CLDF - A Citizen's Guide to Water Quality Hazards Posed by Cornell University's Lake Source Cooling Project - Chapter 5

Chapter Five: Wastewater Discharges from Publicly Owned Treatment Plants

One of the main causes of the persistent water pollution in southern Cayuga Lake is wastewater discharged by two local treatment plants: the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Cayuga Heights Treatment Plant.

As wastewater pours from thousands of individual household, industrial and commercial sources in the sewered portions of Tompkins County, it drains into a collection system that lies buried beneath the streets. Ultimately this wastewater flows into the two local treatment plants that employ physical and biological methods to remove pollutants from wastewater and render it less harmful. These treatment processes fall into four major categories: