September 18, 2016

Aerobic Water

By Nancy Dewhurst
August 29, 2015

Today we visited the Albuquerque Southside Wastewater Reclamation Plant. There are an astonishing number of processes that go into creating the clean drinking water that we take for granted (we were even told that some of these are unnecessary and just for the public’s peace of mind!).  

The whole process was too complicated and too scientific for me to recount, so instead, I will tell you a story that stayed with me.   

At one stage in the process, the water reaches a density that is less than 1 (what people are), so it is impossible to swim in (it would be like trying to swim in air). Once, a hydro engineer fell into the tank (which at this point in the process is still filled with sewage), and was only able to get out by crawling along the bottom to ladders at the edge of the tank (luckily for him, he knew exactly where they were).  

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