You Reap What You Flush Essay

3492 Words May 25th, 2014 14 Pages
Does anyone ever think about what they’ve flushed down their toilet or rinsed down the sink? While looking at many of the current articles related to environmental health, I’ve learned that we, as a whole, are ruining our water supplies for the future. We have continuously flushed whatever we don’t want to deal with into our sewer systems. The toxins, mostly from cleaning supplies and body treatment products are being reintroduced into our water sources. The waste water treatment facilities are efficient in removing the organic waste from the water supply, but they are not active in removing chemicals, and nutrients from the water table. I would like to discuss a few things that everyone should know about our waste water treatment …show more content…
The grease traps much of the grit and together they are separated using an auger. This auger then dumps the grease and grit into a dumpster so it can be removed once a week. The operators sometimes mix sawdust with the grease and grit to solidify it, making it easier to dispose. Once the grease and grit are removed the effluent is pumped over to the primary clarifier. This is where the organic materials settle to the bottom of a basin and allow the water to slowly exit the basin. The materials are commonly known as sludge, and there are many uses for sludge in agriculture and biogas or bio-solids incineration. Agricultural sites may use sludge as a fertilizer to improve crops, but they must also be monitored closely, because if they should contain harmful bacteria or human pathogens then many people could become ill. They do not use sludge on vegetables that can be eaten raw because it would be too risky. All of the sludge from the Easterly facility is used by farmers. Many farmers use sludge in straw fields or as compost. The study written by Stillwell, Hoppcock, and Webber (2010), discusses the energy that can be recovered from wastewater treatment facilities. It states that, “Collecting, treating, and discharging municipal wastewater to acceptable permit standards requires energy, mostly as electricity, but also of natural gas or other fuels. Energy for wastewater treatment is likely to increase in the future

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