East Neighbourhood

4.0 km Marker

Where does the water go? (Part 1)

Drain · Drain · Zookoobiignigan

Can you imagine the journey this water is about to take? Photo: User:Sandstein / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-2.0

When you pull the plug from the bathtub, where does the water go? It disappears into the hundreds of hidden tunnels that move water around the City every day.

Imagine what it would be like to be a droplet of water swirling down the drain. Its trip starts in the skinny pipes in the walls and floors of your house. The water flows down under the ground until it reaches even bigger pipes, called sewer laterals, which collect water from many houses. All of the water finally plunges into the huge sewer main running under the street. From there, the water is divided and sent to treatment facilities in the west and east ends of the city. Then it’s time for the intense cleaning process. First, the dirty water is removed of grit and clarified. Then bacteria are added which eat away at any organic matter suspended in the dirty water. Finally, all of the water is disinfected. Now it’s ready for another cycle through the tunnels under Sault Ste. Marie.

Challenge Yourself!

  • Test your knowledge

  • True or False

    The City’s east-end waste-water treatment plant is the first large-scale plant in Ontario that doesn’t use chemicals to treat waste.

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