6 Where Does Sewage Flow?

Where Does Sewage Flow?

Posted on May 19, 2011 by team

Have you ever seriously thought where water poured out into the sink or flushed into the toilet flows? And what happens to leftover food and our waste products which disappear in pipes? Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard at least something of treatment facilities and maybe know that during the cleaning process silt is obtained, which is then used for producing gas!
Today we’ll visit the Kuryanovsky water treatment plant in the south of Moscow and trace the way of sewage “from pipe to pipe”. We’ll also visit a mini thermoelectric plant running on biogas produced from silt.

Many people think that water treatment plants are something unattractive and smelly. But they are wrong! The most “fragrant” is a place of “confluence” of sewage. But it’s easy to be there for a long time without feeling much discomfort. Yes, it smells there but the smell is quite bearable.

The capacity of the Kuryanovsky water treatment plant is 3.125 million cubic meters per day. It’s located in the south-east of Moscow, in the bend of the Moscow River, and collects sewage from the north-western, western, southern, south-eastern districts of Moscow and some other surrounding areas.

The world’s largest ultraviolet disinfection unit (with capacity of 3 million cubic meters per day) is currently being built here. It’s expected to be put into operation by the end of 2011.

“Technological scheme of wastewater treatment”

During the process of wastewater treatment about 18.000 cubic meters of liquid sediment is produced daily here (about 6.5 million cubic meters per year). This sediment undergoes fermentation inside special tanks at a temperature of about 53 C. As a result biogas containing about 65% of methane is obtained.

All that we flush down the toilet flows out of these pipes. 2 million (!) cubic meters per day. 365 days a year.

This is the most “stinking” place at the plant. It’s written in quotes, because, as we already said, the smell is quite bearable.

First of all, water gets into the building where the largest garbage is filtered.

All that is bigger than 10 mm is left on the lattice.

It perfectly shows how much rubbish we flush down the toilet.

After that water goes to the so-called “sand catchers”. Obtained at this stage sand can (and actually should) be used in urban construction and improvement. But… Having a constant source of this sand, the city prefers to buy “normal” sand. Which is, of course, wrong.

The next stage of treatment. Primary sedimentation tanks. Here water has been settling for 2 hours, after which all organic substances go to methane tanks, and the water goes to aeration tanks.

Water in the primary sedimentation tanks contains only minor impurities.

Figuratively the process can be described as follows: imagine that sewage is tea with tea leaves and sugar. Tea leaves are filtered at the first stages of the process. and sugar – in the aeration tanks.
That is, the entire cleaning process can be divided into mechanical and biological. Mechanical cleaning is carried out in the building with lattices, then in sand traps and finally in primary sedimentation tanks where minor impurities are precipitated. Biological cleaning is carried out in aeration tanks where water is treated with the help of silt, and in secondary sedimentation tanks which serve to separate the already treated water from silt, which later will again be used for water purification.

The secondary sedimentation tank. Here purified water is filtered through a sieve with a cell of 1.4 mm and flows into the Moscow River.

Sampling of water from the secondary sedimentation tank.

From left to right: water coming to the plant, tap water, purified water

And this is how methane tanks look. The old ones.

And the new ones. “No smoking”.

Water flowing into the Moscow River.

The next interesting object is an engineering and scientific workshop. This is the place where the research and biological testing are conducted, new technologies are developed.


Biotesting. Fish live in aquariums filled with treated water. Employees of the workshop examine the state of the fish and watch its growth. According to them, fish feel great in purified water.


Age: 6 years old

Biologically purified water

The cultivation of algae.

The algae is food for fish. They plan to use it as feedstock for biofuel production in the future.

“Prefermentation of the primary sediment”

The model of a biogas installation on a scale of 1:10000.

Another direction of scientific activity – the development of soil for growing plants.

The plant has its own nursery.


The best realized project of 2009 – the mini-TPP running on biogas.

The TPP produces 70 million kWh of electricity, 33 thousand Gcal of steam and 32 thousand Gcal of heat annually.

The control unit of the plant. Only 15 people work here. The work of the whole plant is controlled by a shift consisting of 2 men.

The engine hall.

It’s VERY noisy in here.

A steam pipeline.

A gas turbine engine.

A steam turbine boiler.

“No fishing”

Here is being built a unique facility – the world’s largest ultraviolet water disinfection system. What’s nice is that all the equipment is domestic!

So, as you see, we are all directly involved in the process of formation and processing of sewage. And we can make its processing be most effective by using disposers. They are set in the sink and can grind virtually any food waste, tea bags, paper towels, etc. Unfortunately, its installation is still not cheap in Russia – it’s about 15 thousand rubles (about 500 USD) (including the cost of the device) but still we can help.

Location: Kuryanovsky Water Treatment Plant, Moscow

via igorpodgorny

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6 Responses to “Where Does Sewage Flow?”

  1. testicules says:

    Something smells here. I am sure the water somehow, someway, is used in inappropriate means. Just like the Russian Army was fed dog food in Vladivostok, somehow, quality conrol will be lacking here.

  2. Anonymous Coward says:

    Fantastic post.

  3. Kawaiied Delirium says:

    hey, I live right there, in Kuryanovo! this place is 10 minutes from my home!
    sometimes it really stinks.

  4. marxistworker says:

    Our machine shop regularly makes “sewage rollers.” There are hundreds of these (of varying sizes) at some wastewater treatment plants. The wastewater enters blackish and after going through these numerous spinning metal rollers (coated with rubber) the water is completely clear, the organic matter being obliterated by the roller’s smashing action.

  5. Archy Bunka says:

    We have had a treatment plant for many years, and it represents a major step forward in environmental protection. Next: lose the lead in your gasoline Russia.

  6. WWoperator says:

    That Effluent is pretty yellow, don’t know if I’d drink it!

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