Like many urban areas, the majority of City of Concord’s drinking water comes from one of three lakes or reservoirs: Lake Concord, Lake Don T. Howell or Coddle Creek, and Lake Fisher. We also have the ability to get water from the Yadkin River via the Albemarle waterline. Two water treatment plants, Hillgrove and Coddle Creek work to remove sediment, organic matter and pathogens. Clean water then travels to Concord homes and businesses.
Image Source: New Jersey American Water.
The first step in water treatment is coagulation. Special compounds are added to the water to cause suspended dirt particles to stick together. Since the stuck-together particles weigh more, they sink to the bottom and are discarded during sedimentation in which finer and finer particles settle out of the water. The water then moves through a series of filters for further purification. Finally, pathogens are removed in the disinfection step and the treated water is sent to customers.
Next, comes sedimentation which those particles settle to the bottom.
After sedimentation comes filtration which further purifies the water by removing smaller particles.
After bacteria and other pathogens are removed through disinfection, it’s on to residential and commercial customers.
As tap water is used (for cooking, cleaning, bathing, flushing toilets, etc.) in homes and businesses, it becomes contaminated with things like cleaning products, personal care products, food, human waste, etc. This “used” water is called wastewater, and must be cleaned again. Concord’s wastewater is pumped by the City of Concord to a wastewater treatment facility managed by the Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County (WSACC). The wastewater treatment facility removes organic matter and pathogens. Treated wastewater or effluent is released back into the environment via a sewer outfall located along Rocky River, a major tributary of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River.
Wastewater is not the only water from our city that is released into the environment. When it rains, storm water is ushered away from parking lots, streets and rooftops via the storm drainage system. Storm water is NOT cleaned up before it reaches a lake, creek, stream or river. That is why it is vitally important that all citizens practice stormwater pollution prevention.