BY RHODA NAKAWOOZA
Very many people ask themselves what the treated wastewater at the two water treatment plants at UCU is used for.
UCU has got two wastewater treatment plants both set apart by an Australian professor Riley a long time ago. The plants are located within the university one near Eunice Guest House and the other at the Tech Park Gate. They were set up in 2004 and 2007, respectively before the two student halls of residence in the university were built.
Currently, the two plants are managed by Engineer David Kivumbi. Kivumbi works with a team of four workers at the plant. The team comes early in the morning to the university by around 8:00am to work. They oversee the treatment process at the two plants.
A wastewater treatment plant is a facility that involves the combination of various processes that are used to treat wastewater and remove pollutants with minimum impact on the environment. The process cleans the sewage and water so that they can be returned to the environment. It removes solids, breaks down organic matter and restores the oxygen in treated water.
How the plants work
The water plant near Tech Park Gate has got four chambers which include: the equalization chamber, aeration, clarifier and chlorination.
The chambers are named according to stages in the process of water treatment, starting from stage one to stage four.
Muhumuza said that at daybreak when students are bathing, the water volume in the equalization stage is sufficient and bloomy. The water volumes are later not so much during the day as the water moves to the aeration chamber from the equalization sections where it turns brown or even dark.
In the next chamber, the clarifier, water must settle in order for the clean water to move to the chlorination chamber where chlorine is added to normalize the bacteria that were produced in the aeration chamber in order not to harm the environment. The resultant water is then stored in the trenches until it is to be used.
The waterwaste is used for irrigation of the grass in the pitch (new playground) and it is mostly done in the dry season to green the grass since the water has nutrients that enable the grass to grow well. The wastewate treatment plant can also provide manure.