Understanding the process of sewage treatment

THE Tianshan Sewage Treatment Plant will organize an open day for the public tomorrow, with students and locals getting a closer look at how waste water is treated in the city.

THE Tianshan Sewage Treatment Plant in Changning District will organize an open day for the public tomorrow, with students and locals getting a closer look at how waste water is treated in the city.

Treatment plants collect waste water, treat it to the national standard — in Tianshan’s case Level 2 — and then discharge it into rivers or for reuse.

Located at 31 Tianshan Road, from where it gets its name, the plant collects waste water released by communities, hotels and hospitals. It processes 70,000 tons of water per day.

Tianshan Sewage Treatment Plant has tried to enrich young scientific minds since 1995.

Most of the visitors to the plant are students. This time, VR headsets will be provided to them to give them a visual representation of how the plant works.

The theme for this week’s Chinese Water Week is “building a water-saving society.”

Yuan Yingwen, deputy director of the plant, said treating waste water is an important part of saving water. “Our job is to make water as clean as possible so that it can be of use again,” Yuan said.

Built in 1985, Tianshan was designed to handle the waste water discharge in Hongqiao. But as the area developed, the plant faced new challenges.

“The land around the plant was basically farmland,” said Cao Jun, head of the plant. “Now just 4 meters across the street, there a residential community.”

Yuan said fecal sludge became part of the sanitary sewer since 2000, which made the smell of untreated water almost unbearable.

In 2012, Tianshan developed a mechanism by which they eliminated bad odor from the sludge. It proved a success and was introduced nationwide few years later.

“You have to keep innovating,” said Cao. “You keep coming up against new challenges every time,” he added.

One challenge that the plant faces now is a lack of space to dispose the sludge that is generated after water treatment.

Next year, Tianshan Sewage Treatment Plant will be moved further west in Hongqiao. The new plant will have a bigger space with more cutting-edge technology.

Cao said he hopes that after moving to the new location, they will be able to process water more efficiently.


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