Wastewater is the flow of used water from homes, businesses, schools, industries and more. This flow includes water from:
- Car washes
- Food processing operations
Wastewater is funneled into SD1’s sanitary sewer system where it is safely transported to a wastewater treatment plant, cleaned and emptied into the nearest creek or river.
Combined and Separated Sewer Systems
SD1 maintains public pipes that carry wastewater from private sewer laterals to a treatment plant. These pipes range in size from six inches wide to 12 feet tall.
The earliest infrastructure built in Northern Kentucky makes up our region’s combined sewer system, which carries wastewater and storm water runoff in the same pipes. Generally located in the river cities, the system carries mostly wastewater during dry weather.
Separate sewer systems, which are generally found in more recently developed areas, have two distinct networks of underground pipes – one that carries wastewater to a treatment plant and another that carries storm water runoff to the nearest body of water to prevent flooding.
Pump stations funnel wastewater from one pipe to another and increase the speed of flow. Most of the wastewater in SD1’s system flows to a treatment plant through gravity lines – pipes that allow wastewater to flow downhill. However, because of Northern Kentucky’s hilly terrain, SD1 relies on pump stations and pressurized force mains to move wastewater uphill in some areas.
SD1 operates three major wastewater treatment facilities and several smaller treatment plants. These treatment plants clean and disinfect wastewater before returning the cleaned water to the nearest creek or river.
The treatment process includes several steps to ensure the water is clean enough to be released back into the environment.