2 Treating Wastewaterwastewater – refers to water that has been used for a purpose and is returned down a drainmost often we think of wastewater as being sewage, but wastewater can also be the water that is used in a dishwasher, washing machine, to take a shower, etc.
3 Treating Wastewaterin urbanized parts of the developed world, our wastewater leaves our house in a pipe and joins a network of pipes that lead the wastewater to a wastewater treatment facility
4 Treating Wastewaterthis water that flows from our homes or businesses contains soap, food residue, human waste material, rags, pharmaceuticals, and a number of other things that can accidentally or intentionally get flushed into the system
5 Treating Wastewaterif we were to put this wastewater back into our lakes and rivers, we’d be contaminating our drinking water supplyso, we treat our water before letting it re-enter the natural environment
6 Septic Systemsmost rural homes dispose of their wastewater with septic systems because they are not connected to a municipal wastewater treatment systemseptic system – a self-contained wastewater treatment facilityseptic tank – a tank in which wastewater from all indoor sources such as toilets, sinks, and bathtubs enter
7 Septic Systemsbacteria inside the septic tank immediately begin to break down the wastesolid material settles on the bottom, while lighter material (such as kitchen grease) float on the surfacethe liquid layer in between flow into pipes that lead out from the tankthis wastewater contains nutrients such as nitrogen
8 Septic Systemsthe pipes leading from the septic tank are perforated (have holes) on the bottom, allowing water to seep into the soilleaching bed (or leach field) – are used to remove contaminants and impurities from the liquid that emerges from the septic tankonce the water is in the soil, more bacteria digest and breakdown organic wasteeventually, the liquid returns to the ground water supply
10 Wetland Technologya wetland, such as a marsh or swamp, is land that is saturated with water for long periods of timewater-loving plants that grow in wetlands can filter and purify waterwetlands remove and recycle nutrients, while roots and soil filter out contaminants
12 The Wastewater Treatment Plant wastewater treatment plant – a large facility at which wastewater, brought to the facility from a large area (ie. a city) through pipes, is cleaned of contaminants and pollutants using physical, biological, or chemical procedures
13 The Wastewater Treatment Plant wastewater treatment plants are often the most expensive facilities in a communityfor instance, for a community of 50,000 people, a wastewater treatment facility may cost over $40 million to build and maintaina wastewater treatment plant includes the physical plant as well as underground pipes that bring wastewater from our homes to the facility
14 The Wastewater Treatment Plant interactive WWTP example
15 Protecting Drinking Water Sources the more we pollute our water systems, the more we need to treat them to make that water safe to drinkall human activities that affect our water systems affect the sources that supply our drinking water
16 Testing Water Qualityfor most of human existence, we have been unable to answer questions as to why people sometimes became ill or died from drinking waterwater quality labs test water for contaminants and warn communities of water quality hazards to try and minimize the impact on consumers
17 When you flush your toilet, where is that wastewater going?