Ever wonder where the water from your shower goes when you’re done and it drains out? Does it become the clean water you then drink and shower in? How does that process work? If you ever had these questions, read on, and we’ll answer them for you.
- If your home is connected to a sewer system, the water coming out of your home moves through pipes of increasingly larger size as it gets to the water treatment plant. Every drain in your home eventually connects to the same pipe, as does every home around you. A main pipe then takes all of that water to the water treatment plant.
- If you live in an area where you’re not connected to a sewer line, your water drains into a septic tank. The tank filters out most of the solids that come through, and allows the water to flow into underground pipes that have holes in them. The water seeps through the holes and into the ground. This is called a leach field.
If you live on a sewer line, your water eventually ends up at a wastewater treatment plant. Here’s what happens next:
- First, the water goes through a primary treatment process, which removes any solids from the water. Then, it goes through a secondary treatment, which involves the use of bacteria to remove any organic matter or pollutants before it’s treated with chlorine to remove the bacteria.
- Lastly, the water goes through one more treatment phase, where it’s treated one more time just to make sure any remaining pollutants are removed. Some areas may have pollutants like nitrogen or phosphorus, and this last treatment procedure will remove those from the water.
Once It’s Treated
Once the water is treated, it flows back into the environment and local waterways. From there, it could be drinking water, used to irrigate crops, help sustain wildlife, or even end up right back in the shower, where all this began.