Fayetteville Public Utilities’ (FPU) Student Utility Board (SUB) recently toured the Wastewater Treatment Plant and learned how Fayetteville’s wastewater is treated and returned to the Elk River, meeting all regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

FPU’s Wastewater Treatment Plant Assistant Supervisor Eric Dale, led the tour, explaining how wastewater is collected at the plant and how solids are removed from the water. Students also learned how microorganisms are monitored to maintain an active and balanced process of breaking down the solids in the wastewater treatment plant. Dale ended the tour with an explanation to the students about the bio-solids removal process and how it works. He also explained that the bio-solids are treated with a polymer and mixed with kiln dust and turned into fertilizer for agricultural use.

Students then visited the lab where Dale demonstrated a few of the tests they perform each day and how they check water samples for E. coli. There students were able to see, with the aid of a microscope, several of the microorganisms that help clean the water in the treatment process before returning it to the receiving stream.

“I really enjoyed getting to learn about the process of treating wastewater,” said SUB member Garrett Davis.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to have such a bright group of students come to FPU each month. We hope that as these students graduate, they will not only understand more about local utilities but will also become members and leaders of our community,” said FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye.

This meeting concludes the student board’s regular monthly meetings. In May the students will attend an awards day and the winner of the scholarship will be announced.