Water is essential not only to life, but to many industries as well. Here are three facts about industrial wastewater.
1. What It Is
Wastewater is any water that has been used. This can include sewer water, storm runoff and the water utilized in homes, offices and industrial processes. This water must be cleaned and treated before it can be used again because during use it can be contaminated with all kinds of different pollutants. These contaminants can harm the environment and the health of people and animals interacting with the untreated water. Industrial and sewer water, in particular, are filled with dirty and dangerous substances that must be removed.
2. Treating It
Industrial wastewater treatment covers many different kinds of industrial processes, including mining, chemical refinement and smelting. Water can also be used as a coolant for certain industrial processes. Because of the varied uses of water, there are many contaminants it can come into contact with and wastewater treatment plants must be prepared for all of them. Heated water must be cooled and all industrial wastewater must be pre-treated. Then it can be sent to the treatment plant, where it is aerated, filtered, chlorinated and finally neutralized before being returned to a natural water source.
3. Wastewater Pollutants
The contaminants in wastewater depend on the industry the water was used in. If the water being treated came from a farm, there could be pesticides, animal waste, or chemicals like nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilizer present. If it came from a factory, there could be any number of chemicals or metals in it, including pharmaceutical waste and heavy metals.
Water is a resource that cannot be replenished, only recycled, so it must be continually treated and cleaned after each use to ensure it can continue to support life and human activity.