Water and Sewer Utility Services Information

Water and sewer utility services supply drinking water, remove sewage and wastewater, and/or install connections from processing facilities to private or public water lines and sewers. They supply water to commercial, industrial, and residential end-users; and receive sewage, wastewater, and other used water (such as gray water) for treatment.

Steps in a typical wastewater treatment process from Wikibooks

Typical Wastewater Treatment Process

Most people are served by publicly-owned (city or county) water and sewer utilities. Only eleven percent of Americans receive water from private utilities. Utility services water infrastructure consists of dams, reservoirs, well fields, pumping stations, aqueducts for transporting large quantities of water over long distances and water treatment plants. Sanitation infrastructure includes sanitary sewers and combined sewers, sewage pumping stations and wastewater treatment plants.

Pumping Stations are facilities that pump water from one place to another and for the removal of sewage to processing sites. Wastewater and sewage are transferred from pump stations to water treatment facilities for the purification of the water. These water treatment plants remove unwanted chemicals, suspended solids, biological contaminants, and gases from contaminated water. Water purification techniques include the following:

  • Filtration
  • Sedimentation
  • Distillation
  • Slow sand filters
  • Biologically active carbon
  • Flocculation and chlorination
  • Ultraviolet lighting

Water is purified primarily for human consumption. It can also be used for medical, pharmacology, chemical, and industrial applications.

There are multiple types of water and sewer utilities: Public service providers, private utilities, multi-utilities, bulk water suppliers.

  • Public service providers compromise 89% of Americans are served by a public or cooperative entity. Usually a public system are managed by utilities that are owned by a city or county but have a separate legal, management, and finances.
  • Private utilities provide about half of American drinking water. They provide 11% of Americans served by public water systems. Most private utilities are small and privately owned and not controlled by a government entity.
  • Multi-utilities provide water and/or sewer services along with power and gas services.
  • Bulk water suppliers sell water to utilities.


Water Supply and Sanitation in the United_States

City of Henderson

Public Utility Commission of Texas

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