Water is life, and this is why we have to avoid wasting it. Water recycling can best be described as the process of reclaiming or purifying wastewater for reuse. In simpler terms, it’s basically converting dirty water into clean water so that it can be used for other useful activities. Some apartments have a water recycling system that allows the tenants to reuse water for cleaning the house and laundry.
According to science, the earth is mostly covered by water. The downside is that most of it is salty water from the seas and oceans. Clean pure drinking water is found in underground reserves and is limited. This alone should tell you that you cannot afford to waste clean water.
How Water Recycling is Done
Water recycling can be understood differently since there are a variety of purification processes that are applied to meet different water quality requirements. Before we discuss the different recycling methods, let’s talk about the different types of recycled water.
Types of Recycled Water
Water recycled on-site – Different commercial and industrial facilities require gallons of water for their day-to-day work procedures. One of the most common recycled water used for these enterprises is reclaimed water from municipal sewage or wastewater. Stats in the US already show that thirty-two billion gallons of municipal wastewater is produced daily, but less than 10% of it is intentionally being reused.
Gray Water – This is mostly reusable wastewater extracted from both industrial and residential perimeters. This could be water from bathtub shower drains, bathroom sinks and drains from the cloth washing equipment. However, you need to note that gray water may contain high-level sodium; that’s why it’s advisable to use gray water with little to no sodium for vegetation protection. According to reports by the Arizona Water Resources Research Center (AWRRC), there’s a potential of recycling about 60%-65% of the water that goes down the drain in a typical home.
Methods Used to Recycle Water
1. Chemical Treatment
This is a technique that factories use to remove sediments and tiny particles in the water. The water usually goes through 4 main processes: screening, coagulation, flocculation, and floatation. Screening helps to get rid of large particles that could damage the machines used to recycle the water. In coagulation, a chemical called a coagulant is added to the water. It brings together all the dirt and forms a flocculent mass. Flocculation is almost the same as coagulation. The only difference is that a different chemical is used – it’s called a flocculant. With floatation, the clean water is separated from the sediments based on mass differences. The particles sink, and the ‘clean’ water is slowly poured out.
2. Biological Treatment
Instead of industrial chemicals, the water is treated with microorganisms that oxidize most of the dirt particles to form carbon dioxide and water. Other particles are converted to microorganisms and separated from the recycled water.
3. Sand Filtration
Here, the water is passed through layers of sand that act like a sieve. The sand collects the different dirt particles. The final water that’s collected is usually free from most sediments.
Water recycling also occurs naturally through the natural water cycle. Nevertheless, the term ‘water recycling’ mostly focuses on the projects that apply the use of technology to hasten the natural processes.
Benefits of Recycling Water
Reclaimed water can be used for non-potable purposes such as landscape and agriculture irrigation
- Can also be used for both direct and indirect potable (drinking) purposes
- Decreases the diversion of freshwater from subtle ecosystems
- Can be used to create wetlands habitats which can be used by wildlife
- Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers since some nutrients survive the water reclamation process
It’s safe to say that water recycling is a process that needs to be taken more seriously with time because we can’t afford to waste water. Hopefully, people will learn about the above methods and use them to recycle their water.