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Wastewater Treatment Specialists are now more Crucial than ever.

As the global population rapidly approaches the 8 billion mark, many of the planet’s natural resources are becoming seriously depleted or otherwise endangered. In the latter category, much of the danger is due to pollution. While most of the world’s attention is currently on the atmosphere and reducing our carbon footprint, we must be careful not to overlook the concurrent threat of an impending water crisis. Without the technology provided by wastewater treatment specialists, we might not survive long enough to make much impression on rising sea levels and deforestation.

Wastewater Treatment Specialists

Every drop of water we consume in our homes, whether for drinking, cleaning or ablutions, will, after separating the grey waste from the black, find its way into separate, underground pipeline systems. These will deliver the effluents to the appropriate purification plants. A series of treatments will then clarify it, rid it of unpleasant chemicals and microorganisms and disinfect it before returning it via an alternative pipeline system to our homes. Thanks to wastewater treatment specialists, most of our domestic effluent can be recovered and rendered suitable for reuse.

However, tackling the liquid waste produced by heavy industries such as mining and petrochemicals poses more of a challenge. While they use far less water than farmers or urban households, it is frequently more heavily contaminated, often with highly toxic substances. For example, mining companies widely use sodium cyanide to leech the pure metal from gold-bearing ores. While much of this poisonous chemical will remain in tailing dams, inevitably, some will become a target for wastewater treatment specialists.

Most governments introduce regulations governing the disposal of industrial effluents. If it is to be released into the surrounding environment of a plant, it must meet prescribed minimal standards of purity. They must install the necessary equipment to apply whatever processing is required to comply. However, it can be more economical to reuse the treated effluent in some cases rather than dispose of it. For example, many processes use water for heating or cooling purposes. Recycling industrial effluent reduces operating costs and protects the environment – a primary goal of the wastewater treatment specialist.

While sedimentation and sand filtration are relatively basic concepts, they are highly effective and widely used by commercial water purification plants. However, newer technologies such as bio-digestion, reverse osmosis and nanofiltration offer the higher levels of purity required by the semiconductor and pharmaceutical industries.

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Water is not just a commodity to be exploited indiscriminately; it is essential for all life on earth. To learn how you or your company can help conserve this vital reserve, contact WaterIcon – South Africa’s leading wastewater treatment specialists.