Importance of Understanding the Types of Water Pollution

Water as well know is important to life. Without it, no living species on the planet would thrive except maybe for bacteria.  In today’s fragile ecological environment, it is imperative that we are able to save as much of our finite fresh water sources and save those that we have already contaminated. In order to understand the groundwater treatment system options available, we must learn how different pollutants affect water quality so as to better understand the entire process.

Biological Pollutants

Harmful bacteria may be eliminated from groundwater by ensuring the water remains underground at least 30 days before being used by either animals or human. This option is quite effective particularly for E. coli as well as a host of viruses. Bacteria like staph and Giardia may be destroyed through chlorination or by some other chemical treatment of the water.  Proper treatment needs to be done at all times as Giardia is known to survive even for an hour after chlorination is instituted. 

Chemical Pollutants

These pose one of the biggest challenges for remediating groundwater as these can come from a variety of sources such as runoff from agricultural land, waste from factories and even chemicals right off our kitchen sinks and bathrooms.  Volatile organic chemicals pose the greatest danger and an array of treatment methods are available to specifically address this problem.  Air stripping is one such method used to treat this problem effectively. Other kinds of chemical processes also affect water quality and produce a heavy impact on the environment.  Overuse of fertilizers and pesticides as well as acid waters from mining drainage are prime examples.

Physical Pollutants

Examples include sediment and heat are mostly released from a point source. The fact that sediment naturally settles to the bottom of a still body of water, this kind of pollution may be removed from water by using a stilling pond prior to release to a waterway. Heated water on the other hand can simply be allowed to cool naturally.

Helpful Guide to Purchasing Water Treatment Equipment

According to a recent survey many homes in the US are equipping water treatment systems to ensure that the water flowing from their tap is safe to drink. The same survey shows most of these homeowners water source are from a deep well, spring or cistern. If you are considering adding a water treatment device, here are some helpful tips to guide you.

Know if there is a Water Quality Problem

Does your water taste metallic? Does it have a certain smell?  If you suspect that you have a problem with your water source do not hesitate to have it tested by a state-certified water-testing laboratory. Visit your state website to learn more about this or alternatively you can purchase water test kits to test it yourself. 

If the test result showed that your drinking water failed a primary health based drinking standard such as the presence of significant lead or bacteria, action needs to be taken immediately to protect you and your family.  Water tests may also show contamination from a secondary pollutant like iron or manganese. If so, there is no significant health risk involved but you may still need to install water treatment equipment in order to get rid of smells and unusual tastes from the water.

Match Treatment to Water Problem

Carbon Filters – can get rid of pesticides, chlorine, herbicides,volatile organic chemicals, radon and strange tastes and odors.  In order to avoid bacterial contamination, regularly changing the carbon filter must be done.

Reverse Osmosis – can remove any dissolved pollutants present in the water.

Softeners – can get rid of hardness (scale) as well as dissolved iron and manganese

UV Light – destroys bacteria but cannot get rid of other issues.

Inquire about Maintenance

When purchasing water treatment devices, ensure that you fully understand the maintenance requirements prior to making any purchase. For example, replacing a carbon filter or a UV bulb can be simple while regeneration of oxidizing filters and replacement of membranes in reverse osmosis units is something that requires more training and time.

Be Sure its Certified

There are a number of independent associations like the National Sanitation Foundation and the Water Quality Association, that determine the effectiveness of water treatment, check if your device meets the standard.

What is Air Stripping?

When it comes to decontamination of water, there are a number of ways by which water can be treated in order to permanently remove chemicals, toxins and volatile organic chemicals or VOC  One such effective method is air stripping. The technique calls for making wastewater and air come in direct contact with one another in order for the volatile compounds to be transferred into the air thus cleansing the water. 

The air that now contains the VOC needs to be treated in an air treatment system such as active carbon installation or a bio filter. Interestingly, the air stripper only requires a small surface area which is about 5×5 m2 with a capacity of 100-m3 per hour.

Setup

Air strippers are composed of the stripping tower or stripping column and the plate stripper.  The stripping tower uses the counter-flow foundation principle wherein a vertical column is then filled with packing material. On the other hand, the plate stripper follows the cross-flow principle, wherein the liquid flow is aerated vigorously through a perforated plate.

Applications

Assuming that the pre-purification process is followed to the letter, stripping is a very good method that can easily be implemented on the field using mobile air stripper devices. It can be used in a variety of applications such as:

  • In the pharmaceutical industry for the removal of chlorinated solvents from wastewater,
  • In the graphics industry, the technique is used to remove toluene from condensate discharged by recuperation systems
  • In groundwater treatment, air stripping is used to remove volatile organic compounds
  • In glass engraving with ammonium solvents, pH supplementation and air stripping is used to remove nitrogen from wastewater

As mentioned above, air stripping is extensively used in groundwater remediation followed by an air-based active carbon filter. The compounds that are removed from groundwater thru air stripping include: aromatic compounds, VOCs like trichloroethene, perchlorate ethane, chloroform and tetra chloromethane.

Cost

In order to implement air stripping the cost is determined by the desired yield of purification and the concentration desired in the effluent. These two factors determine the number of air strippers needed to be placed in series.

