sounds yucky doesn't it? lol!
Went on a tour of the "local" (two towns away) waste management center. Have to say, I was impressed.
It processes all the waste water for that area into Class A waste. This means it is completely rendered safe. No pathogens, no heavy metals. It can go anywhere.
I found the process not as smelly as I thought it would be.
Basically, they bring in "raw" waste water, remove the trash (like purses, counterfeit money, a diamond ring, six pack rings, etc) and grind the "grit". All the actual waste then gets "blended" in HUGE (six of them) connected blenders (looks like large fans stirring the stuff up) with oxygen and microorganism. The microorganisms eat. and eat. and eat.
Then the mixture is sent to a tank where the oxygen is removed and the microorganisms are either "sent back" to eat some more OR if there are too many, "wasted" out. The wasted out ones are sent to the solids shed where more water is removed and they are dried.
The two end products are: safe clean water and little pellets of dried microorganisms which work fabulously on gardens! They sell this stuff CHEAP! $50 for 5 cubit yards. very cheap for this farm area. They cannot keep up with the demand.
And the average home gardener can come in and get a five gallon bucket! I will be grabbing some myself.
While a bit more expensive to set up initially, I would love to see ALL waste water plants be set up to process Class A. Class B needs acres and acres of land to let the finished sludge sit until the left over pathogens and heavy metals breakdown: literally years and years and years. Plus their finished product DOES have pathogens and heavy metals.