The Waukesha Clean Water Plant can be matched by just a handful of communities in Wisconsin. It treats an average of 10 to 12 million gallons a day, although it’s capable of handling an average of 18.5 million gallons a day and a peak flow of 23 million gallons a day.
It’s a big and important undertaking. Waukesha has over 260 miles of sanitary sewer pipes that carry wastewater to the plant. The pipes range from 8 to 72 inches in diameter. They’re cleaned at least yearly—more often if necessary.
Wastewater treatment produces several types of solids. Biosolids (also referred to as sludge) are separated out for further processing. Other solids are sent to a licensed landfill site for disposal.
Waste-activated sludge is biodegraded, dewatered and then stored until spring or fall, when it is scattered in a thin layer over approved agricultural fields and tilled underground within six hours of application to enrich the soil.
Although the process is complex, Waukesha’s Clean Water Plant is highly efficient and successful at protecting the quality of our water resources.