Municipal wastewater treatment is the single most important factor for insuring the water quality of the Flint River. WPC pumps the wastewater from homes, businesses, and industries to its plant on Beecher Road, cleans it, and then discharges it to the Flint River downstream of the City. Without the diligent work of WPC employees to operate and maintain the facilities, the polluted water (sewage) would be discharged into the river. WPC tests and regulates discharges from industries to protect its facilities and the river from this kind of pollution. It also monitors any chemical spills and other harmful discharges that may enter the City’s stormwater collection system.
The plant is designed to treat 50 million gallons per day (MGD) and its maximum daily flow capacity is 75 MGD. The facilities include the treatment plant and several remote pumping stations. The plant influent is pumped from three main lift stations; two are located on plant grounds, while the Third Avenue (remote) Pumping Station is located near Kettering University.
When it rains, much additional flow may reach the plant. WPC has the ability to hold about 20 million gallons of the excess water temporarily in a large storage basin. However, once the tank is full, the excess flows must be discharged. Before this water is discharged, excess flows are settled and disinfected with a bleach solution. All water discharged must be checked for quality and meet rigorous standards set and enforced by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The solids and other pollutants removed in the treatment process must be disposed of properly. In 2009, the City Flint signed a partnership agreement with Swedish Biogas International, LLC (www.bioworksenergy.com) for the reduction of sludge volume by implementation of an anaerobic digestion process. The digestion process also produces biogas, which in the future will be used to make electricity. Other major renovations have been made, and more are underway at Water Pollution Control. WPC dewaters and incinerates its biosolids now, but in 2015, incineration will be eliminated, in favor of landfilling. Other lower cost disposal options may also be considered in the future.
For questions regarding the Industrial Pretreatment Program, the wastewater process, or to report a chemical spill call us below.