Did I take a picture of sludge? You betcha!

As part of the upcoming Nantwich Museum exhibition about the influence of the River Weaver on the town I thought I'd go and get some shots of the sewage treatment works - now lovingly called a wastewater treatment works or, if you're in East Anglia for example, a water recycling facility. It has to be the best part of 30 years since I set foot inside Nantwich works but it was very reassuring to see that it's not changed much.

After reminiscing with the guys on site for a while, I set off through the grey drizzle [the weather that is, not the material being treated].

Nantwich is unusual in that all of the incoming flow is pumped from a large pumping station close to the edge of town. At most works at least some of the flow arrives by gravity alone. Here's the pumping station on a sunny day:

Beam Bridge Pumping Station

Beam Bridge Pumping Station

Impressive huh? Well, if that doesn't float your boat here's some pics of the the business end of that rising main. First up, the log flume aka the inlet:

Then, we move gracefully through the laminar flow grit separation unit:

Onwards and upwards through the primary sedimentation tanks:

Just don't ask...ok

Just don't ask...ok

It's in there that the solids separate out to form the sludge. Did I take a picture of sludge? You betcha!

Lovely jubbly.

Next, we're off to the biological filters:

And a sewage works wouldn't be the same without a shot of a pipe. Here's a pipe. It's black, of course.

Finally, after another couple of hours settlement, the top water is fit to put into the river. But not to drink - don't ever believe that the glass of liquid that the Works Manager chugs down at the end of a works visit is really the final effluent. Not even on a good day.