From what wastewater means, how wastewater affects the environment, to how treatment plants work, we’re going to cover why you should consider wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) now if you want to survive longer on earth.
We can’t live without water even for a day. Not only for domestic use but a lot of industries also require water to run their operation. Yet, water scarcity remains a worldwide issue that haunts us relentlessly. Especially with the dense world population today, it demands plots and plots of green zones be turned into residences. Of course, not every city, country, and continent has large supplies of water. We still find many have to struggle in meeting their water needs and they have to share with others. And the ugly truth they face every day is that they just use whatever’s available even when their water sources might no longer be proper for use as they might have been contaminated. When water is what makes up a larger part of the earth, isn’t it saddening knowing that it can’t be consumed unless there’s a technology to make it possible?
One of the contaminants in our surface water is wastewater. Now, what wastewater means?
So, what wastewater means? In general, it is simply defined as any water an individual, a company, or industry has put utilize. Wastewater can be broken up further based on where it comes from and what is contained in it. There are two broad categories of wastewater – sewage and non-sewage. The first one is also known as domestic wastewater. It is the output of used water in houses, restaurants, hospitals, your toilet, and many more domestic activities. Feces and urine are included in this type of wastewater. The latter, non-sewage is the category of wastewater that covers outside of domestic activities. Rainwater, stormwater, industrial plants, commercial activities like Laundromats, are all part of non-sewage.
Wastewater discharges will be exhausted into water ecosystems and nearby bodies of water including lakes, rivers, estuaries, oceans, etc.
Without going through adequate wastewater treatment, wastewater can lead to hazardous risks to water ecosystems and us. Several issues caused by untreated wastewater are water pollution that can harm the aquatic beings, underground pollution (which happens due to contaminated underground water tables from a large quantity of wastewater disposed on lands), if infected wastewater is consumed by crops and livestock, it could degrade their immunity system and they might soon die, the last but not least is it is possessed dangerous threat to human health. How wastewater treatment plants work in tackling the issue?
How wastewater treatment plants work then? Nature has the capacity to naturally purify wastewater. The facility, in this case, helps out nature in purifying the water. Purification processes allow wastewater safe to be discharged in the nearby bodies of water. As much as we rely on Mother Nature to produce our primary needs for water, it also needs our helping hand to speed up the process since our population is growing in number. There are two stages in wastewater treatment plants. Those are the primary and secondary stages. The primary stage removes the solid materials, grease, and oil out of the wastewater, the sludge will then be carried on to undergo the biological process in the second stage to break down the organic matters, and recover the oxygen content at the end of the process.
The final treatment after wastewater being treated in the WWTP is to disinfect harmful nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and others. Several options in this process are by chlorine, UV light, or ozone until it meets the standards to dispose of the discharge to the water supply.