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Wastewater Treatment Plant

WWTP photo

The City of Bucyrus, located in central Crawford County, owns and operates a wastewater treatment facility at 1500 West Southern Avenue in the southwestern portion of the city.  The plant discharges tertiary-treated wastewater to the Sandusky River.

The city’s original combined sewer system dates from the 1930’s.  The wastewater plant was originally constructed in 1939 and consisted of the administration building, influent pumping, primary and secondary treatment facilities, and anaerobic digesters.  In 1961, a new influent pump building, aerated grit tank, primary settling tank, aeration tank, and digester were added.  Plant capacity was increased again in 1988 with the addition of a fourth primary tank and aeration tank, two new final settling tanks, and the tertiary filter facility.  The most recent improvement project in 2000 included the addition of the belt filter press and the sludge stabilization facilities. 



Influent Pumping and Pretreatment
Raw sewage is conveyed to the plant by two deep trunk sewers which converge at the Influent Pump Station.  A mechanical bar screen removes coarse and stringy debris from the wastewater and then it is pumped to the pretreatment structure.  It is sampled and metered and it flows through the Aerated Grit Tank where denser, easily settable material is removed.  The pretreated wastewater then proceeds to the Primary Settling Tanks.  Flows in excess of the primary tank capacity are automatically diverted around them.
Primary Treatment
The first step in the sewage treatment process is the removal of the suspended solids carried by the wastewater.  After screening and grit removal, the pretreated sewage flows through the four circular primary settling tanks where the suspended material drops out by gravity.  The purpose of this process is to reduce the solids load to the secondary treatment process.  The material collected on the bottom of the primary tanks is withdrawn as liquid primary sludge and pumped to the plant’s sludge treatment facilities.  Floating material is skimmed off and collected in the scum wells.  Settled wastewater flows over the discharge weirs and continues on to the Primary Splitter Boxes and then to the Aeration Tanks.

Secondary Treatment
Secondary treatment is accomplished in the four rectangular Aeration Tanks and two circular Final Settling Tanks.  Primary settled wastewater flows into the aeration tanks where it mixes with a suspension of live micro-organisms known as activated sludge.  The mixture is aerated and mixed in order to satisfy the respiration requirements of the organisms as they oxidize the organic matter in the wastewater.  Alum solution is added for phosphorus removal and the mixture of activated sludge and wastewater, known as mixed liquor, the flows to the final settling tanks where the sludge settles out.  The clarified, treated wastewater, now stripped of approximately 90% of its suspended and dissolved organic pollutants, continues on to the filtration step.  The activated sludge is concentrated and collected on the settling tanks bottoms and continuously returned to the aeration tanks by means of the Return Activated Sludge Pumps.
Because the activated sludge mass grows and multiplies as it utilizes the wastewater as its food course, excess sludge is periodically wasted to the plant’s sludge treatment facilities along with the primary sludge.

Tertiary Treatment 
Following secondary treatment, the wastewater is filtered as a final polishing step.  The tertiary treatment facilities include the Filter Influent Pumps, the four Tertiary Filters, Backwash Tank and Pumps, and Backwash Waste Pumps.  The material trapped in the filter is removed by backwashing and then recycled through the Final Settling Tanks.
The filtered effluent is disinfected by ultraviolet radiation and discharged to the Sandusky River.

Aerobic Digester Facilities
Primary sludge and waste activated sludge are transferred to the three circular Aerobic Digesters by the Primary Sludge Pumps.  Sludge reduction and stabilization is achieved under prolonged aeration as the micro-organisms consume any remaining nutrients and then starve and waste away.  Air for the digesters is supplied by three centrifugal blowers located in the Digester Control Building.  There are also transfer pumps and a grinder for moving the sludge among the tanks and to the Sludge Processing Building.

Sludge Processing
Aerobically digested sludge is pumped to the Sludge Processing Building and dewatered to a solid cake on the Belt Filter Press.  The sludge cake is then fed to the Biosolids Pasteurization Unit where it is blended with lime and heated to kill pathogens and produce Class “A” or “B” product for agricultural application.  The processed material may be immediately loaded onto trucks for disposal, or accumulated on-site in a covered storage area. 




Basis of Design

Population 15,500
Per Capita Sanitary Flow, gpcd  90
Average Daily Sanitary Flow, mgd  1.4
Inflow/Infiltration Allowance, mgd 2.0
Total Average Daily Flow (ADF), mgd  3.4
Peak Hour Flow (PHF), mgd 7.0
Per Capita BOD, lb/capita/day 0.17
Design Average BOD Load, lb/day  2,635



Tim Wood

Foreman Class lll

Bruce Johnson

Back-Up Operator of Record Class ll 


Frank Bolden 


Jeremiah Lough



Permit Limitations

The Bucyrus Wastewater Treatment Plant was designed to serve a future population of 15, 500 and currently (2016 provides service to 12,500 persons.  The plant has an average daily design capacity of 3.4 million gallons per day (mgd) and a peak capacity of 6.0 mgd.  It is permitted under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit No. 2PD00021*MD.  The plant effluent is discharged to the Sandusky River.  Final effluent limitations, as defined by the permit, are as follows:


Effluent Characteristic Weekly Average Monthly Average
CBOD5, mg/l   15 10
SS, mg/l 18 12
NH3-N (summer), mg/l 3.0 2.0
NH3-N (winter), mg/l 8.7 5.8
E-coli, #/100 ml 284 126
Total Phosphorus, mg/l 1.5 1.0
pH 6.5 - 9.0  
Oil and Grease < 10 mg/l

SSO Annual report