Natural Wastewater Solutions

The Growing Importance of Effective Natural Wastewater Solutions

Although, following the recent spate of flooding experienced by the residents of Gauteng may suggest otherwise, South Africa is officially designated as a semi-arid region and, in practice, parts of the country are in a state of drought for much of the year. Even in those countries experiencing far higher rates of annual rainfall, there are signs of a mounting water crisis and one that is causing increasing concern on the local scene also.

One of the countermeasures adopted by local authorities has been rationing imposed by cutting domestic supplies for timed periods until reservoir levels are restored. The strategy that is more often employed, however, is simply to hike the tariff in the hope that this will encourage people to curb their consumption of this vital resource. As a means to bolster the efforts of the municipal service providers and to save some money at the same time, the use of natural wastewater treatment solutions is proving to be invaluable.

While there are other systems that may be used to treat sewage and other forms of contaminated effluent, quite often these depend upon the use of harsh chemicals that, while adequately degrading waste, actually create a pollution problem of their own when it is time to return the degraded mixture to the environment. Often such systems will also be dependent upon electricity obtained from fossil fuels and this, in turn, constitutes yet another threat to an already severely polluted atmosphere.

By contrast, nature has been handling the disposal of waste since life on earth first emerged, employing a combination of chemical, biological, and physical treatments that have successfully maintained the planet in a state of perfect equilibrium for billions of years prior to the arrival of mankind and the eventual birth of industrialisation. It is understandable, therefore, that those with a concern for the environment would turn to nature in search of natural wastewater solutions that pose none of the environmental threats of the traditional treatment plants. Their efforts have led to the development of a new type of plant that is already benefitting both domestic and industrial consumers in many countries around the world including South Africa.

Suitable for the treatment of blackwater effluent from toilets and greywater from baths, showers, washing machines, and hand basins, these compact, portable plants rely on a sequence of aerobic (aided by the presence of oxygen) and anaerobic (conducted in the absence of oxygen) reactions combined with filtration as the effluent passes between the various compartments The overall effect is to combine the degrading of organic content by the digestive actions of harmless bacteria, the sedimentation of the treated sludge allowing it to settle out and be separated plus the filtration of the residual liquid to produce a clear and odourless end product.

The effluent attainable when using one of the most effective natural wastewater solutions can be better than 98% free of contaminants, making it suitable for reuse in a variety of applications and, with additional treatment, could even be potable. Alternatively, any excess effluent recovered by this process may be safely discharged with no danger to surface or groundwater sources. The liquid recovered in this fashion is commonly used for several useful functions. In the home, the users of small-scale plants tend to use it for watering the garden and washing cars or windows, while in many factories, it is proving to be invaluable for re-use in processes where 100% purity is not essential. The benefits to farmers is even greater, providing them with water for irrigation and cleaning agricultural equipment as well as purified sludge that serves as an excellent organic fertiliser. In addition, the high recovery rates that are possible with a well-designed system can not only help to reduce the drain on the nation’s water reserves, but also provide welcome relief for the family or company budget.

Offering a wide range of energy-efficient, world-class products with processing capacities of between 2 000 and 15 000 litres per day for residential use and up to half a million litres daily for use by industry, Bio Sewage Systems is playing a major role in protecting South Africa’s environment and natural resources, while also saving money for local consumers, with innovative natural wastewater solutions that work.