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Sturgeon Bay High School Students Visit Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant

On October 21, 2005, Sturgeon Bay Utilities (SBU) hosted Sturgeon Bay High School biology instructor Carl Cochran and a number of his students on a tour of the Utility’s Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The tour, conducted by SBU staff member Bob Carey, allowed the students to gain a better understanding of what happens at a Wastewater Treatment Facility and how the biology of the treatment process is closely related to their every day studies. The students learned that treatment processes such as the one employed by SBU actually serve to accelerate what nature is capable of doing on its own. By maintaining a finely tuned biological process at the facility, healthy bacteria are able to break down wastes and ultimately end up in a solid form that is classified as Exceptional Quality (EQ) by the Department of Natural Resources. This Class A product is then delivered to a local nursery to be applied as a soil conditioning agent.

At the conclusion of the tour, students had the opportunity to reflect on the many professions that are employed in the multiple aspects of a treatment facility like SBU’s such as: Environmental, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Laboratory Technician, Plant Operations, Facilities and Business Management, etc.

The following week, Sturgeon Bay High School students toured the Utility’s Water Treatment and Storage Facilities. The tour, conducted by SBU staff member Stanley Hein, Jr., taught the students how water is pumped from the ground, treated with the appropriate chemicals, and distributed through a network of underground pipes and above ground storage tanks. This treated water is then ready for consumption by the residents of Sturgeon Bay. Students were treated to a special tour of an Ozone treatment facility. Ozone is used at some of SBU’s groundwater well sites as a means of disinfecting the finished drinking water.

After touring the pumping and treatment station, the students then toured the Big Hill Park site that is home to over one million gallons of finished water storage for the Utility. The students were able to view the inside of an elevated storage or pedestal tank as well as the exterior of two large ground storage tanks. From these tanks, the students were able to comprehend how water is transferred to the system and its end users by means of gravity or the use of booster pumps.

For information regarding tours of the Water System and Wastewater Treatment Facility, please contact Sturgeon Bay Utilities at (920)746-2820.

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