Treatment Process

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The four stages to cleaning wastewater

1. Screening - Large and small objects are removed, like towels, sand and gravel.

2. Primary Clarification - Grease and oil float to the top of large settling tanks.Solids sink to the bottom and are collected to make energy.

3. Biological Treatment - Microscopic organisms, "bugs", break down organic material.

4. Disinfection - Disease causing organisms are killed by chemicals that are then neutralized. Clean water is returned to Lake Michigan.


The Good Bugs

The bugs we use for cleaning wastewater are actually famous! When they're done doing their jobs in the water reclamation facilities, we dry them out and turn them into Milorganite®, a fertilizer trusted and used by lawn and gardening experts since 1926. You can even see Milorganite® in the movie Caddyshack.


Microscopic organisms, "bugs", used in cleaning wastewater


Total Gallons Cleaned at Jones Island and South Shore Combined

1994 ..........76.3 Billion
1995 ..........81.1 Billion
1996 ..........78.1 Billion
1997 ..........77.1 Billion
1998 ..........80.9 Billion
1999 ..........80.4 Billion
2000 ..........79.5 Billion
2001 ..........77.2 Billion
2002 ..........69.7 Billion
2003 ..........62.2 Billion
2004 ..........74.6 Billion
2005 ..........62.9 Billion
2006..........69.5 Billion
2007..........67.4 Billion
2008..........77.6 Billion
2009..........72.2 Billion
2010..........71.3 Billion
2011..........74.1 Billion
2012..........60.1 Billion
2013..........73.9 Billion
2014..........68.3 Billion
2015..........67.1 Billion
2016..........
68.2 Billion
2017

..........

Total..........1,669.7 Billion