This Plant's Effluent Is Cleaner Than the River

Get a detailed look at Genesee County, Michigan's treatment process and nitrification towers


In this online exclusive video, Brian Ross, senior assistant director of Water & Waste Services, takes viewers on a tour of a wastewater treatment plant in Genesee County, Michigan. The plant’s effluent is cleaner than the river it’s released into, thanks to two nitrification towers and a chemical-free UV disinfection process. “The nitrification towers take secondary effluent, before it goes through UV disinfection, and runs it through a media where air flows countercurrent to the water coming through the media,” says Ross. “There’s a small biofilm on the media where nitrifying bacteria rest and they help convert the remaining ammonia to nitrate-nitrogen.”


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