Nature has an astonishing ability to cope with small amounts of water wastes and pollution. However, it would be overwhelmed if we didn’t treat the billions of gallons of wastewater and sewage that is produced every day before releasing it back to the environment.
Much of the water used by homes, businesses and industries must be treated before it is released back to the environment. Treatment plants reduce pollutants present in wastewater to a level that nature can handle. Wastewater includes substances such as food scraps, human waste, soaps, oils and chemicals. In homes, this includes water from showers, sinks, toilets, bathtubs, dishwashers and washing machines. Industries and businesses also contribute their share of used water that must be cleaned. Wastewater also includes storm runoff. Though many people assume that the rain that runs down the street during a storm is fairly clean, it isn’t. The harmful substances that wash off roads, rooftops and parking lots can harm our rivers and lakes.
Treating wastewater is a matter of caring for our environment and for our own health. There are many good reasons as to why keeping our water clean is an important priority:
- Wildlife habitats: Our rivers and ocean water is loaded with life that depends on shoreline, beaches and marshes. They are vital habitats for hundreds of species of fish and other aquatic life. Also, migratory water birds use the areas for resting and feeding.
- Fisheries: Clean water is essential for plants and animals that live in water. This is critical to the fishing industry, sport fishing enthusiasts and future generations.
- Recreation and quality of life: Water is a great playground for all of us. The scenic and recreational values of our water are reasons why many people choose to live where they do. Visitors are drawn to water activities such as fishing, swimming, boating and picnicking.
- Health concerns: If not cleaned properly, water can carry disease. As we live, work and play so close to water, harmful bacteria have to be removed in order to make water safe.
If the wastewater is not treated properly, then the environment and human health can be impacted negatively. These impacts can include oxygen depletion, harm to fish and wildlife populations, beach closures and other restrictions on recreational water use, restrictions on fish and shellfish harvesting and contamination of drinking water.
The major aim of wastewater treatment is to remove as much of the suspended solids as possible before the remaining water (effluent) is discharged back to the environment. As solid material decays, it uses up oxygen, which is needed by the plants and animals living in the water. Primary treatment removes about 60 percent of the suspended solids from the wastewater. This treatment also involves aerating the wastewater in order to put the oxygen back in. Secondary treatment removes more than 90 percent of the suspended solids.
For more information, you can call on Severn Trent Contact Number and get in touch with its dedicated team.