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Water School

Archive by tag: treatmentReturn
What is in untreated water that can make you sick?

What is in untreated water that can make you sick?

Water drawn from rivers, lakes stream and other bodies of water as well as groundwater can be contaminated and could make you sick if you drink it without treating it first. Waterborne diseases, caused by microorganisms that live in untreated water, can cause diarrhea, nausea vomiting and other symptoms, and in extreme cases, death.Many of these pathogens infect water through contact with human and animal feces, carried there by runoff or seeping into the water supply from leaking sewage or sept...
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What is wastewater?

What is wastewater?

Wastewater is water that has been used in homes, industries, and businesses that has been in contact with human or industrial waste and cannot be reused or returned to the water cycle until it has been treated or cleaned.
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How is wastewater cleaned?

How is wastewater cleaned?

While exact methods can vary, here’s a general breakdown of the municipal wastewater treatment process:When wastewater leaves a home or business, it is transported through municipal collector pipelines usually by the force of gravity, to a wastewater treatment plant. If gravity flow is not available all the way, then a lift station may pump the wastewater up to a level where gravity flow can again take place.As wastewater enters the treatment plant, it is screened to remove non-sewage items suc...
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What is an outhouse?

What is an outhouse?

An outhouse, commonly referred to as a privy in the Texas Statutes, is a type of toilet without plumbing in a small building separated from a main structure. Instead of being connected to a sewer or septic system, an outhouse sits over a pit.In an outhouse however, bacteria that thrive in oxygen break down the waste, with help from other natural processes. Eventually the pit fills, is covered with dirt and the outhouse is relocated.Under Texas law, an outhouse may not be built within 75 feet of ...
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What is aerobic treatment?

What is aerobic treatment?

Aerobic water treatment is a method of treating sewage and wastewater by adding oxygen to the waste.  This process encourages naturally occurring bacteria to break down the waste and produce a higher quality effluent that may then be treated with chlorine to remove the remaining bacteria.
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What is the Safe Drinking Water Act?

The Safe Drinking Water Act is a federal law passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation’s drinking water supply.  Under the direction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the law regulates the dispersal of chemicals, animal waste, pesticides and other items that contaminate drinking water.In Texas, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) enforces standards that equal or exceed federal standards.
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Can I put grease down my kitchen sink?

It is not recommended to pour any kind of cooking grease down the sink. Grease that is poured down the drain cools, then tends to solidify and stick to the walls of the pipe. This allows for more debris and food scraps to get lodged. Unfortunately, sometimes a plumber is required to unclog drains and pipes when this occurs which can be a pricy endeavor.Instead, place the grease in any kind of glass jar, store it under the sink, and then throw it away when full to protect and preserve kitchen dra...
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What laws in Texas apply to septic systems?

With a few exceptions, a permit is required to install a septic system in Texas. The Legislature, in the Health and Safety Code, designates the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) as the official agent to investigate and decide whether to approve a permit request.The commission is also tasked with overseeing whether the septic tanks continue to function properly and the Commission can require the property owner make repairs when needed.However, the law allows the Commission to desig...
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What is mgd?

MGD or million gallons per day is a measurement of water flow frequently used in measurement of water consumption. One mgd equals 133,680.56 cubic feet per day, 1.5472 cubic feet per second or 3.0689 acre-feet per day.
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What is filtration?

Filtration is the process of separating solids from water during the potable treatment process using a porous material such as a permeable fabric called a membrane or by using sand.
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What is potable water treatment?

Potable water treatment is the process to purify water to make it acceptable to drink.  Most water treatment processes include some form or a combination of sedimentation, filtration, and chlorination.To view an illustration of the potable water treatment process at the East Williamson County Regional Water System, click here.
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What is raw water?

Raw water is ground or surface water that is taken directly from its source without treatment. Typically, most water is considered to be raw until it is treated by a potable water treatment process.
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What are storm sewers?

