Water treatment is something we largely take for granted but it is central to how our society functions. Without proper wastewater treatment services, a lot of our basic civil infrastructure would collapse. Essentially, what industrial wastewater treatment is, is the process by which the wastewater that is produced by industrial and commercial activity is treated and reused. This means that wastewater put through a process that removes any harmful material and then is released into sanitary sewer or into surface water in the environment.
Although the goal is generally to produce as little wastewater as possible, it is still a reality that most industries produce some level of water that needs to be treated if it is going to be reused. In order to ensure safety and control this problem, local and federal legislation is in place to dictate how the water should be dealt with.
1. Sources of Wastewater
Sources of industrial wastewater include electric power plants, food industry, iron and steel industry, mines and quarries, pulp and paper industry, among others. It depends on the quality and quantity of industrial wastewater that is being produced, as well as the local environment and the production processes themselves inside of an industrial or commercial facility. Simply put, wastewater can include the dishwater that flows down the sink after dinner, or the runoff from rain that has entered a storm drainage system.
Of course, nature already has a natural purification process, as water gets renewed through evaporation and rain, but because of the rate we consume water for residential and commercial purposes, we’ve had to come up with different means for dealing with it.
Additionally, due to the fact that water is becoming an increasingly precious commodity, more stringent environmental standards are governing wastewater discharge – whether to groundwater or municipal collection systems.
2. Water Treatment Services
Basically, wastewater treatment services consist of several different technologies that can be combined in different ways to address the needs of a specific locality or facility. Due to the fact that water chemistry varies, the system needs to be adaptable. The study of chemistry is key to the treatment of wastewater, as the volume of treatment agents that are required change depending on the situation.
In most water treatment systems, you will have a clarifier, a chemical feed, a filtration subsystem and some measure for post treatment of the industrial wastewater. The clarifier’s function is to settle any suspended solids that may be present as a result of treatment. The chemical feed helps to facilitate the precipitation, flocculation, or coagulation of any metals and suspended solids. The filtration process works to remove any leftover trace amounts of suspended solids before a final pH adjustment and any post treatment that may be required to meet the necessary regulations.
3. The Scientific Component
Wastewater treatment services will remove biochemical oxygen demand, or BOD. That refers to the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by aerobic biological organisms to break down organic matter into smaller molecules. The system also removes nitrates and phosphates that can lead to excessive growth of harmful weeds, algae, and phytoplankton. These can kill any nearby living organisms and lead to environmental dead zones. Wastewater treatment gets rid of pathogens that may be in the form of bacteria, viruses, fungi, or any other microorganisms that can contribute to many health concerns and spread illnesses and diseases. These might include cholera, dysentery, salmonellosis, hepatitis A, botulism, and giardiasis.
This all sounds complicated, but the key is finding a wastewater treatment service with experience that you can trust. There is technology available to develop treatment solutions that let you maximize the reuse potential of your water stream, and minimize discharge costs.