Every country has their own methods and technology for treating waste water. Once the water reaches these facilities, mostly known as sewage treatment plants or – in some countries – pollution control plants, the objective is to remove as much contaminants from the water as possible. These pollutants have to be filtered out so that the water can then be released into the waterways of the region that the plant is in control of.
There are many processes that are carried out at the plants and they try to mimic the processes that would take place in the environment, such as the way rivers and streams and other waterways are able to purify the water. The big difference is that in nature it takes a long period of time for the purification of the water. In treatment plants it’s a matter of hours.
There are different processes that are used, according to specific government regulations which tend to vary from country to country. An example of it could have waste water go through several different chemical processes. After that, it could go through a disinfection process and then there has to be a specific way that deals with the sludge obtained by the first levels of treatment.
Each process is designed to remove certain elements from the waste water before it can be deemed acceptable to be put back into the environment. As one can imagine, there has to be rigid rules and regulations in place to govern this. There has to be a system in place that is used in each of the phases in order to test the waste water, as to to ensure that each process is meeting the government standards.
If there is any failure in the system that should go undetected and the end result could create grave consequences on the health of the population – as it’s recently happened in Flint, Illinois.