Unlocking the Secrets of Wastewater: A Special Report by The Licking News

Behind the Scenes: A Field Trip to Licking’s Wastewater Treatment Plant

During a recent trip to Licking’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, fourth grade students from Mrs. Candice Shepherd’s class gained a unique perspective on how community wastewater is processed. Derek Hammond, a certified B operator working for Licking City Utilities, led the group on a tour of the plant and shared surprising insights about the various purification filters and pumps that water used for personal hygiene, laundry, and cleaning goes through before being released back into natural waterways.

The students learned about the three purification methods used at the plant – chemical, physical, and biological processes – as well as visible stalactites in the tank water capacity. They were introduced to mist flies during a tour of one of the pumping sheds, which are harmless but present in abundance. Hammond answered questions and provided explanations about the equipment and steps of the purifying process, emphasizing the importance of not putting certain items into the sewer system.

The trip concluded with a visit to Spring Creek beside the treatment plant, where the water released consistently shows a 98 – 99 percent waste removal rate, meeting state standards set by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The field trip provided valuable insights into the wastewater treatment process and highlighted how important it is to properly treat and dispose of wastewater in order to protect natural resources.

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