Waste Water Management
It is a common practice, particularly in the Western United States, to treat wastewater to a very high level, and then inject it back into ground, where it can be used to replenish the groundwater table for drinking. Suppose that you are managing a large water district. A local city council member wants to use secondary treated wastewater instead of tertiary treated wastewater to recharge the groundwater basin. Sewage treatment or wastewater treatment incorporates three steps: primary, secondary and tertiary. It involves the step wise removal of waste products from water, and separation of the constituents of sewage into its component parts.
These methods are also used to recharge groundwater basin for mass water production for localities. I would advise the local council member to employ tertiary wastewater to recharge instead of the secondary treated wastewater. The first reason is because of the associated improved level of purity associated with the procedure. Processes in tertiary treatment are collectively referred to ‘effluent discharge’ because f the higher order of purification achieved by the procedure. This is important when considering water for groundwater recharge.
Besides, it is equally important to know that filtration, disinfection and other method employed for tertiary treatment ensure the final separation of existing waste from the wastewater. This makes the acquired water fir for various purposes including recharge of ground water. Although a great deal of separation is also achieved in secondary treatment but it can not be compared with that of the tertiary. Waste management has become a major issue for environmental research workers and health agencies because of the risk of infection and disease associated with poor sanitation and inordinate handling of waste.
By virtue of the tertiary treatment plan, this risk is further reduced due to advanced separation techniques incorporated in the scheme. This makes it a widespread agenda for many localities and states across the country. A number of water plants recently constructed make it a point of duty to fully incorporate tertiary treatment plan into their waste management and sewage treatment. It is the because of the advantages it portends as useful and fit for recharge. The quality of the water available for ground water recharge impacts directly on ‘operational aspects of recharge facilities’.
It also affects the use of the reclaimed water. Quality is determined by suspended solids (SS), dissolved gases, nutrients, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), microorganisms, and the sodium adsorption ratio. These are considered when implementing the tertiary program. When wastewater is channeled to potable use, as found in ground water recharge, some constituents of water are of primary concern; such include organic and metallic toxic substances, nitrogen compounds, and pathogens. A number of these dangers are properly handled during the final phase of sewage treatment.
I would therefore advise, without mincing words, that the local council member adopt tertiary treatment strategy for water for recharge of ground water considering the advantages outlined above. It is really to cut corners with cost and technical skills, but it is productive. The advantages of this method obviously outweigh that of the secondary system, which is just a step away from the ‘perfect’ purification process. It is also important to note that methods of tertiary sewage water treatment include use of chemicals and techniques which, to a reasonable extent, are compatible with life.
This statement is confirmed by the number of states and local municipals within the country that have adopted same fort the purpose of their purification.
U. S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (2002). Bottled Water Regulation and the FDA. Retrieved from the web at http://www. cfsan. fda. gov/~dms/botwatr. html ? National Resources Defense Council (2003). What’s on Tap? Grading Drinking Water in U. S. Cities. Retrieved from the web on 11/16/06 at http://www.
nrdc. org/water/drinking/uscities/contents. asp ? Water Quality Environmental Protection Agency. Public Health Concerns About Infectious Diseases. In: The Use of Reclaimed Water and Sludge in Food Crop Productions. Retrieved from the Web at http://www. epa. gov/owm/pipes/sludmis/mstr-ch5. pdf#search=%22reclaimed%20wastewater%20uncertainty%22] ? A short summary on the treatment steps in a municipal water treatment plant can be found at the East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) website