Jamie of Berlin’s Water Resources Department gave us a quick tour to their waste water treatment plant. For a small town (only around 4,500 in population), they have very sophisticated facilities. He walked us through the long process of turning septage into clean water. We saw how each building was designed and/or utilized (some of the structures have been around since the 80s) to house a facility that contributed to the treatment process.
We saw the waste water coming in to the plant, how the solids were separated and then pumped out to an elevated building where it would undergo five stages: (1.) Idle, (2.) Fill, (3.) Aerated, (4.) React (5.) and Settle.
Jamie showed us the blowers that took turns to power the three tanks that held the water. We also went down to see the solar-powered drying area for the sludge and the room with UV lamps that neutralizes the microorganisms in the wastewater. And finally we saw how the water had developed into a clearer substance, and almost ready for spraying.
The Town of Berlin has two spraying sites- one is a thousand acres where they spray into a 300-acre area, and the other is five hundred acres where they spray into a 50-acre area. The treated water is sprayed onto the woodlands in these areas to ensure zero water waste and to restore the wetlands around the Pocomoke River.
The cost of putting up such facility is high, and it means hard work for the people at the Water Resources Department. But Jamie said “What’s the price of Earth?”
Investing in the environment is never a loss because Earth is the only home that we’ve got.
Next week, we will be going to the spray sites and I am excited to see the final destination of the treated water.