Waste water treatment facility
Water tower is visible in the distance above the building
Since most of town is located on the Chatsworth glacial moraine, the treatment plant is located south of town down slope of the moranic area. Thus, gravity does most of work in draining the system toward this point.
What appears to be a ditch is actually a lake outlet from glacial Lake Watseka which formed north of town from melt water being trapped between the glacier to the north and the moraine to the south.
The large culvert drains effluent from the treatment plant, the staircase is used to retrieve water samples for testing to ensure the effluent has been treated properly.
Map: Emporia Edu
Eventually, the water over topped the moraine and eroded a total of 4 channels through the area draining the lake. This is one of them that has been channelized for increased drainage of surrounding farmland.
Just below and to the left of the staircase the effluent pours into the channelized lake outlet.
Photo from a previous ride showing the channel downstream from the treatment facility. Recent rains have raised the water level considerably higher than water from the plant alone would do.
Water in the bottle, after its travel by Raleigh, (and other places) will eventually make it way back to this point. 😉 Then, down to the North Fork, and on to Lake Vermilion at Danville and its municipal water supply.
Our water derived from wells in sand and gravel units of the glacial materials — a very good thing, I think!