Fabulous Fun Facts: The Craziest Things Found in Water Treatment Plants

Madison Company lives and breathes sensors, so of course we get a kick out of fun facts about sensor applications as well. See if you can guess where a sensor is used after you read this Fantastic Fun Fact! (Pssst…. You’ll find the answer in parentheses below!)

Thank goodness for wastewater treatment plants – and a high five to those that work at these important facilities!

Water treatment facilities such as the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant in Chicago clean millions of gallons of wastewater a day – yep, all of the water that comes from toilets, sinks, showers, dishwashers, and laundries. Making wastewater fit for our rivers and streams is a messy, time-consuming process. It all starts with the screening and removal of debris that has somehow gotten into the waste stream.

What kinds of debris? Here are a few large (or just plain bizarre) items that have been found in sewers around the world*:

  • An 11-ton ‘fatberg’ – a mass of congealed fat and wet wipes found in a sewer in southwest London was apparently the size of a school bus.
  • A live python – unlike goldfish, pythons can apparently survive in a city sewer system. Fortunately, the snake was rescued and taken home as a pet.
  • Hundreds of 1” bouncy balls – the ones your kids manage to find and then drop into places they shouldn’t!
  • A COW. A live COW – discovered in Japan, in a town called Fuji. And no one knows how it got there!
  • Half of a Mini Cooper – another London discovery, apparently they never found the other half!

* Thanks to cracked.com, The Chicago Tribune and BordPanda for this highly entertaining information.

(So where is the sensor? Wastewater treatment plants, lift stations and containment tanks all use liquid level sensors – although they don’t detect the above oddities!)