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How Wastewater Treatment Can Do More Harm Than Good

How Wastewater Treatment Can Do More Harm Than Good

The idea of being green has become entrenched in our modern day-to-day. The majority of scientists around the world agree that our way of life is impacting our environment to possibly dangerous degrees.

Water, arguably mankind’s most important resource, is often targeted for recycling as there is a shortage of usable water. According to the World Wildlife Fund, around 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water.

Many companies treat wastewater and turn it into usable water as an attempt to be more sustainable. However, if done incorrectly, the process only wastes energy. Ironically, by trying to be greener, companies could end up doing more harm to the environment, than good.

How wastewater treatment works

There are many steps involved in converting wastewater back into usable water. Wastewater is full of impurities and bacteria that are potentially toxic to humans. Here is a step-by-step process on how companies treat and clean wastewater.

  • Wastewater is collected and directed to a treatment plant using underground drainage systems or exhauster tracks.
  • The collected wastewater undergoes an odor treatment process, where all odor sources are neutralized. As you know, wastewater is filled with dirty substances that produce foul odors.
  • After the odor is controlled, impurities are removed, such as plastics, bottle caps or any other solid materials that are in the water. These solid wastes are then disposed of in landfills.
  • The wastewater then undergoes through a couple of filtration and treatment processes where other impurities are removed. In one of these phases, sludge is broken down and collected, and the air is pumped into aeration tanks to encourage the growth of bacteria and microorganisms that consume organic matter in the water.
  • The sludge collected from the wastewater is treated separately. The water collected from the sludge is brought back to the collected water to be treated.
  • Solid impurities that are collected from the series of treatment stages are heated. Some of these impurities are disposed of in landfills, while others are converted to biogas.
  • After the treatment process is complete, the wastewater (which should be clear by now) is disinfected in a tank that contains a mixture of chlorine and sodium hypochlorite before it is brought back to the environment or reused for other manufacturing purposes.
  • In some cases, there is a third treatment process where the water is thoroughly cleaned and purified for drinking purposes. This process removes up to 99% of the water’s impurities.

Where can it go wrong?

man checking the water in a treatment plantConverting wastewater back into its usable form is a complicated process and many things can go wrong along the way. Many times, these errors waste energy and resources and harm the environment.

For example, the drainage system used in the wastewater collection should be free from leaks. Unsecured and leaky pipes not only slow the process down, it also leaks polluted water into the soil.

Failing to remove large and solid impurities in the initial phase would also force the filtering machine to use more energy to power up the filtration process. What’s worse, the large impurities can damage the machine, which will be very costly to repair.

Finally, using inefficient electrical wires and switchgear to power up your wastewater treatment system is perhaps the biggest waste in terms of energy. Having the appropriate equipment and electrical wirings are needed to ensure that you are maximizing your use of energy.

Pro Circuit is a trusted electrical and low-voltage contractor in Kansas City. We can assist you in setting up the electrical wiring and equipment needed in your water and wastewater treatment processes. Contact us by filling out our inquiry form here or by emailing us at info@procircuitinc.com.

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