Bristol Doors Open Day 2012 – Bristol Sewage Treatment Works

WARNING: If you have a squeamish stomach, don’t look too closely at the first 2 photos, and perhaps don’t look at the 2nd from last photo at all ^_^;

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The 2nd place we visited on Bristol’s Doors Open Day was the Bristol Sewage Works, where they were doing free 90 minute tours of the facility, and explaining each phase the water goes through once it enters the plant from the sewers.

Of course it has to start with the sewage entering the plant, so when the waste arrives from people’s houses it’s pulled up on a big cork screw and taken into the first screening area where it starts treatment to remove all the “rag” (toilet paper etc) from the water.

The water passes through a holding tank where a big comb type thing moves in and out of the water, dragging out all of the larger “rag” that it can hook onto, and dropping it off onto a conveyor that takes it to be disposed of.

(ladies you shouldn’t flush sanitary towels, because this is where they end up, and it’s not a nice thing to see…..even among the other things seen at this stage ^_^;)

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The water then moves on and passes through finer screening that takes out smaller “rag” that was missed by the first screen.

After this it goes through even smaller screens and filters which concentrate on removing grit from the water………and sweetcorn ^_^;

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Next the water passes into these big holding tanks which will sift it and try to remove more stuff as it sinks to the bottom.

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There are other stages in between as well, but one of the final stages is when the water ends up in these huge tanks. Grease etc that’s still left in the water will float to the top, while less pure water will sink to the bottom, and they filter the cleanest water out from the middle.

This is pretty much the end, and from here the water can be passed back out into lakes after it’s decontaminated enough to not be threat to the environment…….that water may then later end up in water treatment plants and reservoirs where it’ll be treated further (chemically?) to make it safe for drinking water, to be sent back into homes :)

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We also saw inside where the generators and control room are, and they explained the other things they do here.

One thing they do at the facility is produce gas which they sell to power companies……this is created by breaking down the waste removed from the water, and cleaning the resulting gas…..basically they can produce power from human waste >.>

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On a tour like this you should expect to see some nasty things floating in the water…..and this is a reminder why you’re not supposed to flush condoms ;>.>

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Here’s a happier thing though; a nice little VW Beetle…..powered by gas from human waste ^_^;

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