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Wastewater Recycling: Gambling with Environmental Health? An Assessment of the Environmental Health Implications of Long?Term Exposure of Ecosystems to Recycled Wastewater Name Date Executive Summary Wastewater recycling can be termed as the treatment of used water; sent directly from homes or commercial enterprises, in order to remove solids and impurities…
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Wastewater recycling: gambling with environmental health An assessment of the environmental health implications of long term
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Download file to see previous pages Wastewater reuse for activities that demand huge amounts of water; which has so far consumed nearly all the available freshwater resources, has in effect engineered processes that imitate the natural water cycle. In brief, this paper will analyze factors leading to recycling of wastewater, the treatment process, wastewater effluent issues and wastewater quality impacts on the environment and on health. Introduction The supply of fresh water in the world today has become so limited that it has exceeded its demand. This, together with increased climate change leading to drought and water scarcity, has called for alternative ways of resorting to the problem of water shortage in which wastewater recycling is part of it (Rofe, 2004, p. 13). According to Robson (2011 p.1), wastewater is made up of 99.9% of water and 0.1% of waste; hence water is the main component. Wastewater reclamation serves as a valuable and efficient way for coping with water resources scarcity and water pollution severity, and this has been heightened by the fact that, there are strict regulations concerning wastewater effluent discharge thus better water quality (Mara & Horan, 2003, p. 24). There are problems associated with wastewater management though, mainly because of extensive industrialization, rapid population growth and urbanization (Alberto & Maksimovic, 2001, p. 4). The effluents generated from industrial and domestic activities constitute the major sources of pollution to natural waterways has proved to be a great burden in that waste water management can lead to point source pollution which not only raises costs of treatment but also introduces a diverse range of microbial contaminants and chemical pollutants to water (Davidson, Samad, & M, 2008, p. 8). The principle objectives for wastewater treatment are to prevent pollution of water sources and protect the public health through safeguarding of water supplies against disease spread (Singh & Yavada, 2003, p. 17). Reuse of wastewater is increasingly becoming important as a supplement to domestic and industrial uses around the world though a lot of care must be taken to minimize adverse environmental and health consequences (Henze, 2008, p. 3). The aim of this paper is to assess the long term impacts of wastewater recycling on ecosystems and will mostly concentrate on agriculture, environmental discharge, groundwater recharging and municipal uses. Reuse of Wastewater in Agriculture This purpose is by so far the oldest and largest reuse of wastewater that has been reported. Wastewater recycling acts as a supplement to scarce primary water sources, more especially in arid and semi-arid areas (Crites, Sherwood, & Middlebrooks, 2006, p. 5). This is mostly seen in South Africa, Israel and some parts of United States where wastewater recycling is practiced in large scale as an alternative to scarce availability of fresh water resources. In Mexico, for example, large portions of agricultural land outside the city are irrigated with reclaimed water (Wastewater Treatment and Use in Agriculture, 2011). Irrigation has the advantage of decreasing the purification level thus reducing the treatment costs due to the role played by soil and crops as biological ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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