The Mission of the Wastewater Department is to protect both human health and the environment through the efficient, cost-effective collection and treatment of its wastewater; to stay within regulations of both EPA and ADEM; and to promote economic development within the City of Prattville.
- To provide the safe, reliable collection of municipal wastewater with special emphasis on the most prompt, courteous service possible.
- To provide treatment of collected wastewater in a safe, consistent manner that will meet or exceed the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit by the most cost-effective means possible.
- Proactively work with all agencies, organizations and individuals to monitor and protect the region's water environments – both ground and surface; as well as its soil and air.
- To maintain the utility's infrastructure in a proactive and cost-effective way that will maximize its longevity.
- To plan for future needs of the customer, protect the environment and to minimize the impacts to the ratepayer.
With a user base of approximately 11,000 residential connections and approximately 700 business connections, the City of Prattville Wastewater Department operates two Grade-3 wastewater treatment plants. The Autauga Creek Plant has a design capacity for 4 million gallons of wastewater per day, and the Pine Creek Plant has the design capacity of 3 million gallons per day.
Wastewater from households and from industrial use is collected through a series of pipes known as "collectors." These collectors carry the wastewater to large pipes known as "interceptors." It is these interceptors that eventually convey the wastewater to the treatment plants.
Wastewater that goes into the treatment plants is known as "influent," and treated water that goes out is known as "effluent."
How Wastewater Is Treated:
Left untreated, wastewater can be potentially harmful to humans and wildlife. To treat wastewater, the City of Prattville uses a process known as "return activated sludge." The process is a biological process--which means that the waste is treated by living organisms. Wastewater, as it comes into the treatment plants, contains many varying organisms--some beneficial and some harmful. With the activated sludge process, the treatment process takes advantage of the beneficial organisms to help in purification of the wastewater.
The beneficial organisms present in the wastewater require the same things that humans require for survival--food, water and oxygen. The food is present in the wastewater as organic waste. There is plenty of water available, and there are small amounts of oxygen. Wastewater operators at the treatment plant create the proper conditions for this natural process so that the waste is used as food by the organisms. These organisms convert the waste to a more stable material that can be removed from the water and disposed of safely as a soil conditioner. The effluent is then disinfected and discharged into the Alabama River.
Wastewater treatment plants are strictly monitored by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Monthly and annual reports are required by these agencies, and wastewater treatment operators also must pass strict certification requirements.
Treatment Plant Awards and Tours:
The City of Prattville Wastewater Treatment plants have been awarded the distinction of "Plant of the Year" several times by the Alabama Water Pollution Control Association. The award is given by the association to outstanding wastewater treatment plants which excel in management, operation and maintenance.
Group tours of the plants are available by appointment. Call 334-361-3626 for information and scheduling tours.
Pipes which collect rainwater are called storm sewers, and those that collect household or industrial wastewater are called sanitary sewers. The City of Prattville maintains all main sanitary sewers. Residents and business owners are responsible for the maintenance of all sewer services from the residence or business to the main sewer.
Wastewater Treatment Charges:
Charges for the treatment of wastewater are included in the monthly water bills, and any questions concerning the bill should be directed to the Water Works Board, (334)365-6783.