3 Things to Know About Wastewater Treatment

by Sudarsan Chakraborty

In simple terms, wastewater is any water that has already been used. Whether it’s water you brush your teeth with, what you flush down the toilet, or water you shower with, this water goes down the drain and is considered wastewater. 

However, wastewater isn’t only created in homes. Wastewater can also be produced from storms.  Rainwater can be full of dangerous chemicals and therefore needs to be treated before it risks making someone sick.

Treating wastewater is an important part of avoiding disease and harmful bacteria that can even be fatal. In places where wastewater is not treated, a significant amount of people are negatively affected by it.

Treating wastewater effectively means you have fresh water that arrives in your plumbing and as such you can bathe and drink water with peace of mind.  And while you may know that treating wastewater is important, you may not understand the entire process. To help you get a better idea, here are some of the most important things you should know about treating wastewater.

It Involves Several Processes

Treating wastewater involves several different processes. The first process is primary treatment which is removing the main bulk of floating substances. This involves a screen which filters out the bulky material and debris to make room for the next stage of the process.  The following process is known as secondary treatment which is a more thorough removal of matter by using aeration and filtration.

This stage of the process disinfects and removes dangerous microorganisms with the help of ultraviolet light and chlorine.  Finally comes tertiary treatment which removes the last of the contaminants that the primary two stages were not able to remove. The techniques may vary depending on the water, however it usually involves techniques such as carbon adsorption.

It Comes With Many Challenges

Treating wastewater requires a significant amount of energy. The process of filtering and extracting harmful substances requires a significant amount of technology and as such energy. So, in terms of ecology, it’s safe to say that wastewater treatment consumes more energy than ideally should.  Yet, there are advances in science and many organizations are finding greener solutions to treating wastewater which require less energy.

It Affects Our Society as a Whole

Proper wastewater treatment is an essential part of our society. Improper wastewater treatment contributes to millions of deaths worldwide since it can lead to diseases like diarrhoeal illness, and can even result in animal fatalities.

As such, it’s important that all the processes are carried out correctly. Since there are many factors and challenges involved, it isn’t always easy to find a balance. However, thanks to emerging technologies and funding, better and more sustainable wastewater treatment solutions are emerging every day. 

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