The Wastewater Treatment Process

The Wastewater Treatment Process

Moores Creek

Treating wastewater protects human and environmental health. Without adequate wastewater treatment, there would be the potential for waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid, and we would not be able to use our local waterways as recreational avenues. Wastewater treatment is highly complex, involving physical, chemical, and biological processes.

When wastewater arrives at our water resource recovery facilities, it is referred to as influent. After it is treated and returned to our local waterways, it is referred to as effluent. Oftentimes, effluent can be cleaner than the waterways into which it is released.

Our Water Resource Recovery Facilities

Moores Creek Advanced Water Resource Recovery Facility

Glenmore Water Resource Recovery Facility

Scottsville Water Resource Recovery Facility

Stone Robinson Water Resource Recovery Facility

Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority (RWSA) operates four water resource recovery facilities with a combined capacity of 15.7 million gallons per day (MGD). Wastewater flows from City of Charlottesville and or Albemarle County Service Authority’s municipal collection systems to RWSA’s interceptor system of pipes and pump stations to our recovery facilities. Highly skilled, trained and licensed staff operates and maintain the treatment processes and regulatory compliance with our Federal/State discharge permits.


Steps to Wastewater Treatment

Preliminary Treatment: Removes grit (sand), inorganic debris, and man-made objects.

Primary Treatment: Allows for the settling and flotation of organic and inorganic solids. Heavy solid particles such as food waste sink to the bottom, and lighter organics such as oil and grease float to the top. About 35% of the organics and 50% of the solids are removed.

Secondary Treatment: Uses naturally occurring microorganisms to remove additional organics and solids such as sugars, starches, proteins, detergents, and soaps.

Nutrient Removal: Eliminates most of the phosphorus and nitrogen in the influent wastewater in order to protect the receiving streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay from objectionable algal growth.

Disinfection: Kills disease-causing organisms. Effluent is illuminated with ultraviolet light for disinfection, except for the small Stone Robinson facility where chlorine disinfection is used. Chlorinated effluent is dechlorinated before it is released to local waterways; making is safe for aquatic life.