Wastewater FAQs

Q. How does Longview treat Sewer/Wastewater?
Our plant is a Conventional Activated Sludge/Trickling Filter Plant, with very large, circular tanks full of three-inch to five-inch rocks. A Trickling Filter sprays wastewater over the rocks, which develops (grows) a biological film called zoogleal mass. These microscopic animals and plants purify the wastewater. The "bugs eat the organic matter and give off CO2". The work is done on the rocks in the zoogleal mass. All wetted rocks that get sunshine, turn green because of algae. In the summer, with 16-17 hours of sun, the dark green rocks turn almost black. In the Longview Plant, the rocks are originally light pink granite and appear almost white when they are dry.

Q. Can I come out and get a load of sludge and use it as fertilizer?
The sludge at the Wastewater Treatment Plant is Class B sludge and isn’t approved for that type of use. And your yard isn’t an approved disposal site for our sludge. After the sludge leaves the plant, it is used for beneficial land application, which means it is similar to a fertilizer but is used on hay meadows for soil conditioning.

Q. How many operational lift stations does the City of Longview have?
The City of Longview has a total of 22 lift stations throughout the city.

Q. What happens to the water when the City gets through cleaning it?
After going through the effluent at the end of the process, the water enters Jackson’s Cove, and then flows into Grace Creek. From Grace Creek, the water flows into the Sabine River and finally into Toledo Bend Reservoir.

Q. How many people does it take to operate the plant?
Presently, there are nine operators, six maintenance mechanics, one instrument technician, one lab technician, one environmental technician, two water quality inspectors, one utility plant supervisor, one maintenance supervisor, one pretreatment inspector, one utility plant manager, and one administrative assistant employed at the wastewater treatment plant. Each employee involved in the treatment process is required to be certified by the state of Texas in wastewater treatment. And, the WWTP is required to have a "B" licensed person on duty at all times. This is the second highest certification one can get in the wastewater business.

FACT: The WWTP and pump stations are the most expensive assets the City of Longview owns. The plant value is approximately $63 million (based on an estimated cost of 3 dollars per gallon of treatment capacity) and has been constructed over a period of about 65 years at the present site.

Q. How many laboratory tests are run at the plant?
Approximately 37,700 annually.

Q. How many sewer lines are in the City of Longview?
If you laid the sewer lines from end to end, they would reach from Shreveport, Louisiana, to El Paso, Texas, a distance greater than 800 miles.

Q. How much water is treated at the wastewater plant each day?
One person uses about 100 gallons of water each day. The City of Longview has approximately 100,000 "customers". This equals approximately 10 million gallons a day. Industries and other connections make up about two to three million more. Therefore, the wastewater treatment plant treats an average of 12 to 13 million gallons of water each day (MGD); however, the maximum capacity of the plant is 21 MGD and it can handle loads as large as 60 MGD for short periods of time.

Q. Do the drains on the sides of the roads and parking lots come to the wastewater treatment plant?
No, these are stormwater drains, not sanitary sewer lines. They lead to the creeks and streams throughout the city. These waters are not treated.

Anything that you flush or wash down the drain eventually makes it to the WWTP, unless it gets hung up in a line somewhere. This includes, but isn’t limited to, driver licenses, false teeth, children’s toys, jewelry, money, tools, and cell phones. Things aren’t just "picked out" of the sewer. As the wastewater enters the plant, it goes through certain automated processes that separate larger things, such as children’s toys, from the liquid part of the wastewater, called the bar screen and grit chamber. Along with toys and things, grit, sand and dirt are removed, to help protect pipes and pumps and other maintenance issues within the plant.

FACT: We have the authorization from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to sell up to 5 million gallons of our effluent (reclaimed water) each day to a Harrison County power plant, south of Marshall, Texas. The revenue is approximately $230,000 a year.