Water Treatment Plants for Residential, Industrial, and Commercial Use
All living creatures are reliant upon water to sustain their lives. However, while some plants and animals have developed the means to survive on the bare minimum, among the human race, only those whose domicile is the desert have mastered this art. The human animal, of course, is unique in its extensive use of this liquid for purposes other than sustaining its life. As a consequence, we have had to develop ways in which to bypass the cycle whereby nature renders it re-usable to cater for our excessive demands. To achieve this, we have developed the water treatment plants, which have since become indispensable.
Despite such innovations, in many parts of the world, including South Africa, the reserves of potable water are continuing to decline and have led to an urgent need for conservative measures. This, however, means that the responsibility for rectifying the shortage is now one that must be shared by every consumer and not simply left to the country’s municipalities.
Each day, industries employ millions of litres of this life-sustaining fluid as an essential part of the various processes essential to the manufacture of everything from aspirin to aircraft parts. Once used, before it can be returned to the environment or re-used in the manufacturing process, it must first be processed in a suitable water treatment plant. Where the treated effluent is to be disposed of into the soil or a river, it must comply with strict standards of purity defined in the relevant legislation and will eventually undergo further purification to restore its potability at one of the nation’s municipal installations.
It may come as a surprise, but it is, in fact, not the industrial sector that is the largest consumer, even taking into account mining operations. In practice, it is the agricultural sector that is the biggest user by far. It is therefore important to understand that, while many farms draw their supplies from a borehole this in no way precludes them from the need to install water treatment plants. Such installation need not necessarily be designed to produce a potable supply. Even if the output is not suitable for human consumption, reclaimed, the treated grey and black wastewater can be perfectly suitable for cleaning agricultural equipment or for irrigating crops. Adopted by enough farmers, the practice could reduce the growing burden on the nation’s reserves significantly.
Water treatment plants can, of course, also play a vital role on the domestic front. Every day, the average individual uses around 340 litres, which works out to around 900 litres for each household. Flushing the toilet accounts for almost 14 litres, while 20 minutes spent luxuriating in the shower can account for as much as 70 litres. Add that used for cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and the occasional drink, multiply by the number of households nationwide, and it is not too hard to explain the extent to which our reserves have been depleted. That said, as is the case with farms, the more widespread use of water treatment plants at home could go a long way towards reducing the deficit that currently threatens our customary lifestyle. While some households may have instituted basic conservative measures such as the collection and storage of rainwater, the recent crisis in Cape Town has demonstrated that such efforts do not provide an adequate solution.
Instead, collecting, treating, and re-using the wastewater from sinks, hand basins, baths, showers, washing machines, and dishwashers offers a far more effective measure and one that will not only reduce the pressure on reserves, but also on the individual responsible for paying the municipality for the product of their water treatment plants. Basic processing will provide an effluent suitable for outdoor cleaning tasks, like cleaning walls and driveways, or for washing down a mud-spattered SUV. If desired, a basic installation can be upgraded to provide a potable supply and, with it, even greater benefits for the environment and the family budget.
In the battle to sustain the country’s reserves, we should not overlook the commercial sector. Hotels, resorts, shopping, and leisure centres are all significant consumers of municipal water who, in exchange, discharge huge volumes of grey and black wastewater back into the nation’s sewers. For these, and for all consumers, WaterIcon offers a range of efficient water treatment plants that are designed to aid the environment and to reduce operating costs.