The Effect Of Wastewater On The Environment


Pollution is one of the most pressing matters of our time. Wastewater can be found everywhere, from the liquid that passes through our shower drains to the runoff that appears after rain. This wastewater is a result of our daily lives; any water used in a home will at some point result in wastewater. To understand why we produce so much wastewater, we must look at the factors causing it: urbanization, population growth, food production, and industrialization. The more water we use, the more wastewater is created. Disposing of wastewater into the environment is dangerous, yet it also provides a chance to improve our ecology, social conditions, and generate green job positions.

Types of Wastewater

Wastewater is categorized into two parts, domestic and industrial wastewater.

Domestic Wastewater. Wastewater from households is known as domestic wastewater and is generated from activities like doing laundry, showers, toilets, throwing away rubbish, washing dishes, etc. Despite the fact that it includes small volumes of pollutants, these contaminants can still have a major effect on the environment. Nevertheless, domestic wastewater can still be purified, even though it is highly contaminated.

Industrial Wastewater. Industrial wastewater originates from businesses or production activities. This wastewater is formed when a variety of elements are combined with water, such as oil, hazardous chemicals, inks, drugs, pesticides, and sand. This type of wastewater cannot be treated in the same way as domestic wastewater.

Aside from these categories of wastewater types, there are other subcategories.

Blackwater. The water from your home’s kitchen sink, dishwashers, and toilets is referred to as blackwater. It is full of pollutants that come from these appliances and fixtures. Furthermore, blackwater contains animal and human excrement, toilet paper, bits of food, and a variety of cleaning solutions and chemicals, making the water highly contaminated and capable of spreading illnesses.

Graywater. In simple terms, greywater is blackwater without urine, feces, or food waste. It comes from baths, sinks, and washing machines (for clothes). While it does contain chemicals and cleaning liquids, it’s much more suitable for reuse because it’s not pathogenic.

Yellow water. Yellow water is an accumulation of pee in particular pathways. It is distinct from blackwater or greywater, as it does not contain any contaminants. Consequently, it has the potential to be reused, similar to greywater.

Effects Of Wastewater On The Environment

By making water unfit for consumption, we are gradually diminishing the water sources. Even though the Earth’s surface is mostly comprised of water, we are still polluting it with our waste and other contaminants. This is only the beginning of the destruction caused by wastewater to the environment.

Adverse effects on waterbody. Most waterways are significantly impacted by wastewater. In addition, toxic elements tend to disrupt aquatic ecosystems. For example, when many biodegradable substances find their way into the water, organisms break them down, using a lot of dissolved oxygen. A depleted supply of dissolved oxygen can severely threaten aquatic life, which depends on it to thrive.

Habitat and water contamination. Wastewater has an immediate impact on the environment when it contributes to the destruction of natural habitats and the wildlife living in them by exposing them to harmful chemicals that are otherwise not present naturally.

Wastewater contains harmful substances. Wastewater may comprise heavy metals, pathogens, salts, toxic chemicals, oil and grease, solids, nutrients, sludge, acids and bases, toxic organic compound, and organic and inorganic materials. There are numerous hazards associated with this effluent for humans, animals, and the environment. It can be harmful, corrosive, reactive, acidic, and ignitable. As a result, it must be treated before it can be reused or redirected into the water supply.

Final words

The presence of water is essential for the survival of humans and other living beings, as it helps in conducting their day-to-day processes. If untreated wastewater is disposed of, it can result in the heating of the water, thus disrupting the surrounding ecosystem. Since fish are cold-blooded, they are dependent on the water’s temperature to regulate their body temperature.

The water used for various activities such as bathing and cooking results in wastewater, which can be detrimental to people’s health and the environment. It is clear that wastewater has become a major problem, and it is necessary to switch to eco-friendly practices to reduce its damaging effects. Even a small adjustment in our lifestyle can help in preserving the environment.