Wastewater

Every time you flush, take a shower or wash the dishes, you send wastewater down the drain to an underground network of pipes. These pipes carry the wastewater to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The City of Estevan has two sewer systems; Storm Sewer System and Sanitary Sewer System.

This system carries wastewater from homes, buildings and industries to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. After being treated, the water is sent to local power stations and then returned to the Souris River.

Estevan’s sanitary sewer system includes many kilometers of sewer pipes and 4,000 service connections to individual residences, businesses, and industrial sites. These numbers are increasing every year.

Where does wastewater go?

Every time you flush the toilet, take a shower or wash the dishes, you send wastewater down the drain to an underground network of pipes. These pipes, through gravity and a series of pumping stations, carry the wastewater to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

After the wastewater is treated to ensure it is safe for people and the environment, it re-enters the Souris River.

Gravity is the main force of wastewater movement through the system. Pumping is sometimes required to physically lift the wastewater to a higher elevation so it can flow by gravity to the treatment plant. There are 7 pumping stations in Estevan.

At the Wastewater Treatment Plant, the wastewater is treated and the remaining liquid, called effluent, is released into the Souris River while the biosolids are purposed into fertilizer.

What causes backups?

When water meant for the larger Storm Sewer flows into the smaller Sanitary Sewer, the Sanitary Sewer can backup (surcharge) and overflow. When this happens, residences are at risk of experiencing sewer backup. Residences located at lower elevations, especially those with inadequate backflow protection, are most at risk.

Another unfortunate side effect is that when storm water goes through the Sanitary Sewer, the Wastewater Treatment Plant is forced to treat it, which drives up overall handling and processing costs. If the Sanitary Sewage System is severely overloaded, untreated sewage may overflow into the river.

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