Water is one of the most important resources in the world. Entire civilizations, such as the Ancient Egyptians and the Nile River, were founded near water and prospered because of it. You need water to live, to grow crops, to bathe. It’s one of the building blocks of life.
Why, then, is it treated so terribly?
According to the U.S. EPA, nearly 1.2 trillion gallons of sewage from homes, industries, and restaurants is dumped into the U.S. water supply annually. Also, nearly 40% of the lakes in America are too polluted for activities such as fishing or swimming, or even for the life in them. That means that nearly half the water in America is completely polluted, and who knows about other nations or continents. The world has only so much fresh, drinkable, water. And it’s decreasing.
The importance of wastewater treatment, especially an improvement in wastewater treatment technologies and wastewater treatment methods, is something that has to be addressed.
As it stands, treatment facilities in the United States treat approximately 34 billion gallons of wastewater every day. There are 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated water dumped into U.S. water supplies every year, meaning that we can only cover the new waste. It would take an investment of $180 billion in order to repair or replace current wastewater treatment systems. That investment would aid in creating healthier living conditions and 1.9 million new jobs.
How does water get treated, and treated well? Normally disinfection involves the introduction of a chlorine solution into the water at the head end of a chlorine contact basin. The chlorine amount depends upon the strength of the wastewater, but dosages of five to 15 mg/l are common. However, even with advanced wastewater treatment methods, there is still a large time investment to meet advanced water treatment requirements. As much as 120 minutes can be required.
That’s simply not good enough.
Fresh, drinkable water is something that we need to survive. Having poor water treatment facilities or methods is unacceptable in the long term, and will lead to a plethora of problems in the future. Even now, nearly 1.8 million children die, globally, due to poor wastewater treatment. More most be done to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to one of the most basic resources. Continue your research here.