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Chemicals in Wastewater Treatment

Water shortages have become a major issue on a global scale. According to The Water Project, 783 million people lack access to clean, safe water. To put that number in perspective: one in nine people worldwide lack sufficient access to a clean water source.

Water scarcity in the United States may not be as severe as in some other nations, but that doesn't mean that the increasing demand for potable water has left the country untouched. The Southwestern states have been hit the hardest, prompting concerns that the crisis may reach other parts of the country at some point as well.

To conserve water supplies and enhance water usage efficiency, many governments, organizations, and non-profits are joining forces to implement clean water initiatives, educate the public about water conservation, and enforce regulations on water usage by industrial processes. These groups are also beginning to embrace another water conservation tactic a bit more unique than these standard, mainstream approaches – using chemicals to create clean water.

Chemicals in Wastewater Treatment

The use of chemicals in many applications remains a point of contention among water stakeholders. Chemical intervention in the food and beverage industry, for example, is often met with backlash driven by fear that these chemicals may be harmful; however, many chemical solutions do result in beneficial outcomes.

Chemical manufacturers have teamed up with industrial plants and facilities to provide alternative solutions to the global water crisis, and they may not be what you'd expect. For instance, industrial wastewater in many plants is being treated with defoamers and antifoams to control excessive foam and odor problems. These products also improve water clarity and aid in reducing or eliminating sludge contaminants.

The use of these chemicals in treatment plants makes for a more thorough and efficient wastewater treatment process, allowing industrial buildings to decrease their environmental footprint. After chemical cleaning, facilities can then reuse the effluent they produce within their internal processes.

Expanding Global Wastewater Treatment

Any opportunity to reuse or recycle water helps with water shortages, especially where wastewater is concerned. Upper income nations reported in 2017 that about 70% of national wastewater, on average, was treated. This stands in stark contrast to figures from other areas. Upper-middle income countries only treated 38% of their wastewater, and low-income nations treat just 8% of wastewater.

Continued improvements and innovations within the wastewater treatment sector will be integral to solving the global water crisis. A world better prepared to treat wastewater will be better equipped to tackle water scarcity issues.

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Chemical Solutions Help Combat Global Water Shortages
Topics: Chemicals