed water. Produced from treated used water that is further purified using advanced membrane technologies and ultra-violet disinfection, it is ultra-clean and safe to drink.
Bullitt Center Water-Less Waste: The Bullitt Center is a great example of a wastewater system that uses as little water as possible. They have engineered their toilets carefully to use only 3 tablespoons of water with biodegradable soap. http://www.bullittcenter.org/building/building-features/water-less-waste/
Bullitt Center Greywater Cycling: The Bullitt Center has used technology to mimic nature by allowing the water cycle to move through the building. Grey water is pumped to the wetland on a side roof that filters it and takes it through a carefully engineered process. http://www.bullittcenter.org/building/building-features/wastewater-use/
Recycled Water for Soccer Fields: Recycled water use is the future and the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association is helping make that possible. This website provides testimonies on their decision to switch over to this environment friendly resource.
Japan taps sewage to fuel hydrogen-powered cars: A $12-million investment from Japan’s government, plus research, engineering, design and building work by Mitsubishi, Toyota and Kyushu University, has created new opportunities for turning the gases generated from treating sewage into hydrogen fuel for cars.
Reinvent the Toilet Challenge: Grants have been awarded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to researchers around the world who are using innovative approaches to reinvent the toilet based on fundamental engineering processes for the safe and sustainable management of human waste. The goal is to bring sustainable sanitation solutions to the 2.5 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to safe, affordable sanitation.