Thursday, January 20, 2005

What i do for a living...

For all of you that is wondering what i really do for a living. I jsut want to warn all fo you, it's a dirty job, literally.

I deal with Sewage, a nicer name would be called Enviromental Engineering.

Oh well, this job has taken me from Sweden to Africa, but mostly, i'm doing loads of work in the southern part of Malaysia at this point of time.


Just to make sure you people that just flush your toilet everyday and do not know what happens after those gunks disappear from your toilet bowl, here it is, from the eye of my low res phone camera...

Destination 1:

This is where your gunks reach after going through the sewer express. The Pump Sump, or better known as the shit hole. This one that you see is about 12 meters deep. On the most left is the mechanical bar screen. This machine is made from stainless steel grade 306, should be able to withstand the most corrosive of the gunks or whatever that isn't able to be digested by all of you.

Can you believe these ppl flush down a small rejoice shampoo bottle??? have a look, the thingy in green.

screened stuf

from here, it will go to the

Destination 2:
Wet well, this place is where all those shits are stored, controlled by float switches, the pumps in the dry well (Destination 3) will pump all the gunks once it touch/reach a predetermined level.

Destination 3:
Looks clean, infact, this is one of the cleanest place you can be. Since it is a dry well, there is virtually no water below it, only a few huge pumps (in this case, 4 units of 15kW pumps)

pump room

From this pumps, the gunks will then travel upstream to the Secondary Screen chamber...

Destination 4:
Here, lie anohter unit of screen chamber, aptly called the SECONDARY screen chamber, the filtering gap is now 10mm, as oppsed to 25mm for the first one. Basically, this is where things small enough to be filtered out, will be filtered out. One fine example? this fish.

fish screened

Also at this place, there is a grit and grease trap, where the residue will be later pumped to their respective chamber for drying and disposal. Here is what a grease chamber looks like.

grease chamber

Destination 5:
After all the removal and all, the sludge, as it is fondly known from now on, will then be directed into two tank, where we call them aeration tanks. Here, air is introduced using some blowers, as the action of introducing air will help breaking down of the sludge. Also, despite it's capacity, there isn't any smell...or shouldn't be any smell. Any smell from any treatment plant shows that the system isn't working. so take note.

here is how those blowers look like, huge ma'fak, weight about 500kg each, these la..i've seen bigger anyway.

blower room

Destination 6:
After being blown, the treated sludge will then be channelled to this thingy called the secondary clarifier. Well, as it's name imply, it will clarify the water further, this is also where the sludge will settle to the bottom of the tank. Also, when that happens, this machine called sludge scraper, as per pic, will scrape all teh sludge lodged at teh bottom of the tank to one end, where it will then be pumped out to the next destination.

sludge scraper

Destination 7:
Ah...almost there, at this point, the sludge will be pumped from the clarifier tank to this sludge thickener, the motor you see will actually slowly stir the sludge, ensuring that it won't cake up and make removal difficult. What happen here is, we have a grade A fertiliser. These sludge will then be transfered to the Sludge drying bed via a very specialised pump called a screw pump.

gravity sludge thickener

Destination 8 and 9:
Almost at the end of the process, the sludge will be transfered to this sludge drying bed. What you'll find here, after maybe 3 months later is chillis, pumpkins, watermelon even, growing on the sand bed...reason being, the seeds that we ate together with those fruits/vegetables are not digestable, and where else will it end up but here???

sludge drying bed

The water will then be channelled out on the other end to this disinfection chamber, this is where we will introduce chlorin to kill all germs, before the water, treated, are released into the drain and to the public.

disinfection chamber

and so, there you are...a crash course on all things icky and now, when you go to the toilet, you will remember what i say here!!

have a good holiday!


  1. ooo interesting one there! did you find handphones? or bars of soap? or money?? people are known to lose stuff down da hole..hehe..not me tho' =P

  2. Hmm... now I can pang sai with pride...

  3. Yes, handphones, rings even, loads of condoms that jam up some pipes (the rubber melt as some portion of the pipes are very hot, thus cloggin them up)...

    once, a maintainece worker found a limb of a baby/feotus, obviously police was called in...but no news since then..that was like 2 years back.

    it's a dirty job, but someone got to do it...

    no not me, i just ensure the whole system is built from scratch, and only go back there when there is problem after handling over to the local authrority...and even if i go back...i'll make sure i drink a liter of milk, before i go into those septic places...serious.

  4. loctor..and pls don't flush limbs of those babies/feotus down the shit hole again.



  5. errrr......why drink milk? I hate milk; am lactose intolerance = go toilet after drinking milk.

    foetus limb's sounds a bit scary though... =/

    oh oh, thanks for me testimonial =)

  6. very informative eevan. a good piece of shit (sic)

    i remember one glorious saturday morning before the military training started, i was squatting in the toilet doing a #2.

    tooomm!! my belt buckle fell into the hole. either i carry on without the buckle and risk getting a show/change parade later in the afternoon, or i dig in to retrieve it.

    i had a wonderful saturday afternoon off that day!!

  7. LOL...

    well, between sticking our hands into the toilet to retrieve the belt buckle or having to go through show/change parade, i think i would rahter be getting my hand dirty, than say, rolling around the basketball court with the rank holders having a good time seeing up do forward/side/knuckle/hammerlight/kerincing/kongket babi and the like, no?

  8. Walaueh... I didn't know your work would be this interesting... lolz... =P

    Anyways, it's very informative. Peace!

  9. Respect for the job u’ve done.. now em need to go toilet.. also thanks for the info ;)