Treatment of wastewater is a realtively modern practice. While sewers to remove foul-smelling water were common in ancient Rome, it was not until the 19th century that large cities began to understand that they had to reduce the amount of pollutants in the used water they were discharging to the environment. Despite large supplies of fresh water and the natural ability of water to cleanse itself over time, populations had become so concentrated by 1850 that outbreaks of life-threatening diseases were traced to bacteria in the polluted water. Since that time, The practice of wastewater collection and treatment has been developed and perfected, using some of the most technically sound biological, physical, chemical, and mechanical techniques available. As a result, public health and water quality are protected better today than ever before.
The mission of University Area Joint Authority is to collect, treat, and reuse wastewater and its associated biosolids to benefit the environment, quality of life, and economy of the region.