ALEX'S SUMMER JOBS: SANITARY DISTRICT OPERATOR - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

ALEX'S SUMMER JOBS: SANITARY DISTRICT OPERATOR

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -

Once you flush, you might not think about where it goes, but these guys sure do. 

Here at the Greater Peoria Sanitary District, it's their job to turn sewer water into clean healthy water for the river. 

The sewer water comes in raw. 

A large claw scoops out the major debris. 

"With combination sewers and when it rains a lot, we get leaves, rags, sticks, toilet paper, lots of litter and tons of hair," said Eric who has been an operator at GPSD for ten years. 

To me...yuck. 

But these workers understand how important this process is. 

"I'm helping out the river. I'm taking care of the community and stuff like that. Theree is always problem-solving going on. Ther is always something going on," Eric added. 

Using these massive corkscrew machines, the nasty water goes up and into the plant to begin its cleansing. 

On a typical day, 18 million gallons of sewage pass through this plant. 

Solids are broken down layer by layer. 

That means I was supervising and operating valves that smelled bad.

The water then gets treated with a major dose of chlorine. 

Once the water is rid of all remaining toxins, sodium bisulfite gets added to the mix to take out the chlorine. 

Then we take a sample and test it to make sure the water is ready for the river. 

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