|TRACKING DOWN THE ROOTS OF OUR SANITARY SEWERS|
TREATMENT/EARLY YEARS -- SUMMARY
In 1875+, not one of the U.S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more used any kind of formal treatment for its sewage. By 1900, only two of those same cities (Worchester, MA, and Reading, PA) had installed formal designed treatment facilities.
By 1926, twenty of those same cities had sewage treatment plants. Of those facilities, nearly two-thirds of the tributary sewage was treated via Imhoff tanks, some preceded by screening. The balance (1/3) received both screening and “advanced” (activated sludge or trickly filters) treatment.
During the previous 50 years (1875-1925), the “state-of-the-art”
for sewage disposal had advanced considerably more than that for sewage
conveyance. Cities and towns had the benefit of knowing the actual
connection between sewage and the sources of drinking water (i.e., the
adverse potential impact on their health/welfare). That knowledge resulted
in great strides being made in collecting and conveying sewage from/away
from people’s homes, and in treating
the sewage prior to its discharge either into their source of potable
water or at a point near their source.