Why is wastewater treated?

The treatment of wastewater may be done for a variety of reasons.  Although not many people are familiar with the process, all the water that people use up may not actually go to waste permanently.  To be able to recycle or re-use wastewater, it must go through several stages of treatment.  Some wastewater is treated so it will be safe for the environment when finally dumped into the rivers, for example.  Other wastewater treatment plants are also able to re-convert wastewater back into potable and drinking water.  Some wastewater may also be treated so it can be used as fertilizer later.

The process of wastewater treatment actually starts at homes, in offices, and other buildings. All water from sinks and toilets, for example, may go through a sewage system for treatment purposes.  Basically, all the water that has been used up by a city, for example, is collected into a facility for it to undergo a cleanup process.  The initial stages involve removing solids, oil, and other particles from the water.  After this process is complete, the next step involves removal of dissolved substances in the water.  At this stage, microorganisms that have settled in the water may also be removed.  Afterwards, the final stages of cleaning are done, and this may be by chemical disinfection or other means.

Depending on the levels of processing, treated wastewater may be dumped safely into rivers and streams.  Some is also good enough to help irrigation systems and as a water supply for golf courses.  But aside from its various re-use and applications in a variety of industries, the treatment of wastewater is done to literally save water for future generations.  There are actually many parts of the world that don’t have enough of a supply of potable water, and so it is an obvious and responsible choice for a city or country to implement wastewater treatment.

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