Here in New Zealand, government has been taking many responsible steps to minimize the carbon footprints, however, there is a lot more that needs to be done. In the first 2 posts, we would be discussing the waste water systems critical for releasing water in rivers and oceans.
What is Waste Water?
Waste water is simply contaminated water. It falls into two categories – gray water which is from baths, washing machines and kitchen sinks while black water is from toilets. Wastewater is 99.9% water, and the other 0.1% is made up of solids, fats, oils, nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen, pathogens and BOD-biochemical oxygen.
In our homes, at the office, in factories or on the farm, fertilizers, urine and faeces, oils, soaps, detergents, pharmaceuticals and goodness knows what else are discharged into our waterways. Globally, millions of tones of all manner of waste is discharged into different waterways. Wastewater requires treatment to remove pollutants prior to discharge and waste water dischargers need to be certified and unauthorized discharges need to be reported, however, unauthorized discharges occur from sanitary sewers. Too much storm water flows into manholes and groundwater filters because of faults in collection systems.
People who are concerned about the environment want to know that the waste water systems in the cities they live in are returning the water to the environment; and of course the better the treatment process, the better the quality of the water released into the ocean.
What our country and other nations are mostly doing about this, we will continue in the next post.
Let us continue where we left in the last post.
Is All Waste Water Treated before Entering the Oceans?
Unfortunately not. Coastal waters receive a huge variety of land-based water pollutants. These can be anything from sheer dumping of rubbish or trash to petroleum wastes from offshore operations. There are so many good reasons why waste water must be treated – waste water recycling systems are needed if we want clean water to drink. Clean water is critical to agriculture – our very lives depend on clean water to water crops to feed the nations.
Is Untreated Waste Water Dangerous?
Absolutely yes! Human sewage, particularly from densely populated cities along the coast, is pumped into the sea or into rivers, harming ecosystems. Inland rivers and lakes, the oceans as well as groundwater can be contaminated by pathogenic microbes. This kind of pollution can have serious health and economic impacts simply because is kills the marine life and damages habitats. The dumping of industrial and nuclear waste occurs illegally everywhere, and what people don’t realize is that there is a link between the health of the ocean and our health, seeing that we greedily want to enjoy the benefits of food from the sea, while polluting it with toxins that find their way into our bodies.
All Nations including NZ Need to Improve their Treatment Operations
Waste water treatment systems includes physical, biological, and chemical methods so as to prevent harm to aquatic, animal and human life. Major cities around the world in 2015 are investing in wastewater treatment works to not only improve the quality of treated effluent but to keep pace with sprawling cities and burgeoning populations. Responsible cities are finding ways to finance wastewater treatment plants to improve water quality for all, to lower the impact of all that debris into our natural resources and to simply improve the quality of life for all living creatures.