The Effect of Water Pollution on our Environment

With the effects of global warming being experienced by every nation on earth, there has been an increased focus on halting the effects of pollution and the damage it wreaks on our environment and our planet. High carbon dioxide emissions is usually being blamed but many have not taken a good look on what water pollution does.  Here is what you need to know now about water pollution and how it affects our environment.

Cause

Water pollution is defined as the release of any kind of foreign contaminant into a body of water, or spilled in the watershed. The most common causes of water pollution are the incessant dumping of waste and garbage like cans, plastic bottles, can rings and more. Contamination may also come from the release of volatile organic chemicals and from bacteria and viruses. There are also runoff from chemicals and agricultural wastes; other sources of contamination include toxic metals, salts and acids unloaded by factories.

Immediate Effects

The immediate effects of water pollution can be quite dire especially to aquatic life. Death or extinction of species is not unusual. Chemical contamination causes an imbalance in the ecosystem which may allow one species to proliferate more than the other as maintaining the correct amount of oxygen can be quite challenging. Moreover, water pollution reduces the amount of safe drinking water for animals and humans. 

Destruction of Natural Water Reserves

Without a groundwater treatment system in place, contaminated water can seep deep into the ground contaminating precious natural aquifers and other sources of fresh water.  As the population goes up so does demand for water and the lack of access to a clean and safe drinking source will increase mortality and morbidity from gastrointestinal diseases.

Other Effects

Water pollution also affects how water tastes. Contaminated water may have a bad smell or a strange taste. This degrades water quality even more. Aside from this, there are also other negative effects for instance; air needs a certain amount of water vapor which is in a constant cycle of rain and evaporation. More contaminated water causes rainwater to become acidic.

Treating Wastewater Correctly

You probably are wondering where does all the water go after we have used it in the shower, the toilet or in the kitchen sink. Wastewater undergoes treatment for it to become clean and safe enough not to harm the environment. Sewage treatment plants are responsible for treating wastewater and many believe that they use a lot of chemicals to get rid of the contamination however most are using microorganisms to do the job.  Here is how wastewater is treated in different sewage treatment plants.

Identification

According to on-site water treatment systems specialists, the more accurate description for sewage treatment is domestic wastewater treatment. This calls for the decontamination of sewage from common commercial and domestic sources but it does not include cleanup of wastewater coming from agricultural and heavy industry sources.

Stages

In order to achieve effective sewage treatment of wastewater, treatment plants process it via 3 stages namely: primary, secondary and tertiary treatment.  The normal way of differentiating between types of treatment plants is via the means utilized in order to achieve secondary treatment.

Primary

The 1st stage calls for getting rid of substances that are easy to takeout like fat and oil which can be skimmed from the surface, rock and grit which can undergo straining and trash that can simply be raked.

Secondary Treatment

This calls for the use of microorganisms that can eat or get rid of undesirable elements found in wastewater. For example, activated sludge utilizes dissolved oxygen in order to promote aerobic processes that get rid of organic waste.  We also have biological aerated filters that use a filter medium in order to get rid of organic waste materials.

Tertiary Treatment

According to on-site carbon exchange services experts, this stage of the wastewater treatment cycle is designed to improve the quality of water prior to placing it back in the environment. In this phase, filters both artificial and natural is utilized.  For instance, natural filters like the use of lagoons or artificial wetland reeds and a final disinfection process using either UV treatment or chlorination.

Treating Wastewater Correctly

You probably are wondering where does all the water go after we have used it in the shower, the toilet or in the kitchen sink. Wastewater undergoes treatment for it to become clean and safe enough not to harm the environment. Sewage treatment plants are responsible for treating wastewater and many believe that they use a lot of chemicals to get rid of the contamination however most are using microorganisms to do the job.  Here is how wastewater is treated in different sewage treatment plants.

Identification

According to on-site water treatment systems specialists, the more accurate description for sewage treatment is domestic wastewater treatment. This calls for the decontamination of sewage from common commercial and domestic sources but it does not include cleanup of wastewater coming from agricultural and heavy industry sources.

Stages

In order to achieve effective sewage treatment of wastewater, treatment plants process it via 3 stages namely: primary, secondary and tertiary treatment.  The normal way of differentiating between types of treatment plants is via the means utilized in order to achieve secondary treatment.

Primary

The 1st stage calls for getting rid of substances that are easy to takeout like fat and oil which can be skimmed from the surface, rock and grit which can undergo straining and trash that can simply be raked.

Secondary Treatment

This calls for the use of microorganisms that can eat or get rid of undesirable elements found in wastewater. For example, activated sludge utilizes dissolved oxygen in order to promote aerobic processes that get rid of organic waste.  We also have biological aerated filters that use a filter medium in order to get rid of organic waste materials.

Tertiary Treatment

According to on-site carbon exchange services experts, this stage of the wastewater treatment cycle is designed to improve the quality of water prior to placing it back in the environment. In this phase, filters both artificial and natural is utilized.  For instance, natural filters like the use of lagoons or artificial wetland reeds and a final disinfection process using either UV treatment or chlorination.