What is wastewater?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013    

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WASTEWATER is the fancy term applied to water that is contaminated by human activity such as bathing, dishwashing, doing laundry, fertilising crops, and flushing the toilet. The contaminants include soaps and detergents, cooking oils, pesticides, paint, gasoline, seawater, pharmaceuticals, solid waste and, of course, human waste (faeces and urine along with used toilet paper and wipes).

In its strictest sense, the term SEWAGE refers to the subset of wastewater that includes faeces and urine. It can, however, be used to mean wastewater in the broad sense.

SEWERAGE is the system of pipes, pumps and other physical infrastructure that conveys wastewater/sewage from the point at which it is created to the point where it is treated or disposed.

WASTEWATER TRUTHS

* Globally, two million tonnes of sewage, industrial and agricultural waste is discharged into the world's waterways.

* As much as 90 per cent of wastewater currently entering the Caribbean Sea is either untreated or not efficiently treated

* 51.5 per cent of households across the Caribbean region lack sewer connections.

* Only 17 per cent of households in the Caribbean are connected to acceptable collection and treatment systems.

* In the Caribbean, less than two per cent of urban sewage is treated before disposal and this is even lower in rural communities.

* On some Caribbean islands there are no sewerage systems; sewage is disposed mainly through septic tanks and pit latrines, many of which are not adequate.

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