The first municipal sewer system in the City of Rome, was constructed in 1896. The Rome Water Pollution Control Facility, the first major treatment plant in the Mohawk Valley, was constructed in 1932. The plant was reconstructed and expanded in 1948. Planning for the new plant started in 1965, with project approval for construction in 1969. Construction started in 1974 and the plant was put into service in 1977. The total cost for this new facility was $13 million with 87.5% State and Federal aid. This new facility, a secondary treatment plant using an activated sludge process, was designed to serve a population of 55,000 and an average daily wastewater flow of 9 million gallons a day. In 1994, the plant was upgraded to a capacity of 12 million gallons a day, with additional aeration tanks, sludge thickener, odor control system and final clarifier, at a cost of $7.5 million.
The activated sludge process used at our facility was developed in England in 1914 and was so named because it involved the production of an activated mass of microorganisms capable of stabilizing the organic content of a waste. It is a biological contact process in which bacteria is commonly found. All types of bacteria make up activated sludge. Our activated sludge process consists of ten aeration basins. These ten basins have allowed us enough aeration capacity and detention time to enable us to nitrify. We nitrify by converting ammonia to nitrates.