Why Is Sewage Water Black In Color?
Climate change parches Afghanistan, leaving decades ago fertile land barren. Where Afghanistan is facing conditions of no snow and less rain, on the other hand, Brazil’s Bahia faces the worst flood disaster leading to dam burst.
Wastewater management looks after processes to manage waste till its final disposal, covering all aspects of human waste. This organization is responsible for ensuring environmentally friendly disposal methods. Water is a crucial part of daily life, and wastewater management deals with contamination at different levels with different processes.
Why is the Colour of Sewage Water Black?
Mostly the sewage water is black or grey, and it varies depending upon the contamination it carries. Wastewater from bathrooms and toilets is referred to as black water; this is initially brownish-grey which eventually changes as the sewage ages.
The reaction inside the black water
Sewage water is a source of microbes, organic matter, ammonia, nitrates, phosphates, etc. Initial waste is grey or brown, but as it ages in stagnant conditions due to organic matter, it initiates a breakdown reaction.
Reaction with sulfur
Different stages of breakdown disintegrate organic matter in a smaller size; this organic matter decomposes and is released in water, changing it to black Colour. Also, under anaerobic reactions in sewage, sulfate-reducing bacteria become hyperactive and produce H2S, which reacts with iron (container) and forms black precipitate.
As a result of the reaction of sulfide with metal present in sewage, this leads to the formation of a suspension of sewage and water, which gives black Colour.
What is Sewage Pollution?
Over-population in urban areas and its steady impact on rural areas have led to sewage pollution. There is a lack of proper planning, waste management, and wastewater treatment plants. The concern rises as sewage pollution threatens the environment, biodiversity, and aquatic biodiversity.
Sewage pollution also affects soil quality, which impacts agriculture and the quality of food in our fields. The disturbing level of oxygen and other nutrients in the soil has led to weak immunity and internal health.
Origin of Sewage Water
According to a ‘Water Research’ published in Science Direct, biological treatment processes must meet current discharge-oriented wastewater treatment objectives. As the water demand expands in the future, effective natural treatment of greywater can help balance the requirement.
The Colour of sewage water varies, depending upon its sources and decomposition rate. It comes from toilets, washing machines, sinks, or kitchen industries. Domestic sewage, also known as this waste, is discharged from residences and commercial and public facilities.
Subtypes of Sewage water
1. Grey Water: It gets discharged from sinks, bathtubs, dishwashers, food waste, and laundry. It contains a lower level of contamination and hence, is easy to recycle.
2. Black Water: The wastewater from fecal matter and urine is considered in this category due to contamination by pathogens and grease. It is harmful to health and carries disease-causing pathogens.
Causes of Sewage Water Pollution
Sewage wastewater treatment can often be expensive for municipalities. Although various wastewater treatment plants are being pursued in the country, the recycled water needs to meet a standard set and monitored by state and federal officials. The causes of sewage pollution are listed below-
· Aging of septic tanks
· Improper infrastructure
· Overload of wastewater
· Lack of proper maintenance
· Inappropriate use of water
· Placing heavy drain fields
· Blockage in sewage due to the extent of flushing plastics
· Overdue water clogging
· Continued disposal of fat, oil, and grease
Industries have a protocol to follow to minimize environmental hazards and land degradation. However, sewage pollution affects downstream people the most.
Impact of Sewage Pollution-Black Water
· Interfere in the natural process
· Oxygen depletion
· Potentially harmful for human health
· Decay organic matter
· Excessive nutrients damage soil
· Cause eutrophication
· Chlorine compounds are toxic for aquatic animals
Use of Treated Wastewater
Recycled water goes through several processes to ensure the removal of harmful elements. Decentralized systems can save water by recycling it; this reduces the amount of wastewater and shows visible results.
As mentioned earlier, everything depends upon the quality of wastewater available.
Treated wastewater is odorless and clear and can be used for irrigation in toilets. Also, this treated water is supplied to industries where it can be used for cooling purposes. Furthermore, it can be supplied to the community Sports Park, pitches, and gardens after proper filtration and disinfection.
Treatment Procedure of Wastewater
Treatment of black water is relatively difficult than grey water as black water requires chemical treatment and microfiltration systems. Whereas greywater is easier to treat and process, this contains food waste that can be used to nourish plants. However, the use of recycled water depends upon the condition of the initial product (grey or black water).
Wastewater treatment works in the following stages-
3. Chemical addition
4. Coagulation and Flocculation
Wastewater management and treatment are essential because non-treated sewage invites harmful pathogens, ill-health communities and is a slow poison for the environment. Additionally, you can maintain water quality by ensuring minimal use of chemical products, preventing food scraps, and disposal of sodium detergents into sink pipelines.
The construction of buildings and sewage system connections is one reason that accommodates a certain percent of wastewater pollution. One should not forget that sewage pollution is dangerous to human health, can cause viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases.
The United States and History of the Establishment of Water Treatment Ideas
John Snow introduced the concept of disease due to contaminated water to the world. After major cholera and typhoid outbreak due to contaminated wells and drinking water supply, John Snow established and proved the link between diseases and polluted water. However, groundwater is always considered pure due to various natural dilution and water purifiers.
Impact of climate change
Recently, synchronous changes in climate have led to floods and drought one after another. Whether it’s way too hot or the next moment you are drenched in the rain, this recurring effect has a serious impact on water supply and sewage pollution.
According to a Water Supply and Sanitation report in the United States, drought particularly affects 66% of Americans who depend on surface water. Generally, water quality is good in the U.S, but untreated water contains chemicals, by-products, lead, perchlorates, and pharmaceutical substances.
As we welcome the following year with one more step towards a promising and environmentally friendly future, this is the time to work for a firm and well-built infrastructure too.
The effects indicate a harsh impact of non-renewable activities globally. Out of normal societal scenery, when we crave high incomes and lavish lifestyles, the outcomes on the planet can’t be ignored. The environment doesn’t force us to click over ‘CTA.’ Also, the supplies and facilities do not always guarantee proper disposal or waste management.
The main objective of wastewater management and understanding black water treatment is to remove harmful contamination and maintain the balance of the water supply. It leads to a safe environment and a healthy community, consequently building a healthy nation.