Plantation Utilities operates and maintains its own waste water collection system and waste water treatment plant. The collection system is a series of gravity fed pipes which empty into 120 lift stations throughout the City. The lift stations then pump the waste water to the waste water plant through pipes called force mains. The pipes used for gravity collection or lift station force mains range from 4 to 30 inches. Each lift station consists of a wet well and pump room or wet well/submersible pump combination. They cycle on when the level of waste in the station raises a float activated solenoid.
Plantation operates an award winning Class I waste water plant that is environmentally friendly. Waste water residuals are distributed to agri-businesses for fertilizer, the methane gas byproduct is captured for use in the treatment process and the treated liquid is sent to the Floridan Aquifer. There are essentially two flows; one for liquids and one for solids, although they are dependent upon each other for successful operation of the plant. The plant treats both flows through the enhancement of natural bacterial processes. The solids are continually reduced and removed from the liquid train although they are reintroduced as needed to supply healthy bacteria to the process.
Raw waste water first enters the plant through a preliminary treatment building where it is screened and treated to remove inorganic and solid materials such as sand. The flow then goes to primary clarifiers where the organic solids settle out and are pumped to solids digesters, while the liquid is pumped to aeration basins.
The primary solids digesters are heated to 100 F with methane gas that is a byproduct of the plant process. Sludge enters the primary digesters from the primary clarifiers and after the aeration basins. The aeration basin sludge is biologically active and adds necessary bacteria to the digesters. Inside the digesters the bacteria feed on the sludge much the same way a garden compost pile transforms leaves and vegetables into dirt.
The sludge is moved to a secondary digester where it settles more, reducing water content. The methane gas is captured in the secondary digester, scrubbed and used in the plant. The sludge is further dewatered on belt presses then loaded into dump trailers for transportation to agricultural sites.
Meanwhile the liquid train has been aerated and mixed with bacteria in the aeration basins to continue treatment. More solids are removed after the aeration basins and sent to the digesters. The liquid moves on to secondary clarifiers where even more solids are settled out. By the time the liquid leaves the secondary clarifiers, 95%-96% of the solids have been removed. The liquid then flows through a chlorine contact chamber where it is made safe for discharge to the boulder zone of the Floridan aquifer system, at 3500 feet (not to be confused with the Biscayne aquifer). The plant reuses about 1 million gallons a day of the water on site for landscape irrigation and treatment process water.