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STEP 5 - Primary Clarifier

Primary Clarifier

We Collect the Sludge in Big Tanks


After we get rid of the dirt and trash, the wastewater flows into big tanks. They are called clarifiers. More than half of the sludge (food and poop) settles to the bottom. From there the sludge is pumped to our digesters.


In the clarifiers fats and oils float on top of the water. Fats and oils are skimmed off and collected by an arm that moves around on top of the water. We should not pour fats and oils down the kitchen sink because they cause clogs in the pipes. Clogs are expensive to break up, and they stop the wastewater from flowing to the plant. YUCK!



When we slow it down, the heavy stuff falls to the bottom first.

Let's Settle this Outside

Learn more the principle of floating and sinking:

Follow Water or Sludge
Steve Spangler's Floating Lemons and Sinking Limes Experiment Disclaimer
Floating and Sinking Cans Disclaimer
Layered Liquids Experiment Disclaimer
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Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority Let's Settle This Outside Activity Return to SWRP Home Page Follow the Sludge Follow the Water