As we arrived at the building, a truck was just pulling out. We spoke to the maintenance tech, a likeable guy named Richard , and he agreed to show us around. In fact, he gave us a complete tour of the process from start to finish, was very knowledgeable about everything there, and answered all our questions.
Lordsburg, with a population of less than 4000, generates 200,000 to 250,000 gallons of wastewater a day, most likely due to its proximity to Interstate 10. It all runs downhill (as any military man can tell you) and enters the treatment plant where it passes through a shredder (to reduce solids to a manageable size), then to a "screw pump" where it is lifted into the first of 4 lagoons. The lagoons are all lined with a heavy black plastic with (apparently) welded seams, and have a "curtain" which separates the aerated sewage from the non-aerated. The aerators used are the Aero-Mix Tornado. The current plant was engineered about 6 years ago by Engineers Inc. of Silver City, replacing a previous system that used chlorine as part of the process.
After the last lagoon, the water flows by gravity into the first of three ponds. These ponds are stocked with 3 different kinds of fish, all optimal for living in these bacteria-and-algae-filled waters and helping the processing. In addition, cattails and several other grasses, shown here, were planted along the edges. If anyone can identify any of these, please let us know. The end result is a wetlands, with many different varieties of shore birds enjoying the ponds, which cover several acres. The water is tested at the exit of the second pond into the third, and passes the EPA's BOD and TSS tests.
Links to other waste processing resources: