[ Sustainable Systems ] Newton Creek field trip 


Newton Creek field trip 

“The Newton Creek plant is New York City’s largest wastewater pump station, fed by 180 miles of sewers.” The plant serves an area with a population of just over 1 million people in Lower Manhattan and nearby parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Its site covers 54 acres with eight iconic futuristic, there are sedimentation tanks, aeration tanks, and stainless steel-clad “digester eggs”. Inside the eggs, the sludge is heated in an oxygen-free environment. Anaerobic microorganisms break down organic material in one of the last stages of sludge treatment.

Visiting the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant was eyeopening, and very fascinating. I learned a lot of information on water treatment in New York City and opened my eye on just how much work is put into cleaning rain/sewage water. The system implemented into cleaning the water was remarkable, and with this much cleaning, the water is not clean enough to be drinkable. The tour guide informed us that the main unwanted rubbish that gets stuck in their systems are surprisingly facial tissues. She told us ways to help and it was nice to hear first hand on how the citizens can help. Overall, the whole experience of visiting was really great and made me more aware of how I throw my rubbish, especially the ones that go down my sewage systems.

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