Environmental Services is staffed by highly qualified personnel. Personnel are required to take state exams for each grade level.
Re-certification takes place every three years. It consists of submitting an application to the state of Alabama and proof of at least 24 hours of continuing education.
Emergency & After Hours Contact
For emergencies or problems after hours, the Police Department should be contacted at 205-663-7401. An example of a problem where Environmental Collections should be contacted would be when a red light appears at a pump station or the main line is stopped up.
Environmental Collections Duties
Environmental Collections personnel performs cleaning of the main sewer lines, and maintenance of pumps and pump stations, and taking video images of the main sewer which are used to ensure proper installations of lines in new subdivisions as well as a video record of sewer laterals.
Collections personnel are responsible for a network of sewer mains of various sizes and materials, as well as pump stations. The City of Alabaster currently maintains approximately 162 miles of sewer lines spread out across the city.
Pump stations are used to overcome the topography in the City of Alabaster. Pump stations pump the wastewater to the treatment facility when gravity cannot naturally accomplish this task. The City of Alabaster currently maintains and operates 56 pump stations of varying size and flow capacity.There are presently 56 pump stations, which consist of two pumps per station. Wastewater flows through a pump at 100-350 gallons per minute with elevation changes ranging from 10 to 197 feet.
As new subdivisions are developed and current subdivisions continue to grow, new pump stations will be constructed and/or upgraded.
The Treatment Plant is a facility which has a capacity of treating 7.6 million gallons of wastewater per day that purifies/cleans the sewage to an acceptable standard that is mandated by the state. It then discharges effluent (treated wastewater) back into the natural water flow.
- Sewage enters the treatment plant through Pump Station Number 1 which has three submersible pumps, each having the capacity of 3,250 gallons per minute.
- Sewage goes through a preliminary grit remover unit that removes any grit, sand or gravel which might have entered the lines during construction.
- After grit removal, sewage enters the rotomat which removes any solid waste material that is not biodegradable.
- Next, it enters Pump Station Number 2 where flow is proportionally split to aeration zones where oxygen is added to stabilize the biological reaction. This reaction is where bugs that are only seen through the microscope breakdown of the solid waste.
- Next is the clarification unit where a settling process removes solid wastes/sludge.
- After clarification, the wastewater goes through sand filters that filter any microscopic solids that are left.
- Last, it goes through an ultraviolet disinfecting system that kills any pathogens that remain followed by a cascade which increases dissolved oxygen before the final product is discharged back into the natural water flow.
The byproduct from the plant is solid waste/sludge. This byproduct enters a sludge press where a polymer is added that assists in the separation of the sewer waste/sludge and excess wastewater. The sludge is pressed to a dry state and is landfilled. The excess water from the sludge press enters at the preliminary unit of the treatment plant where the process starts over again.
Treatment Plant Tours
Tours of the treatment plant can be arranged by calling 205-664-6825 during Environmental Services regular office hours.
As of the end of May 2004, the Wastewater Treatment Plant processed 8,500 residential and 450 commercial customers. The expansion was officially opened on June 12, 2004, with the capacity for 7.6 million gallons per day. With this increase, we will have built a solid future in commercial and residential growth in our city for years to come.
Along with the plant expansion, we have also built a state of the art laboratory which now gives us the capability of performing all state required lab tests and quality control testing, negating the need to outsource to commercial companies.