A facility designed to receive the wastewater from domestic sources and to remove materials that damage water quality and threaten public health and safety when discharged into receiving streams or bodies of water. The substances removed are classified into four basic areas:
- greases and fats;
- solids from human waste and other sources;
- dissolved pollutants from human waste and decomposition products; and
- dangerous microorganisms.
Most facilities employ a combination of mechanical removal steps and bacterial decomposition to achieve the desired results. Chlorine is often added to discharges from the plants to reduce the danger of spreading disease by the release of pathogenic bacteria.