Water is a natural resource that is a fundamental part of our lives. Communities depend on it to have something to drink, clean, and cook with. Without it, lives would become inconvenient and difficult. When water is being used in the community and has passed through every household, it becomes contaminated with different substances. This contaminated water is eventually dispensed to other bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and oceans.
Contaminated water shouldn’t be dispensed this way because it negatively affects aquatic life and humans. That’s why sewage treatments or manholes exist to treat wastewater before they pass through different bodies of water. These manholes have a special coating that prevents corrosion as caused by chemicals and toxins. So what happens if there are no industrial water systems?
Untreated Wastewater Contaminates Fisheries and Wildlife Habitats
The aquatic life takes the brunt of untreated wastewater when it makes its way to different bodies of water. Certain chemicals increase plant growth in waters which makes it hard for animals to have oxygen. Toxins also cause death and would eventually lead to a downturn in particular species. Moreover, wastewater does not only come from the water used by the community and businesses, but it can also come from surface runoffs. Surface runoff is the flow of excess water on the ground surface.
Surface runoffs cause equal danger to wildlife habitats as fisheries because worms and insects consume waste from the runoffs and pass them to predators such as mammals and birds. And humans also consume birds and mammals from time to time, and if there is a decline in these, our livelihood would also be affected. This one action can cause a ripple effect in the ecosystem.
The water is a great place for leisure, especially in the summer. It’s a place for swimming, boating, and fishing. But when the water is contaminated, humans won’t be allowed near bodies of water because of potential health concerns. It can take a long time to decontaminate the bodies of water as fine particles cannot be treated immediately. The source has to be identified first before actually treating the contaminated water.
Wastewater brings health concerns to humans, such as diarrhea, typhoid, and cholera. Parasites and viruses bring their own trouble as well. Health concerns from wastewater can become permanent and life-threatening. This is due to the mixture of toxins, chemicals, and fecal matter from humans and animals. So, if you suspect that a body of water in your town is contaminated with wastewater, stay clear from all bodies of water as they are all connected.
Degradation of Soil
Wastewater is treated to be used in irrigation because of its high nutrient content. If it is not treated properly, the toxins and chemicals in the wastewater make their way to the soil, making their way to the crops. Crops are then consumed by humans, which can cause several health concerns. It’s understandable to use wastewater in irrigation, especially if there is a water shortage, but the treatment of such should be taken seriously.
The people responsible for this, particularly the farmers, should take great lengths to ensure that the wastewater is treated thoroughly. It can become a national problem if this problem gets out of hand. Not only does this cause loss of livelihood, but it also raises uncertainties regarding how crops are grown.
Industrial water systems are an integral part of society because they ensure that the wastewater is treated properly before it goes to other bodies of water. We are all interconnected, and if something affects one, it affects us all—a ripple effect. We have to make sure that our actions do not affect the environment because eventually, it comes back to us. Contaminated waters are difficult to treat especially when they become large-scale problems. Preventive measures should be set in place, such as industrial water systems, to ensure a safe livelihood for everyone.
People take a lax approach on matters like these because apparently, the sea is so vast that wastewater won’t affect it as much. The sea is indeed vast, but it’s only a matter of time that wastewater has completely consumed almost all bodies of water, and it’s difficult to backtrack. It will affect livelihoods, and the government has to spend a considerable amount of money to reverse its effects. It will take years, decades even, to fully recover. People should not wait until something bad like this happens before they act.