FPU youth board learns about wastewater treatment

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 Supervisor, Dwight Jeans, 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.  


Students visited the lab where Jeans 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. 


Jeans ended the tour with an explanation to the students about the bio-solids removal process and how it works. Jeans explained that the bio-solids are treated with a polymer, and mixed with kiln dust and turned into fertilizer for agricultural use.

“I was surprised to learn the complexity of treating the wastewater at the plant. It was also impressive to learn how clean the water is leaving the plant,” said SUB member Tucker Lucas. 


“I did not realize how many regulations are in place from the EPA  and TDEC. It takes constant diligence to ensure everything operates smoothly at the wastewater treatment plant,” said SUB member Ben Walp. 


The FPU Student Utility Board’s April meeting will involve the group in a tour of the Channel 6 Studio, where they will learn more about the importance of script reading, interviewing and multimedia communication.