Facts About Effective Waste Water Management

Wastewater is any water, whose quality has been adversely affected by anthropogenic influence. It can originate from a combination of industrial, commercial, agricultural or domestic activities. It may also originate from surface runoff and sewer infiltration or inflow. Wastewater must be managed in order to protect the health of the public. Waste water management involves collecting and treating wastewater, which is also referred to as sewage.

What is waste water management

Managing wastewater involves controlling liquid that is collected in point sources or conveyances like ditches, pipes and storm sewers. It also involves collecting, treating and discharging domestic wastes from industries and households in order to clean, protect and reduce adverse public health and environmental health effects on rivers and their tributaries. The wastewater from industries and households is collected in sanitary sewers and treated in treatment plans. After treatment, the sewage is discharged to an estuary, river or ocean. Wastewater treatment processes reduce the following.

Biodegradable organics

The microorganisms in the body that receives wastewater feed on biodegradable organics. The microorganisms combine the matter with oxygen to form the energy required to multiply and thrive. Unfortunately, fish and various other organisms also need this oxygen. If there is heavy organic pollution, dead zones can occur. Fish will die if heavy organic loads are released suddenly. Therefore, reducing biodegradable organics is essential.

Pathogenic bacteria

Pathogenic bacteria and other organisms that cause diseases must be reduced in sewage. This is particularly the case where people and animals use the receiving waters for drinking. Removing pathogenic materials is also important if people will be in close contact with it.


Nutrients like phosphates and nitrates can cause high concentrations of algae. The algae can become a heavy load of biodegradable organic matter. The wastewater treatment process can also neutralize or remove industrial waste and toxic chemicals. There are three levels of treating wastewater namely mechanical, biological and tertiary treatment.

Primary or mechanical treatment

This stage of waste water management gets rid of gross, floating and suspended solids from sewage. The raw sewage is screened to trap solid objects. The wastewater then undergoes sedimentation by gravity to get rid of suspended solids. This stage is mainly mechanical but chemicals are usually utilized to quicken the sedimentation process. It is the first stage of sewage treatment.

Secondary or biological treatment

The level of waste water management gets rid of the dissolved organic matter, which escapes mechanical treatment. At this level, the microbes that consume organic matter convert it into water, carbon dioxide and energy for their own reproduction and growth. This biological process is followed by secondary sedimentation to get rid of additional suspended solids.

Tertiary treatment

This is additional treatment, which can eliminate 99 percent of the impurities from wastewater. The technology used at this stage is costly and must be operated by well trained treatment plant operators. This technology also requires a steady supply of energy and chemicals. Before the effluent is discharged to the environment, it can be disinfected with chlorine. With the use of effective procedures and methods of waste water management, it is possible for to keep any property clean while helping the environment at the same time.

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