The Importance of Wastewater Treatment in The Industry

Ed Beasley
February 7, 2012 — 983 views  
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The U.S. government considers wastewater treatment to be a vital part of the water use cycle because it is so interconnected with the use and utility of water. Nearly all of the water that is used by humans, either in the home or by industry, must go through wastewater treatment systems before it is released back into the environment. Releasing water used for industrial purposes without treating it to remove pollutants would quickly overwhelm nature's ability to filter and clean the water we need, leaving the earth with a constantly diminishing supply of water.

When most people hear the term "wastewater treatment systems" they most likely think of the municipal sewage treatment plant that removes human and household wastes from water before returning it to the water supply for use. Industrial wastewater treatment, however, is also a very significant contributor to the fight against polluted water and to maintaining integrity and purity in the water we need to live.

There's more to commercial wastewater treatment than just removing wastes from water and making it potable – suitable to drink. While drinking water is vital to us as humans, clean, oxygenated water is vital to the earth for many other reasons. Water used for industrial purposes may contain heavy metals and other substances that are toxic to living organisms, especially those that are low on the food chain. Other substances can encourage an overgrowth of flora in the waterways that chokes out other organisms that are vital to life. Industrial wastewater also contributes to "dead water" – water stripped of its oxygen that cannot support life. Finally, water used in energy production, particularly that used for drilling, oil exploration and fracking, can seriously impact the quality of groundwater and the water table if it is released back into the earth untreated.

An entire industry has grown up around various wastewater treatment systems that range from those based on chemicals to those that use electrical precipitation to attract and remove pollutants from the water before it is returned to the water system. They include such water technologies as reverse osmosis systems, chemical water treatment plants, desalination plants, water filtering systems and industrial wastewater treatment systems that use a variety of methods to clean, treat and re-oxygenate water before and after use.

You can see the effects of returning water to the water system without the use of industrial wastewater treatment by looking at the situation in China, India and many African countries where industry has been allowed to discharge untreated water directly into the waterways without treatment. The resulting decrease in water quality not only directly affects those who have reduced access to clean water for drinking and cooking but affects them indirectly by killing off the aquaculture on which they depend for food.

The wastewater treatment industry has taken on an increasingly important role as industry continues to grow. Commercial wastewater treatment plans are a vital part of the planning process for new factories and for industries engaged in energy exploration. The field of electrical precipitation is one of the most promising wastewater treatment systems currently on the market, especially in the area of energy exploration and industrial wastewater treatment. For more information about commercial and industrial wastewater treatment systems, contact a leader in wastewater management.

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Ed Beasley