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What's Up in Troy
Featured: Wastewater Treatment Plant
Troy first attempted sewage treatment in 1939. The first plant, which was known as the South Plant, was located on the current site at 1400 Dye Mill Road at the southeast corner of the city. The 1939 facility was designed to provide an intermediate degree of wastewater treatment through the addition of chemicals and precipitation. The Administration Building, which is still in use today, served as the location for pumps and electrical equipment. Troy’s Wastewater Treatment Plant now provides service to over 25,000 people by treating around 5.5 million gallons of water a day. The process used today is all natural and does not include the use of any chemical treatment.
The first step in the treatment process at the Troy Plant is physical separation. Manual and mechanical filter screens are used to remove large debris and a vortex (Teacup) grit system removes sand and gravel. These materials are collected and transported to a landfill.
In the next step, sedimentation and flotation are used are used to remove organic solids. Settled solids are pumped to a storage tank while oil and grease that float to the surface are collected and landfilled.
The Troy Plant then uses the activated sludge treatment process. This process treats the wastewater with a mixture of bacteria and microorganisms (activated sludge) that are naturally present within the wastewater. Air is supplied to the aeration tanks to provide mixing and to support the growth of these microorganisms, which then use organic matter from the incoming wastewater as food to fuel their own reproduction. Excess organisms are removed from the system by pumping some of the solids directly to the solids storage tank.
Disinfection is defined as the process of killing or disabling harmful organisms. In the past, Troy’s wastewater was disinfected by injection of chlorine gas, but in 1997, that system was replaced with ultra violet disinfection equipment. Ultraviolet light is a type of ionizing radiation that is used to kill pathogenic bacteria. UV is an appealing alternative to chlorine because it is far less hazardous and does not chemically alter the wastewater.
The solids removed from the wastewater must also be treated and properly disposed of. Settled and waste sludge are pumped to sludge thickeners where the solids are concentrated by gravity settling. This thickened sludge is then pumped to a storage tank before being de-watered by a belt filter press and trucked away to a land fill.
The Troy Wastewater Plant has made major technological improvements in the last few years. Both operational and administrative processes have been automated making the Troy Plant one of the most advanced in the area. If you would like to know more, give us a call at 339-1410 to set up a tour. We’d be happy to show you around!
Mitch has worked for the City of Troy for 29 years. He was hired as a Plant Operator in 1988 and promoted to Wastewater Superintendent in 2016. Mitch holds Class IV Wastewater Operator and Lab Analyst licenses, an Associate of Science degree and certificates in Technical Writing and PLC programming. He is currently finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Data Analytics. Mitch has been married to his wife April for 22 years and they have three children, Matthew, Darcee, and Ariel.