Wastewater Treatment

No two wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) safe access solutions are identical as the type of water being treated, facility size, and climate greatly affects the critical design criteria that will ensure that optimum safety and productivity can work together in harmony.

Wastewater is used water. It includes substances such as human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps, and chemicals. In homes, this includes water from sinks, showers, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers. Businesses and industries also contribute their share of used water that must be cleaned. Containment of industrial spills must be in place and they must be armed with an emergency spill response plan in case something goes wrong. Like when an Alabama food company caused a massive fish kill and threatened residents with health issues because of their oversight, EPA could issue stiff penalties for Clean Water Act violations amounting up to $2 million.

We consider wastewater treatment as a water use because it is so interconnected with the other uses of water. Much of the water used by homes, industries, and businesses must be treated before it is released back to the environment.

If the term “wastewater treatment” is confusing to you, you might think of it as “sewage treatment.” Nature has an amazing ability to cope with small amounts of water wastes and pollution, but it would be overwhelmed if we didn’t treat the billions of gallons of wastewater and sewage produced every day before releasing it back to the environment. Treatment plants reduce pollutants in wastewater to a level nature can handle.

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