|Topics:||♻️ Recycling, Environmental Issues, Waste Management|
Table of Contents
The world is currently in dire need for sustainable water sources. Currently, it is estimated that over 1 billion people lack access to clean water (Rodriguez et.al, 2009). The growing water deficiency can be attributed to climate change that causes erratic weather, declining freshwater sources, and the abuse and misuse of water. Growing populations also serve to heighten the demand for water, especially in urban areas. A shortage of water on a large-scale would subsequently lead to food scarcity and a health crisis, with profound economic, social and environmental impacts. Recycling water, as opposed to utilizing fresh water is an efficient water-saving measure and part of sustainable water management.
The Water Recycling Process
The water recycling process employs very basic chemical, biological, and physical technologies eradicate contaminants. Primary treatment involves the use physical water treatment systems. Secondary treatment involves the use biological processes to further treat water (Integrated Water Strategies, 2007). The water treatment process is a very important one because of the high demand and use of water. The process involves the filtration of wastes from home and business use to be returned into the water grid. This process is vital since because much water is used daily for domestic use without considering the water from agriculture and industrial use. Thus, clean water is crucial, and since most of the water is salty, the recycling and reuse process is crucial to preserving a healthy future.
The first process of water recycling is filtration where it passes through a screen. The aim is to get rid of solid and very large objects such as stones and plastics that can compromise the cleaning equipment. Next, it passes through a grit chamber for removal of grit. Grit can comprise things like tiny rock particles and sediments. After the removal of grit, there is presence of other impurities such as particles. The particles are removed in a sedimentation tank. The heap of solids and particles that gather at the bottom of the sedimentation tank are called bio-solids previously sludge (Lenntech, 2008). This material can either be reused as fertilizers. This is the conclusion of the primary treatment.
There is an increase in the demand for clean water in many cities. The primary treatment is not usually enough to recycle water into perfectly clean. Thus, the secondary treatment is crucial in this stage. This process is used to kill water microorganisms in the water. In this process, a trickling bed is fitted where water flows. The bed is usually made up of a heap of stones, but it can be other artificial material like as plastics. The bacterium builds on the stones and ingests organic matter in the water. This process removes 85% of the organic impurities. However, it is obsolete and is substituted with the activated sludge process. It involves water into air and sludge filled with bacteria. The water is transferred to another sedimentation tank, which chlorinated to completely kill 99% of the bacteria (Eckhardt, 2008).
Research Notes the Paper is Based
This paper is based on research process as noted by (Rodriguez et.al, 2009) of recycling effluent (sewage and wastewater) is designed to mirror what happens in nature but at an accelerated rate. The process is undertaken both biologically (by microorganisms and bacteria) and physically (through ultrafiltration and rapid sand filtration). Wastewater that is intended for drinking goes through advanced purification processes to ensure it is free of contaminants. The specific process of wastewater treatment differs from plant to plant but in order to fully purify wastewater a number of barrier treatments are used. These include ozonation, dissolved air flotation, chlorination, activated carbon filtration, and enhanced coagulation (Rodriguez et.al, 2009). The wastewater is also taken through modern technologies in the process of purification such as reverse osmosis where water particles are separated from impurities, and ultraviolet disinfection which imitates the natural ultraviolet light that purifies water. To fully understand how recycled sewage water can be part of our daily lives, a case study was analyzed where the process has been successfully applied. Namibia, a small landlocked country in the south of Africa with a population of just over 2 million, was actually the first country to implement recycled sewage water for consumption in 1968 in the outskirts of its capital city Windhoek (Gross, 2016). For the past 50 years, Namibia has taken sewage and turned it into drinkable water, long before any other nation had fathomed such a concept. Today, the plant processes over 40,000 cubic meters of sewage a day a lot more than it was initially intended for. Apart from the strong pungent smell that the waste treatment plant emits, it has no other visible social or environmental bearings on the surrounding area (Gross, 2016).
In conclusion, the process of treating water is an important one for everyone. People that lack clean water are vulnerable to waterborne diseases. Clean water is a necessity to maintaining good health. The complex process of recycling is crucial to maintain a clean and fresh supply of water to households, agriculture, and industries.
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- Gross, D. (2016). A. “Recycling sewage into drinking water is no big deal. They’ve been doing it in Namibia for 50 years.” Public Radio International – Science, Tech & Environment. Website. 31 March 2017.
- Integrated Water Strategies. (2007). “Wastewater Basics” Design for Nature by Nature.
- Lenntech Water Recycling. (2008). “The Re-use of Process and Waste Water” Lenntech Water Recycling.
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- Rodriguez, Clemencia, et al. (2009). “Indirect Potable Reuse: A Sustainable Water Supply Alternative.” Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health. 1174-1203.