I went for a day out last week, not the usual day out riding round for free on a Stagecoach but a trip to the fairly new sewerage works at Churston. It started at 10 am which meant I had to pay to get to Paignton as it was before 9:30 (note to South West Water could you start your days out a bit later so I can use my bus pass please). We had a short briefing before the tour and after we were invited to ask questions. During the briefing the manager of the plant had boasted that the works could cope with 1.27 tonnes of sewerage a second, which isn't bad. I asked what happened if we had a rainy August and town was full to bursting with visitors, would the plant get more than 1.27 tonnes of not too nice waste material to deal with. Yes he admitted, but we have storage tanks to deal with that. I then, knowing I was onto a good thing asked what happened to the crap if the storage tanks got full. Well it ends up in the sea, our beautiful clean, full of swimming tourists sea. Did it ever happen? asked I. I could see he, the manager was getting a little nervous by now as he had probably guessed my last question which was, How often does it end up untreated, in the sea. He didn't answer that question as half the people there answered it for him. More often than anyone would like to know.
Anyway we went on the tour and I didn't get pushed into a storage tank. Here are a few pictures I took.
Getting kitted up
The Manager getting his hands dirty while we all watch.
The control room, press the wrong button and it all goes back to where it came from.
50 metres down, we couldn't go down as you have to be type trained before working down there. Would have been the highlight of the trip.
Anything bigger than 6mm gets caught up in this machine so if you drop your iPod down the drain this is where you come to get it back.
What's left leaves the plant in this truck and ends up spread out over the local farmers' fields. Good for the crops. Ultimate recycling.