5 Solutions to Water Pollution Explained
Solutions to water pollution are; pre-discharge treatment of effluent, effective water conservation planning (including flood and marine pollution control) remediation of polluted water, sustainable agricultural practices, and clean energy development.
This article discusses the solutions to water pollution, as follows;
1). Pre-Discharge Effluent Treatment (as one of the Solutions to Water Pollution)
The idea of pre-discharge treatment of effluent, can be viewed as both a solution to, and a prevention for water pollution.
Effluent should be treated before discharge because of the need to remove potentially-toxic components from such fluids, as such toxins can have harmful effects on all aspects of the environment, including the hydrosphere (aquatic ecosystems, artificial water reserves).
An effluent is a stream of fluid that flows out as waste from a system, which could be industrial or domestic. The term is mostly used to refer to domestic wastewater or sewage sludge, and in some cases this sludge has been partially treated.
Before it is released into the environment, sewage sludge is treated by controlled biodegradation of its organic constituents in a process called anaerobic digestion .
Anaerobic digestion occurs in the presence of minimal oxygen, and depends on the activities of microbial organisms that breakdown biomass. It is important also as a waste-to-energy process that can yield gaseous biofuel (a renewable resource containing bioenergy) .
Sewage sludge treatment may also involve thermal energy-application, disinfection and aeration.
Steps that should be taken for treatment of effluents before discharge are;
2. Anaerobic Digestion
Discharge is only recommendable when analysis of the treated effluent shows that its composition does not include any significant concentration of pollutants that can be harmful to the ecosystem.
2). Effective Water Conservation-Planning
Water conservation encompasses all tools, methods and techniques that can be applied to protect water resources from wastage, depletion and degradation.
It is a very broad concept, that is linked to civil construction of water management structures like dams, as well as to technological systems like turbines and electromechanical generators used for hydroelectricity generation; and to sustainable agriculture, soil conservation, recycling and circular economy.
With respect to solving the problem of water pollution, effective water conservation schemes can go a long way to prevent pollutants from entering water bodies, as well as to remove such pollutants from water bodies.
The goals for preventing water pollution include;
1. Regulation-enforcement to control indiscriminate waste dumping
2. Plastic pollution control
3. Sanitary landfill development
4. Flood control to mitigate stormwater pollution and runoff
5. Rainwater harvesting for runoff-volume control
6. Water quality monitoring
Meeting these goals as part of an elaborate water conservation plan will invariably solve most water pollution problems in any given area.
The Pollution Action Plan (P.A.P) refers to any of various schemes in different regions of the world, developed for the control and prevention of pollution.
Details of the Pollution Action Plan (including the specific abbreviation used) vary from one region to another, as determined by authoritative bodies. Such a scheme usually includes measures to control water pollution.
3). Remediation of Polluted Water (as one of the Solutions to Water Pollution)
Remediation of polluted water is a viable solution to water pollution after it has occurred. It is not a preventive measure, but its implementation can prevent further degradation of already-polluted water resources.
In remediation, any of various tools and techniques are used (often in combination) to reduce the concentration of toxins and other foreign materials in water.
Water pollutants that can be eliminated by remediation include sediments, organic compounds, microbes, heavy metals and halogens. When effective remediation is conducted, these pollutants are usually converted to harmless products .
Remediation of polluted water may occur by physical, chemical or biological means; and may involve processes like oxidation, precipitation and flocculation .
4). Sustainable Agricultural Practices
Implementing sustainable agricultural practices and principles is a very important step toward solving water pollution problems, simply because unsustainable agriculture is one of the primary causes of water pollution.
Poor agricultural management results in negative environmental impacts like soil erosion, and leaching of excessive fertilizer chemicals into water bodies .
On the other hand, sustainable farming replaces excessive chemical-usage with organic farming, biological control and composting. These alternative approaches protect water bodies within and beyond the farm, from degradation.
Three ways of preventing water pollution on farms are;
1. Minimization of chemical use
2. Cover cropping for erosion and sediment-transport control
3. Effective management of farm waste
By preventing pollution of water on the farm, these measures also protect water resources within the environs of the farm.
5). Clean Energy Development (as one of the Solutions to Water Pollution)
Clean energy reduces pollution by decreasing the total volumes of toxins that are emitted into air, water and soil in the process of energy conversion, heating and electricity generation.
Energy sources that reduce pollution are those whose usage does not involve chemical processes like combustion, and does not yield any (notable amount of) hazardous byproducts.
Water itself can act as a source of clean hydroenergy; which is far safer for the ecosystem than fossil fuels.
Combining clean energy development with water pollution control can have huge benefits for the society and economy .
Solutions to water pollution are;
1. Pre-Discharge Effluent Treatment
2. Effective Water Conservation-Planning
3. Remediation of Polluted Water
4. Sustainable Agricultural Practices
5. Clean Energy Development
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