It’s hard to go anywhere without being reminded of the trouble the earth is in. It’s a hot button issue in all of the current political conversations. Our environment is struggling, and we’re seeing various facets of that struggle in every part of the world. Areas closer to home than you’d expect are facing the water crisis. The occurrence of forest fires is at an all-time high. We’re seeing polar vortexes in more than one area of the United States. Species are dying and others are struggling to survive in their dying ecosystems. Even the Great Barrier Reef is at risk and is slowly dying.
Of course, our struggling environment is everyone’s issue. We’ve developed products to live easier lifestyles without knowing how they would play a role in the earth’s downfall later in life. Now that we have an understanding, it’s time to make a change and do better by becoming good water stewards and stewards of the earth.
The demand for water is higher than the availability of the source in numerous areas, which is why we are experiencing water stress. Are you wondering if your industry is contributing to the water crisis? Consider this scenario: when you’re washing out a concrete drum after you’ve filled a driveway, do you dump that washout water down the drain? Or do you send it through the dewatering process so you can recycle and reuse the water and toss out the remaining slurry cakes? Do you send your slurry water somewhere to be treated? If you don’t treat your water and then dump it, or you let it absorb into the ground, you’re contributing to water stress and the water crisis by contaminating valuable water sources. By dumping untreated wastewater into bodies of water—whether it’s a babbling brook or the vast ocean—you’re contributing to declining ecosystems. The quality of the water severely deteriorates and aquatic ecosystems are affected. The contaminants in the wastewater can kill plant life that fish survive on, and the contaminants can poison the fish themselves. There are dead zones in the ocean, too.
Statistics show that a frightening 80% of wastewater is dumped untreated back into the environment. Good water stewards leave the environment as it was or better than it was. That means if you’re part of an industry that creates wastewater and slurry, you need to be treating it and recycling it. There is great equipment out there—small and large—to help you treat your water, balance its pH level, and either safely dump it or reuse it. From filter presses to the Mud Hen, there are options and strategies for you to avoid contributing to water pollution and the spread of waterborne diseases. Recycled wastewater leads to improved water and soil quality, and it can sustain wildlife, replenish groundwater, and limit the need for chemical fertilizers. If you can, it’s best to treat the water onsite in order to avoid the transportation fees and the greenhouse gas emissions required to transfer the product somewhere else.
As a society, we are good at creating waste, but we are not always good at cleaning it up. Water is a precious, yet limited, resource, and it’s our responsibility to recycle it.