State University of New York Institute of Technology
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2nd stage of the NYC STP

The second stage of the NYC sewage treatment plant takes places when the partially treated water is allowed to flow to a second tank to be further treated.

This process is called the ‘activated sludge process’, due to the fact that seeded sludge is added to the treatment plant. In doing so, the city allows air to be pumped through the aeration tanks, which allows for the thriving of aerobic organisms. After these organisms consume the majority of the organic material, there exist heavier matter that is allowed to settle when the wastewater flows to the final settling tank as secondary sludge.

Thereafter, some of the secondary sludge is allowed to go back to the aeration tanks as seed. The remainder of the secondary sludge is added to the primary sludge and processed. This secondary process takes approximately 2 to 3 hours, where the water is then finally disinfected.

Record has also shown that that 85 to 95% of the water pollutants are removed before the disinfection process.

It’s interesting to know that the water we drink on a daily basis, is initially riddled with bacteria and sludge. Even more, the bacteria used to clean the water is potentially deadly to us if we unknowingly ingest them.  


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