Wastewater Treatment and Filtration – In A World of Water Scarcity

waste water treatment

Billions of gallons of water is contaminated and mixed with pollutants after industrial use, in our homes and due to mixing with sewage water and numerous other such causes. If all this wastewater is disposed into the environment as it is – this will lead to the annihilation of aquamarine and will have several other repercussions on human health and wellness.

Wastewater is contaminated by several pollutants like:

  • Decaying organic matter
  • Phosphorous, nitrogen and ammonia
  • Chlorine compounds and inorganic chloramines
  • Bacteria, viruses and disease-causing pathogens
  • Metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium and arsenic
  • Human generated waste like plastics, pharmaceutical products, and personal care products

Now that we talk of wastewater contamination, the famous movie Erin Brockovich comes to mind.

The dangerous consequences of wastewater contaminating freshwater resources became the topic of contention at such a large scale for the first time when Erin Brockovich (a legal clerk at a law firm), identified the cause of so many people in Hinkley, falling sick. Wikipedia says that the cancer rates in Hinkley were remarkable during that period. So what was this case?

The pacific gas and electric company used hexavalent chromium in a cooling tower system as a corrosion inhibitor. The wastewater carried this carcinogenic chromium into the unlined ponds and thereby into the groundwater. This groundwater then went straight into the homes of people who lived in the area and caused grave health hazards.

The Chromium-6 can cause various types of cancer, damage to various organs and also modify human DNA and prolong the effects of exposure to future generations. The pacific gas and electric company had to cough up largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in the U.S. they were also put under scrutiny by a regulatory body and had to comply with all the safety and environmental regulations, however, the damage done was irreversible.

So, what needs to be done? The wastewater that is generated each day should be treated before releasing it back into the environment or before reusing it for industrial or domestic purposes. The implications are both regulatory and ethical.

What is wastewater treatment?

Wastewater treatment is the removal of solids, organic matter, pathogens, foul odour and other contaminants from wastewater (used in industries, homes and commercial properties) using a combination of physical, chemical and biological process to make it safe for reuse.

The steps to remove some or all of the above-mentioned contaminants include preliminary, primary, secondary, and tertiary and/or advanced wastewater treatment.

Preliminary Treatment:

Filtration of raw wastewater to remove coarse solids, large materials, and grit before it is processed further is crucial. Hence, the preliminary treatment operations. Once the larger impurities are removed from the water, it is ready for further treatment.

Primary Treatment:

Now before the industrial wastewater goes into advanced purification process, the organic and inorganic solids are removed by sedimentation. String wound cartridge filters or any other similar sediment filters are used for prefiltration before the wastewater is processed further or reused for a different application. This prefiltration process involves removal of any sediments, suspended solids, and traces of oil.

Secondary treatment:

Based on the reuse of the treated water for another application, it may or may not need further treatment. But, if the water needs to be treated to make it potable or to release it back into the eco-system, it needs to be treated further to remove the biodegradable dissolved and colloidal organic matter. This is done by deploying various filtration processes involving activated sludge, trickling filters, or rotating biological contractors. At this stage too, the high rate biological treatment process can be used in combination with filtration via sedimentation to remove any suspended solids or heavy metals that might still be present in the wastewater.

Advanced Treatment:

Advanced treatment is used to remove any specific contaminants that may be left in the water after preliminary, primary, and secondary treatment. Here, activated carbon filters are more commonly used to remove the remaining chemical impurities and contaminants via adsorption. Activated carbon is also an effective odour neutralizer and helps in restoring wastewater so that it is good enough to release into the environment.

Whether you are running a textile unit, a pharma company, have an industrial manufacturing set-up or a factory it is necessary to comply to the government regulations and treat the wastewater before releasing it back into the environment. Bungalows, commercial facilities, multi-facility buildings, and societies also generate a lot of wastewater. They can process it for reuse – thus solve problems of water scarcity and wastage.

Knowing what all filtration activities need to be applied to recycle wastewater for reuse is crucial. If you are generating wastewater at your manufacturing unit or want to reuse/treat wastewater generated in commercial and multipurpose facilities visit us String wound filter cartridge.

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