Laboratory Technician

The Athens-Clarke County water reclamation facilities have the capacity to treat up to 28 MGD
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  Daphne Little analyzes  a water sample for ammonia levels.


(million gallons per day) of wastewater. The water discharged from our facilities must comply with federal, state, and local requirements and safety guidelines. How do we know our water reclamation process has removed harmful compounds and made the water safe? Samples are taken of our wastewater influent (water coming into the facility) and effluent (water discharged from facility) from all three water reclamation facilities several times every day. It is then up to our laboratory technicians, Daphne and Marissa, to analyze these water samples. Daphne and Marissa evaluate the results of their tests, record the data, and prepare reports as required by the EPA and EPD.

Properly treating our wastewater protects not only the health of humans, but also the health of our environment. Our lab technicians test the samples to determine such things as ammonia and nitrogen levels, biochemical oxygen demand, and total suspended solids in the water. These tests are extremely important. For example, ammonia and nitrogen are naturally occurring components found in wastewater. Excess ammonia returned to our waterways can have harmful effects. Ammonia is especially toxic to fish and can lead to large fish kills. Excess nitrogen leads to immense algae blooms, as the algae consume and thrive on the high nitrogen levels. These blooms deplete the oxygen in the water to further harm aquatic life.

At the end of the day, Marissa and Daphne know they have done the important work necessary to make sure ACC is in compliance with the federal, state, and local standards required to protect our water resources. They are the watchdogs of our environment.  They are our unsung heroes.                                                                                                     
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Daphne Little
Laboratory Technician
Water Resources Center
 
Marissa Tripp
Laboratory Technician
Water Resources Center