Wastewater, sewage or blackwater is water that has been polluted with human or animal feces/urine. It is different from greywater which is wastewater than has not been polluted with fecal material.

Wastewater management is an important part of sanitation. Creation of wastewater can be limited by separating human and animal feces and urine from the ambient water reserves (e.g., rivers, sea, etc.). This can be done partially accomplished by using composting toilet instead of flush toilets..[1]

The essential components of wastewater management are the sewerage or sewage system (see sewage collection) and the actual wastewater treatment.

Industrial wastewater may also contain toxic or caustic effluent[verification needed].

The stages in wastewater treatment are:

  • Primary wastewater treatment - sieving and sedimentation.
  • Secondary wastewater treatment - digestion of biological matter, usually through oxidation, although anaerobic digestion is also possible.
  • Tertiary wastewater treatmentW - an additional treatment stage to improve effluent quality its discharge into the environment. This covers additional removal of suspended solids, refractory organics, heavy metals and dissolved solids
  • "Advanced wastewater treatment" may be considered part of tertiary treatment, or may be considered separately - this is a matter of terminology. It includes nutrient removal - i.e. biological removal of nitrogen and phosphorus to avoid eutrophication of the receiving water body.

Minimizing health risks from blackwater[edit | edit source]

Sewage handling is essential for public health. Many diseases can be transmitted by blackwater, which contains pathogens, and/or harsh chemicals. It hence should be handled with great care and human exposure to greywater should be avoided.

  • Wash yourself after having contact with blackwater.
  • Do not allow blackwater run off your property (see drain-field systems)
  • Do not allow anything that may be eaten to come into contact with blackwater (e.g. root garden crops in contact with blackwater from your neighbour's drain-field system).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Or even even microwave or vacuum toilets first developed by Georgios Stefanidis, second developed by Grietje Zeeman /DeSaH

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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Authors KVDP, Chris Watkins
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Translations Chinese, Arabic
Related 2 subpages, 50 pages link here
Aliases Sewage
Impact 1,561 page views
Created October 15, 2007 by Chris Watkins
Modified May 23, 2024 by Kathy Nativi
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