What's The 'Waste' In Water?

Why do we need to treat wastewater?

If you've recently bought a property that has a wastewater treatment solution, other than a connection to a main sewer you may not know the ins and outs of sewage treatment. Literally.

What's the waste?

Simply put, wastewater is any water that has been polluted by human activity. Showering, bathing, washing clothes and washing dishes with detergents creates what is called Greywater.
Flushing of toilets and urinals creates what is known as Blackwater.

Wastewater is 99.9% water, and the other 0.01% is made up of all the contaminants such as organic matter, microorganisms, nutrients and inorganic compounds.

Microorganisms- Pathogens in wastewater are one of the worst contaminants, these; viruses, bacteria and parasites can be incredibly harmful to humans if they enter and contaminate clean water sources.
These clean water sources being contaminated can lead to illness and even death to humans or livestock that have access to the water.

Organic matter- This includes; fats, oils, carbohydrates, proteins and greases.
When this organic matter enters clean waterways such as lakes, rivers and streams it acts as a food source to the microorganisms that live in the water. When microorganisms feed on this organic matter they use up a lot of oxygen in the water to breakdown the materials. The more pollutants in the water the greater the demand there is on oxygen, this can be disastrous if nothing is done about it as the aquatic life in the waterway will have no oxygen and will suffocate.

Nutrients- Nitrogen and phosphorus compounds often come from human waste and detergents. High concentration of these nutrients can also lead to a decrease of oxygen in the waterways, this causes the plant life in the water to die and local fish to either leave or die from suffocation.

Inorganic compounds- Zinc, nickel, sodium, potassium, lead and copper do not easily breakdown, so when they enter clean water they stick around, if more enters the waterway the concentration of the compounds will increase and in turn decrease the quality of water to the point where it becomes dangerous to humans and livestock.  

If you need any advice on what wastewater system you need to make sure you are not inadvertently damaging the environment then don't hesitate to call us! We have a team of experts that can come out and inspect your current system and advise you on what's needed!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published