City of Pikeville

Wastewater Department



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Pikeville Wastewater Department

Glossary of Wastewater Terms and Terminology

Below is a list of popular Wastewater terms and terminology to assist you in understanding this department.  If you do not see what you are looking for, please contact Customer Service at (423)447-2919.

Advanced Primary Treatment

During wastewater treatment at the Pikeville Wastewater Treatment Plant, ferric chloride and organic polymers are added to the sedimentation tanks to help waste particles bond together in large enough masses to settle out.


Nutrient-rich, organic material generated from household waste, removed during the treatment process. Once digested and de-watered, the material, called Bio-solids, can be beneficially recycled.

BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand)

Rate at which organisms use oxygen in water and wastewater.


Co-production of electrical and thermal energy, also called combined heat and power (CHP).


Process by which organisms break down sludge, creating as by-products methane gas, carbon dioxide, solid organic material and water. (Aerobic digestion takes place in the presence of oxygen and anaerobic digestion takes place with the absence of oxygen.)


Final step in the tertiary wastewater treatment process, when chlorine or sodium hypochlorite is added to the treated wastewater to kill disease-causing organisms. Ultraviolet light is another means of disinfection.


“Cleaned” wastewater which flows out of a treatment plant.


Fats, oils, and grease from food preparation, packaged foods and food scraps.  FOG is discharged not only by residents, but also by businesses.

Grit Chamber

Tank in which the flow of wastewater is slowed, allowing heavy solid materials such as pebbles, sand, coffee grounds and eggshells to sink to the bottom.


Area of a treatment plant where influent begins treatment.


Untreated wastewater when it flows into a treatment plant.

Influent Screens

First step in the wastewater treatment process. The screen consists of bars between ¾ inch and 3 inches apart. Wastewater is allowed to pass through the bars, but large solid objects such as rocks, cans, plastic bags and sticks are stopped.


Million Gallons per day – 694.4 gallons per minute.

Raw Sewage

Untreated wastewater.

Reclaimed Water

Product produced by tertiary treatment of wastewater.

Run Off

Rainfall or other water that is not absorbed into the soil and drains off the street or land.  This runoff moves through the Storm Drain system, not the sewer system.

Customer Service:

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