A Natural Biological Process
A natural biological process treats the sewage collected at our treatment plant. This is essentially the same process that occurs naturally in a stream or lake. In those natural processes, bacteria and other small organisms are attracted to wastes as a food source. While consuming the food, these organisms reproduce, resulting in new bacterial cells and other products. In our treatment plant, bacteria and other organisms consume the wastes, just as in the natural process but under more controlled conditions that speed up the process.
Incoming wastewater passes through grinders (reducing solids into small particles) and then through a grit chamber and screen that remove sand, grit plastics, rags and other objects. The wastewater then flows into oxidation ditches where microorganisms consume the waste. The final products of this oxidation are carbon dioxide, water . . . and more microorganisms.
Next, wastewater flows into the clarifiers where the microorganisms and other solids, now collectively referred to as biological solids, settle t the bottom. The clear, treated water flows over the clarifier weirs and into sand filters, where additional fine soids are removed. The water is then disinfected through exposure to ultra-violet light and discharged into the Ventura River.
The biological solids separatd from the wastewater in the clarifiers, now a thick liquid, are stabilized and the water is squeezed out resulting in solids. These solids are mixed with livestock bedding materials and composted. Composting is another biological process that reduces the volume, eliminates pathogenic organisms and produces a beneficial soil amendment.