Salvaged Water: The Science of Wastewater Treatment

by:Jinwantong     2020-08-18
There are two different types of wastewater that are produced in the average household. These are greywater and blackwater. Greywater is made up of the water used to wash things in a home such as water from washing dishes, bathing and laundry. This water can be treated to be reused. Blackwater is the water that cannot be reused because it is too contaminated and is mostly wastewater from the toilet.
Environmental Impacts
Wastewater has been treated and reused for quite a long time in order to preserve the Earth's natural resources. The average home wastes a lot of water that can be reused. All it needs is to be purified through treatment and it will be completely safe to use again. Blackwater has to be separated from greywater because it can carry organisms that cause disease and is not considered safe to ever reuse. If blackwater is reintroduced to the environment, it can cause pollution and therefore must be removed entirely.
Greywater Treatment
If greywater is not treated very quickly, it may obtain anaerobic bacteria which is very dangerous and will cause the water to become useless. There are several different treatment systems that will purify greywater so that it can be used for various things such as washing clothes, watering plants, bathing and so on. Some treatment options are really only suitable for certain types of greywater, as well. For instance, a pre-treatment system that converts the anaerobic bacteria into aerobic bacteria is best for water that comes from washing dishes. Some of the other treatment options are soilboxes and gravity chambers. Water from washing laundry should be treated carefully if the detergents that were used contained bleach or if they were harsh detergents as they can be quite dangerous to plants. It is best to only use biodegradable and natural laundry soaps if this greywater is to be safely used for watering plants.
How Recycled Water Is Used
There are only specific areas in the United States that allow people to use recycled greywater. These areas have adopted the IPC or International Plumbing Code. The UPC, which stands for United Plumbing Code, does not permit the reuse of this type of water and some areas in the US follow this code. Greywater that comes from bathing or showering is used for toilet water in most of Australia and Europe. It is also used to irrigate crops and gardens when it is dispersed underground instead of sprayed directly onto the soil which is not considered safe in most cases. Treating greywater and reusing it can reduce the amount of water consumption by as much as 30% which is a large amount of waste that can be avoided.

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