The thought of what happens to water once it leaves homes or commercial buildings probably doesn’t cross most of our minds, but wastewater treatment is an essential component of our everyday lives.
If we didn’t treat our wastewater, we’d be at higher risk for catching diseases, and our lakes and rivers would be even more polluted than they already are. Keep reading to learn more about wastewater and why treating it with a wastewater lift station is essential.
What is wastewater?
Whether it’s coming from a flushed toilet or industrial facility, “wastewater” is an all-encompassing term for water that’s been polluted by humans. Roughly 0.1 percent of wastewater contains organic matter, inorganic compounds, nutrients and microorganisms detailed below:
- Organic compounds: Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, oils, greases and synthetic compounds from detergents are the most common organic materials found in wastewater. Without treatment, these seemingly harmless materials would become a food source for organisms that live in lakes and streams. Unfortunately, the processes required for the creatures to break down the compounds pull a large amount of oxygen out of the water, which leads to widespread death.
- Inorganic compounds: Harmful chemical byproducts along with copper, lead, magnesium, nickel, potassium, sodium and zinc are the common inorganic compounds in our wastewater. Unlike the organic matter mentioned above, these pollutants don’t break down easily (if ever). As the concentration increases in our water sources, the water can become toxic to plants, animals and humans.
- Nutrients: Nitrogen and phosphorus compounds from detergents and human waste are the main nutrients in our wastewater. While these nutrients can be great fertilizers, they’re incredibly harmful to the environment if they’re left untreated. An excess of nitrogen and phosphorus leads to algae blooms, preventing sunlight from reaching underwater plants and eventually killing wildlife throughout the ecosystem. These nutrients are mostly removed during wastewater treatment, ensuring there’s only a trace amount in our water.
- Microorganisms: Some microorganisms can help break down organic materials in water. Others, like bacteria and parasites, contaminate clean water and cause serious health problems. Wastewater treatment removes all of these harmful and benign microorganisms, so you can rest easy knowing your water is safe to consume.
Why do we treat it?
It’s tough to imagine what life would be like without wastewater lift stations and other critical infrastructure, and it’s sad to think that some countries don’t utilize the same technologies we do to clean their water.
By following rigid treatment protocols, we’re able to ensure all of the water that returns to our water sources is as clean as possible. Proper treatment reduces the risk of tainted drinking water and helps keep our lakes, rivers and streams as clean as possible.
Since it’s essentially recycling the water we’ve already used, wastewater treatment also lowers the chance of water shortages.
How can our team help?
We specialize in wastewater at Enviro-Line Co., Inc. We can handle everything from installing a new wastewater lift station to maintaining and repairing current systems. Call our team today to learn what we can do for you.
Categorised in: Water Treatment