No one likes knowing about or hearing that water can become extremely contaminated. The amount of water that becomes contaminated each year is astronomically high, but luckily there are ways to recycle some of the water — this is where waste water treatment comes in.
What is industrial waste water? Waste water is any water that has been affected by factory or industry use. Municipal waste water is usually contained in a sanitary sewer and then treated at a waste water plant that uses industrial wastewater treatment methods.
Waste water treatment covers the entirety of the mechanisms and processes that are used to treat water that has been contaminated by industrial or commercial activities. Industrial wastewater pollution is a common byproduct of factory production, with the iron, steel, food, and mining industries being the major contributor to the contamination.
There are a number of waste water treatment techniques that can be applied depending on what contaminant is in the water.
- Brine treatment This process involves removing dissolved salt ions from the wastewater. This treatment process is most commonly used for frac flowback water and acid mine or rock drainage.
- Solids removal The majority of solids can be removed using sedimentation techniques, such as running the wastewater through filter layers. However, extra filtration may be needed to remove the solids who have densities close to water.
- Oil and grease removal The most common process is to use water surface skimming devices in order to remove the oil — which floats on the surface of water. For oil, the skimmers must make sure they are able to heat the oil enough to keep it fluid for easy removal.
- Biodegradeables Industrial waste water management for plant or animal waste is usually just treated using conventional sewage treatment processes, such as a trickling filter. It is especially difficult to remove pesticides, disinfectants, and antibiotics from wastewater.
- Toxic materials Toxic materials include organics, metals (zinc, silver, etc.), acids, and non-metallic elements such as arsenic. Some metals can be precipitated out via treatment with other chemicals, but, for the most part, they are resistant to treatment and most likely will require landfilling or recycling.
Waste water treatment is a complicated but absolutely necessary. Factories and other production companies are still working towards a more environmentally friendly way of treating and disposing of waste water. For more information, visit a wastewater treatment website. Reference links.