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