According to statistics, wastewater emissions and the resulting pollution make a more significant impact than the water utilized in the production process. Sewage treatment plants release around three billion to 10 billion gallons of untreated waste annually. Inadequate wastewater treatment or no treatment results in the spreading of diseases and drives antimicrobial resistance.
With the demand for wastewater as a dependable source of agricultural nutrients and water rising in response to urbanization, population growth, impacts of climate change, and growing water scarcity, wastewater treatment has become essential. This article outlines five benefits of wastewater treatment.
Water scarcity is a significant threat facing humanity because of the constant water shortages experienced across the world. The demand for fresh water in the world is increasing while its supply is diminishing. While it may be hard to quantify precisely how much wastewater is being reused, its benefits are clear. Wastewater treatment is a great way to address the scarcity issue. It can help balance safe and hygienic water demand and supply while minimizing the waste volume released into the ecosystem.
Prevents soil degradation
Irrigating crops with wastewater negatively changes soil chemical-physical properties and causes a rise in heavy metal presence in topsoil. The chemicals in wastewater can harm crops and make the soil produce a lesser harvest at a slower rate. Once consumed, this yield can be harmful to human health. Adequately treated wastewater can be reused for irrigation without harming the soil, ensuring a bountiful, healthy harvest.
Promotes energy production
During wastewater treatment, the sludge gathered is treated as it has a vast amount of biodegradable substance. It’s treated with anaerobic microorganisms in heated, fully enclosed digesters where these bacteria thrive without oxygen. During the anaerobic digestion procedure, a gas containing a huge amount of methane is produced and then harvested and burned to produce electricity.
Wastewater treatment plants can use this energy to become self-sustainable. If excess energy is produced, it can be taken to the national grid, reducing dependence on non-renewable energy like fossil fuels. This can help minimize a nation’s carbon footprint and energy production expenses.
Provides clean, safe processed water
Wastewater comprises pathogens, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, salts, grease and oil, sludge, solids, bases and acids, nutrients, inorganic and organic materials, and toxic organic compounds. This effluent presents multiple hazards for humans, the environment, and animals because it can be corrosive, toxic, acidic, reactive, and ignitable.
Wastewater treatment before reuse or redirection into the water supply helps provide clean, safe processed water that protects the environment and safeguards human and animal life and health.
Protects public health
Wastewater treatment complacency can be dangerous. If untreated, wastewater can spread illnesses and contaminate water sources. Wastewater in communities may be from hospitals, industries, farms, and homes. Urine and feces from animals and humans have a lot of disease-causing pathogens.
Wastewater may also contain heavy metals and dangerous chemicals that cause significant health and environmental problems. Most of this untreated water may end up in streams, oceans, and lakes, sometimes through underground water sources presumed to be safe. Effective wastewater treatment in communities helps safeguard public health.
Wastewater, if not treated, can harm the environment, humans, and animals. However, proper wastewater treatment can be rewarding, allowing you to enjoy these benefits and more.