Northeast Public Sewer District Environmental Education

Presentations to Civic & Service Groups and Community Leaders
The Northeast Public Sewer District can create a presentation for your community or service organization that is customized to your needs. Topics of interest can encompass everything from the history of the District, our current construction projects, the future environmental landscape and how it will affect our community, how does the treatment process work (you will be more intrigued than you may realize), or any other topic that you feel may interest your group. Presentations can be detailed or basic and can be tailored to suite your available time frame.

The Buried World
Have you ever stopped to think about where IT goes after you see it go down the drain? For most people, the answer is a resounding no. Most people tend to think of it as 'out of sight / out of mind'. But do you know where it goes, how long does it take to get there and what exactly happens once it arrives? So, how does it get to where it's going? For the Northeast Public Sewer District collection system, that can be a very complicated question. You see, once it goes down your drain and flows through your lateral from your home to the District's collection system, it combines with other homes and businesses thousands of times over and over, accumulating to become many millions of gallons every day. It flows mostly by gravity, downhill from manhole to manhole, often dozens of feet deep until it can't flow downhill any more. At this point it falls into large concrete tanks that are equipped with many pumps and the wastewater gets pumped, often through thousands of feet of pipe, to the top of the next hill where once again it starts its journey downhill to finally end at the wastewater treatment plant. For more information about what happens at the plant, please schedule a tour or a presentation for your group.

What do you know about your service?
  • Did you know that most of the sewer main that provides you sewer service is made of oil? It's true, the majority of the sanitary sewer pipe installed in the District is polyvinyl chloride, or PVC pipe, plastic which is made from oil.
  • Did you know that you contribute to an average of 3.3 millions of gallons of sewage every day and that the flow can peak to over 12 millions gallons a day at the treatment plant.
  • Did you know that the waste that goes down your drain travels at an average speed of only 2 miles per hour in the collection system; and that the District operates over 150 miles of collector sewer. That means that what goes down your drain on Monday morning may not get to the treatment facility until Thursday morning.
  • Did you know that the District's largest pumping station can fill nearly 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools every day; not that you'd want to go swimming.
  • Did you know that nearly 500,000 gallons of groundwater leaks into the sewers every day, and up to 8 million gallons of rainwater and runoff can get into the sewers every time it rains.

Environmental Benefits of Treatment and Solids Disposal
Every year the District collects and treats over 1,000,000,000 (one billion) gallons of wastewater. The treated water is discharged into local streams and rivers from the eleven (11) wastewater treatment facilities located throughout the District. The solid component of the treated wastewater is collected and hauled to our largest plant, the Saline Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility for further treatment. These biological solids are broken down and stabilized to a degree where they will not be an attraction for pests and insects. They also will have been reduced in volume and thickened to the point where they occupy only 1,000,000 gallons. Those one million gallons of stabilized biological solids contain plant available nitrogen and phosphorus, and the District has the solids land applied to farm ground every Fall. The nutrients contained within the solids supplement the farms need for fertilizer and soil conditioning, saving time, cost, fuel and pollution. As a comforting side note, the solids are never applied to farm ground that grows fruits, vegetables or any food for human consumption.

The ever changing regulatory landscape
As a condition for operating the sewer collection and treatment systems, the District is required to meet very stringent State and Federal water quality standards for all water that is discharged into local rivers and streams, as well as standards for stabilizing biological solids prior to land application. The District has a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for each of its eleven treatment plants which contain the parameters that we must test for and a numerical threshold for each that we may not exceed. The parameters and numerical thresholds are both subject to change every five (5) years when the NPDES permit is renewed. The current pressing environmental issue is the establishment of nutrient limits for dischargers. All too many times, a new parameter or a newly lowered threshold means the District must adapt its current technology to perform the new treatment task, or design and build a new treatment component to do the treatment. The ever changing and ever tightening regulatory control has the effect of providing a cleaner environment, but also providing for a regular series of improvements to the treatment process at an ever increasing cost to the customer.

Schedule a tour and/or a discussion of the treatment processes for your group
If you belong to a community group, civic organization, service club, boy or girl scouts and would like a tour of the facility, please contact the Executive Director at the administrative offices of the District.

If you are a vendor, equipment representative or in the wastewater field and would like a tour, please contact the Facility Manager at the Saline Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility.