Wastewater Treatment: An Important Step in Preventing Pollution

Wastewater Treatment: An Important Step in Preventing Pollution

Posted on 04 Nov 2022 by Lise Helluy

Did you know that wastewater treatment plants are a key part of preventing pollution? In this blog post, we will discuss how these facilities help to keep our waterways clean and healthy. We'll also take a look at when wastewater treatment was first created and why it is so important today.

The importance of clean water cannot be understated. It's necessary for every facet of our lives. And yet, we often take it for granted. As the recent state of the environment report points out, it is our responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world as much as possible. Proper wastewater treatment is one way we can do this. If we don't take care of the planet, we not only risk damaging Earth irreparably, but we also put our own health at risk.

1) When wastewater treatment was created?

Historically, the environment could mitigate water pollution to some extent through dilution and natural decomposition. The first rudimentary sewer systems appeared in urban areas circa 3000 BCE, but this was an amenity that only wealthy people could afford! With the increase of people came an increase in garbage and pollution. Most individuals simply dug open pits or emptied chamber pots into local rivers, seas, or ditches. The general population depended on rainfall to wash away the refuse but as cities grew larger, the infrequent rain shower wasn't sufficient.

The 16th century saw the invention of cesspits as a way to manage growing waste. Cesspits were simply underground chambers located near dwellings where wastewater would collect. Because groundwater sources were being contaminated by cesspits and waterborne diseases were outbreaking as a consequence, stricter regulations for constructing and keeping up with proper cesspit standards were put into place.

In the mid-19th century, a man named Jean-Louis Mouras invented the “Fosse Mouras”. The Fosse Mouras was a type of cesspit that used two underground concrete chambers.

The traditional septic tank design is not the most efficient method of wastewater treatment, but it can be if additional wastewater facilities are included (such as the bioreactor of BIOROCK systems).

2) What are the advantages of wastewater treatment plants nowadays?

Today, wastewater treatment plants offer a number of advantages over older methods like cesspits.

  • Better capacity treatment: These facilities can handle significantly more wastewater than older systems. This means that they can accommodate growing populations and help to keep our environment healthy.
  • Natural filtering process: A bioreactor is a tank that contains living organisms that convert pollutants into harmless byproducts. These microorganisms thrive in wastewater and do not require much additional water to function properly. Additionally, the biofilter can adapt to changes in polluted water volume or temperature conditions.
  • Low running costs: The biofiltration process requires only oxygen to work. Oxygen naturally enters the wastewater as it flows through the pipes of a treatment system. Some units work without any electrical aerators, they simply require a natural air draft for aeration, which means there are no costly large mechanical aerators to run, fix and replace. In the end, it helps to make huge savings on the annual energy bill and maintenance costs.
  • High purification performance results: Today, treatment plants employ newer, integrated systems that often prove much more effective than older methods like the septic tank. By utilizing a variety of techniques, these updated facilities are able to produce treated wastewater of a significantly higher quality.

 

3) How Can It Help Control Pollution?

Wastewater treatment plants can help control pollution in a number of ways.

  • They remove harmful bacteria and viruses: By treating wastewater, these plants remove pathogens that can cause serious illness. This helps to keep both our environment and our population healthy.
  • They break down pollutants: Wastewater treatment plants also break down harmful chemicals and other pollutants. This helps to keep our water clean and safe to drink.
  • They prevent flooding: Properly functioning wastewater treatment systems help to reduce the risk of flooding by managing stormwater runoff. This helps to protect both property and human life.

In short, wastewater treatment plants play a vital role in keeping our environment clean and safe. By investing in these facilities, we can help to preserve the planet for future generations.

4) An effective example of wastewater treatment plants installed to preserve a World Heritage site in South Africa:

The Okavango Delta in Botswana, home to a wide range of animals and recognized as a World Heritage Site, can be explored by staying at a remote safari camp situated right in the heart of the delta. This provides guests with access not only to the numerous waterways but also to the expansive dryland areas. The working environment here poses some big difficulties seeing as they have to rely on solar power since there is no access to the main electricity grid. Given that this is a World Heritage Site, camp operators are not allowed to build any sort of permanent structures or buildings.

ECOROCK uses a combination of aerobic and anaerobic processes to treat sewage without the use of electricity, making it ideal for rural locations where solar or generators are the only power sources. Not to mention, the exceptional treated water quality can be safely released back into the local environment, as long as it follows site-specific environmental regulations. The BIOROCK solution given at Kwara camp has been shown to work very well, with the ECOROCK being a basic, tough, and zero-electricity wastewater treatment solution for the camp. Find out now which BIOROCK solution is best for your property! 

Wastewater treatment plants play a vital role in keeping our environment clean and safe. By investing in these facilities, we can help to preserve the planet for future generations. In short, wastewater treatment helps control water pollution, and this benefits the environment as a whole. If we want to preserve our planet, it's important that we use sustainable practices when treating wastewater. It might not seem like a big deal, but making small changes in the way we use water can have a big impact on the environment!

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