America has a growing water problem. Simply stated, clean safe water is becoming an issue.
Our wastewater is often discharged, untreated, into rivers and estuaries or used as irrigation water.
Wastewater systems throughout the country are unable to process sewage adequately. Excessive rainfall and snow melt causes flooding, further increases strains on treatment plants and sewer systems throughout the country, causing the treatment plants to discharge untreated sewage in the communities ecosystem.
Wastewater is used water. Human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps and chemicals discharged from home’s kitchen sinks, showers, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers create wastewater.
New technologies promise to transform wastewater into a resource for energy generation and a source of clean, potable drinking water. Modular hybrid activated sludge digesters, for instance, are now removing nutrients to be used as fertilizers and are, in turn, driving down the energy required for treatment by up to half.
Innovative ideas are also being developed like the Corn Cob wastewater filtration system which uses corn husks to efficiently and cost effectively convert wastewater into usage water. Check out the video below!
If wastewater is not properly cleaned, the water can carry disease. The impact of wastewater can cause irreversible damage and harm to fish and wildlife populations, oxygen depletion and contamination of drinking water.
The primary objective of wastewater treatment is to remove as much of the suspended solids as possible before the remaining water, called 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 suspended solids from wastewater. This treatment also involves aerating (stirring up) the wastewater, to put oxygen back in. Secondary treatment removes more than 90 percent of suspended solids.
As a culture we are risk-averse and resistant to change and innovation. There are many threats to our water supply, we need to encourage water conservation, increasing awareness about how to protect our water.
New technologies are promising to transform wastewater into a resource for energy generation and a source of drinking water. We need breakthroughs in water treatment technology to manage the increasing wastewater produced in this country.
Water’s biggest problem is that hardly anyone realizes that there are real threats and we need to act now. We need to create a new relationship with water, and that has to start with understanding it.
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