Separate from sanitary water lines or wastewater sewers, storm sewers carry away surface rain runoff, street wash and snow melt via curb-side drains.  Also unlike sanitary sewers, these systems usually drain directly into a creek, river, or other body of water without treatment.  This is also how a lot of the trash ends up in our rivers and lakes.  Everything thrown out in the street or dumped in a street drain (storm drain) ends up in a nearby river or lake.Dumping hazardous substances into the...
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Where does effluent go once it leaves the treatment plant?

Wastewater treatment plants are typically located near creeks and rivers.  The treated effluent is returned to the water cycle by being released into these waterways.  As water sources become less abundant, many municipalities have chosen not to release effluent into the water cycle; rather to reuse the effluent for irrigation and industrial purposes directly from the water discharged from the treatment plant.
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What is greywater?

Greywater is wastewater from household or small commercial establishments that includes water from clothes washing machines, showers and bathtubs, and sinks used for handwashing.  Greywater does not include water from the kitchen sink used for the cleaning of food and from toilets, dishwashers, or water used for washing diapers.In some areas, greywater may be released into the environment without going through a treatment process. Texas laws prohibit the release of greywater into or near la...
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What is a wastewater treatment plant?

A wastewater treatment plant is a system used to clean wastewater generated within municipal areas.  Most wastewater treatment plants utilize aerobic forms of cleaning water and removing waste so that water may be returned to the water cycle.At the treatment plant, the waste is separated into liquids that are purified and solid sludge that may be used in a number of recycling systems or taken to land fills.
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What is a septic system?

A septic system is an on-site means of treating and disposing of domestic sewage without sending it to a municipal water treatment system. A septic system receives the waste from a home or business and uses an anaerobic method of breaking down the waste in a manner that will not harm people or the environment.A typical system includes a tank that allows the decomposition of solids by naturally occurring bacteria as well as a set of lines or a pit to dispose of the effluent or liquid. Anaerobic b...
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Where does the water go after I wash my clothes, take a bath or flush my toilet?

Where wastewater goes once you are no longer using it depends on whether your plumbing is connected to a private septic system or a public sewage line.A septic system is normally used for wastewater treatment in areas where public sewage service is not available, such as rural areas.  In areas where public sewage treatment is available, homes are usually linked to the public system by pipelines that take waste to a wastewater treatment plant that serves an area.
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What can be done to remove pharmaceuticals from drinking water?

While water treatment plants can remove some chemicals, at this time, wastewater systems are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals.  At this point, the best way to reduce the number of chemicals in our water is at their source.Pharmaceuticals enter the water cycle through a variety of sources including drugs that pass through the human body or domestic animals that are not completely absorbed and byproducts of the pharmaceutical manufacturing process.Additionally, improper disposal of old ...
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What is the difference between water from my faucet and bottled water?

The main difference between water from a faucet and bottled water is the source. Water from your faucet comes from a local source - ground or surface water that is treated for contaminants at a municipal plant before it is sent through pipes to your home. In the case of some rural residents, water is drawn directly from the ground through nearby wells and may or may not be treated in a home-based system.Bottled water can come from anywhere across the country, ranging from artesian wells to ...
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What is desalination?

Desalination is the process of removing dissolved minerals (including total dissolved solids, chlorides, and others) from water to produce potable water for human consumption or fresh water for industrial use. The two most popular methods are thermal and membrane technologies.In the thermal process, salty water is heated to make vapor, which is condensed and collected as fresh water leaving the minerals behind. Membrane processes use high pressure to filter water through permeable membranes...
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What is a wetland?

Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil or is present at or near the soil’s surface for most or all of the year. Wetlands provide a habitat for a variety of plants and animals and can serve as a natural water filter.Man-made wetlands have been developed to treat water coming from an outside source, such as a river, before it enters a water treatment program.
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How many potable water treatment plants are run by the Brazos River Authority and whom do they serve?

The Brazos River Authority owns and operates the East Williamson County Regional Water System serving the cities of Taylor, Hutto and Thrall, the Jonah Special Utilities District and the Nowak Water Supply Company. The BRA also contracts to operate the Sandy Creek Water Treatment Plant in Leander and the Lee County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1, serving the community of Dime Box.
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The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

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