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From Ew, To Drinkable - The Nutrient Removal in Wastewater Treatment Process

Avoid the recent trends like boxed water and look to drinking straight from the tap with nutrient removal in wastewater treatment. There are several processes that may be able to remove nearly all harmful substances from wastewater and transfer the polluted wastewater into drinkable water sources.


How Does Nutrient Removal in Wastewater Treatment Translate into Drinkable Water?

There are many ways wastewater can pollute the environment. First, not all wastewater makes it to the wastewater treatment facility. Some studies have found that there are cities that receive more than 90 billion liters of untreated wastewater, annually. This is equivalent to dumping more than 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools of raw wastewater into the Great Lakes every day.


Each year, hundreds of billions of sewage, untreated, are dumped into waterways that require nutrient removal in wastewater treatment before it can become drinkable. Although the percentage of people receiving no treatment or primary treatment is declining, an average of 24% of populations (like in Canada) don't have wastewater treatment facilities capable of removing the majority of harmful substances.

Municipal sewer failure is another way wastewater can pollute streams and lakes. Many older cities have combined sewer systems that collect domestic sewage along with stormwater runoff. Street gutters can collect more water during heavy rain than the system can handle. This is when raw sewage and stormwater are released into the environment. This is known as a combined sewer overload (CSO) - and is a huge cause for concern when it comes to nutrient removal in wastewater treatment.


Because it is cheaper than effective treatment, such as the processes needed for nutrient removal in wastewater treatment, some cities dump their raw sewage directly into rivers and oceans. In some cases, a majority of cities have been found to dump some or all their raw sewage into water bodies. Although not all sewage is dumped into the oceans directly, just six cities alone can produce 400 million liters of raw sewage each day.


It is the hope that many of these cities that dump directly into sewers and lakes will have plans to build wastewater treatment facilities. However, in the meantime, they continue to discharge 65.7 billion liters of raw sewage into waterways and into the Atlantic Ocean. Without proper resources for nutrient removal in wastewater treatment, the goal of filtering wastewater into drinkable water is futile.



Can the Public Built Systems Facilitate Nutrient Removal in Wastewater Treatment to Remove Toxic Chemicals?

Because the public wastewater treatment system is unable to effectively remove all contaminants, commercial and industrial waste cannot be sent directly to treatment plants for nutrient removal in wastewater treatments.


The following are four types of wastewater are typically derived from industrial and commercial processes and treated accordingly:


  1. You can treat wastewater on-site, and then reuse it within the plant for different purposes.

  2. Some wastewater treatment plants are specifically designed for industrial wastewater and undergo the nutrient removal in wastewater treatment process.

  3. Some wastewater can be treated in the same way as domestic wastewater and sent to the public sewer treatment plant. If there is an odor, you can send the water for nutrient removal in wastewater treatment facility for pre-treating.

  4. Some processes produce very toxic wastewater that must be treated or disposed off as hazardous waste.


Chemicals and substances can be difficult to eliminate and cause serious pollution problems, this is why nutrient removal in wastewater treatment facilities are imperative to clean drinking water. Many city's have programs like the Safe Drinking Water Foundation that offers educational programs that will help you understand the ins and outs of nutrient removal in wastewater.



For more information on the nutrient removal in wastewater treatment process, check out our most recent article on the topic titled What is Removed From Water during the Tertiary Wastewater Treatment Nutrient Removal?

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