Water and Sewer Utilities Information

Water and sewer utilities provide water for commercial, residential, and industrial end users. Most water and sewer utility services are provided by the local municipality. The municipality generates bills for residents based on meter readings which can occur monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually. Water utilities may source their water from many locations including lakes, reservoirs, and ground water supplies. Water is then processed by a water treatment center. A sewer utility receives wastewater from local sewer systems and passes it through a wastewater treatment facility, then returning it back into the local ecosystem.


Water Treatment Process


The water treatment process is broken into five steps: coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection.

  • Coagulation is the process wherein liquid aluminum sulfate is added to the water which causing dirt particles to coagulate.

  • Flocculation involves mixing the aluminum sulfate and water in large tanks, causing the mixture to stick together and form large, heavy particles.

  • Sedimentation removes the heavier particles, known as flocs, from water by moving the aluminum sulfate mixture into basins.

  • Filtration occurs after the water flows out of the sedimentation basin and is designed to remove any leftover particles in the water.

  • Disinfection cleans filtered water using chemicals and/or UV light.

Water treatment process

Wastewater Treatment Process


The wastewater treatment process is broken into five steps: primary treatment, aeration/secondary treatment, clarification, advanced treatment, and disinfection.

  • In primary treatment, the solid particles and objects are separated by screens and clarifiers.

  • Aeration removes harmful pollutants with the growth of microorganisms.

  • Clarification involves the settling of solids and microorganisms in large basins.

  • Advanced treatments include the use of sand filters to remove fine particles.

  • Disinfection rids the water of remaining pathogens before the water is released back into the ecosystem

Image credit:

City of Charlotte / Mecklenburg County


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