Water Quality, Waste Management
In secondary water treatment, the waste water is allowed to sustain organic bacteria on the waste. This initiative allows bacteria to break the organic matter through the process of biodegradation to non harmful products. Further, this process helps to reduce the amount of organic substances in the waste. In tertiary waste water treatment, bacteria and other harmful compounds are removed from the water which is ready to be disposed off in other water masses. Moreover, in tertiary water treatment, there is use of chemicals to dissolve harmful compounds while in secondary treatment; there is use of usable micro-organisms.
The by-products formed in secondary treatment can be used economically. For example, in the decomposition of raw waste products by micro-organisms, there is the formation of biogas which can be re-used. On the other hand, in secondary treatment methods, there is the use of filters to decant any organic material that may trickle on the water surfaces (Manahan, 2005). Conversely, in tertiary treatment, there is no use of filters since the products formed are scientifically extracted. The comparison in both treatment methods is that there is treatment of water from harmful state to a more useful state.
This work is done by reduction of contaminators to a more useful state. Reclaimed water can be disposed off into rivers or lakes to replenish its supplies after its consumption. It can also be used in irrigation where treated water can be poured onto grass on golf courses rather than using fresh water that is directly derived from rivers. Conversely, the treated water can be taken to lagoons where it can be evaporated. Consequently, the sludge formed can be decomposed or treated to form fertilizer which in turn is used in farming. Conversely, the water can filtrate into the soil, thus replenishing underground water through infiltration.
It can also be treated well to the extent of removing pollutants which are resistant to other methods of treatment and then disposed off to underground outfalls which flow back to the ocean. Reclaimed water can be used for domestic purposes such as flushing toilets in urban centers (Hill, 2010). It can be used in factories as coolant and also in water processing companies. Further, it can be used in recreation of wetlands in areas where there are no wetlands or in dry regions. Treated water can be used to increase the supply of surface water which is used for drinking. The treated water is thus used for human consumption.
On my own opinion, I would recommend that the water that is treated and recharged for underground replenishment which is later used for drinking should be treated to the tertiary level. This is because the water that is treated up to this level is much safer for drinking since the harmful compounds, such as phosphorus, are removed from the water. Secondary treated water contains some dissolved harmful compounds which may not be visible because the bacteria used to biodegrade the water only works only on the organic compounds in the water while the inorganic compounds remain dissolved in the water.
The main reason that has made me to choose this treatment is because it removes all the dissolved inorganic compounds which dissolve in the water and which remain after the degradation of the organic compounds in the secondary treatment.
Hill, M. K. (2010). Understanding environmental pollution. Cambridge University Press. Manahan, S. E. (2005). Environmental chemistry. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.