There is growing concern about a global public health risk caused by the ability of bacteria and resistant genes to exchange with one another and transfer environmental bacteria to human pathogens. One of the main issues with resistant bacteria reaching the environment is sewage. This is why it is essential that sewage treatment plants are correctly installed and effective wastewater pumping treatment is in place. 

Sewage in the form of liquid and solids is one of the main causes of health and environmental risks. Releases that can damage the environment or harm the public’s health come from aquaculture, agriculture and pharmaceutical productions. Wastewater treatment plants and effective water pumping treatments are essential points of control in eliminating antimicrobials and environmental and/or public health risks. 

The contaminants:

Wastewater treatment plants are heavily contaminated environments as they receive waste, both solid and liquid by-products, from numerous environments, this includes such as:

  • Hospital waste;
  • Agricultural waste;
  • Industrial waste;
  • Antimicrobial agents;
  • Algal toxins;
  • Various chemicals;
  • Pharmaceuticals;
  • Heavy metals;
  • Personal care products waste.

Without the correct treatment, any of the above pollutants can end up contaminating drinking water and the environment. Therefore, it goes without saying this can cause adverse ecological effects and affect human health. 

There are numerous microorganisms and chemical substances that haven’t in the past been deemed pollutants, but which are now considered to be agents that may bring about waterborne disease. This has been brought about due to:

  • Demographic changes;
  • Changes in human behaviour;
  • Changes in the landscape;
  • Developing technology;
  • Water resource development projects;
  • An increase in travel;
  • Microbial adaptation;
  • Changes to the climate;
  • Improvements in scientific detection methods and analysis.

Thanks to new techniques, along with a better understanding of engineering, scientists now know the true risk to humans, along with environmental health, that the emerging contaminants pose without adequate water treatment plants being in place. 

The Environmental Agency tests sewage treatment plants:

The Environmental Agency carries out regular testing of sewage treatment plants and criminal prosecution can be brought against site owners due to the health and safety dangers inadequate treatment brings. 

Should a plant deteriorate the biological process fails and this may lead to raw untreated sewage having a severe impact on the environment and public health. 

Bear in mind that sewage treatment plants are found on public sites and can pose a huge risk if not up to standards. They are often located at pubs, golf courses, caravan parks, and hotels and such. All places where there is a lot of human contact close by. 

The correct method of disinfection is essential:

Regular cleaning and maintenance to keep the wastewater pumping treatment plant running correctly cannot be stressed enough. 

Just as important as cleaning and maintenance are the choices of disinfection method, with some methods being better at eliminating AMRDs in wastewater than others are. Common disinfection methods include UV radiation and chlorination; however, how effective they are at removing AMRD will vary depending on numerous factors as was found in a study undertaken in 2015. 

The study compared how effective UV radiation, chlorination and sequential UV/chlorination were against AMRDs in municipal wastewater effluent. The most effective was a combination of first using UV irradiation followed by chlorination. Chlorination alone was more effective than UV radiation alone. 

Wastewater treatment plants are designed with distinct water treatment process combinations. The combination depends on factors such as the water quality of the influent along with the effluent discharge standard. 

Typical methods of wastewater treatment include:

  • Pre-treatment;
  • Primary treatment;
  • Secondary treatment;
  • Tertiary treatment.

The pre-treatment process removes solids, organic matter, oils and fats. The secondary treatment makes use of chemical and biological processes to remove more suspended solids and organic. The tertiary treatment removes any suspended residual solids using chlorination, UV-radiation, ozonation or a combination. 

Treatment processes can include degreasing, bar screening, air flotation, biofilm process/activated sludge process, sand filtration and many more.

A study concluded that wastewater treatment facilities are an ideal environment in regards to environmental public health monitoring along with being excellent for developing management strategies targeted to reduce the number of AMRDs in water along with soil environments. 

Ensuring sewage systems are operational 24/7:

To ensure your sewage system is operational 24/7 it requires expert installation and maintenance. Filta has decades of experience in all matters and has worked with clients ranging from schools, hotels, restaurants, developers, caravan parks and more.

Sewage is an extremely corrosive environment for any mechanical equipment to operate in and therefore needs consistent maintenance to perform well and deal with the wide variety of materials that enter the station. As you have heard already the penalties for neglecting are not only costly but can also be dangerous. 

One of the many issues with sewage pumping stations is that they are prone to the non-biological matter being built up and this floats and then forms a layer on the surface of the sump. This needs to be removed regularly as it can stop the float switch from operating. If the layer goes into the pump it can lead to system failure due to blockages. How often the sump needs cleaning does depend on how the sewage treatment plant is used. Systems installed in pubs, clubs, caravan parks etc. typically require more cleaning than domestic systems. 

Whether you require a new system installed on your business premises, including the planning, design and installation or you need emergency response maintenance or planned maintenance Filta provide it to minimise costs and downtime.

Correct planning and design are essential:

The correct planning and design, along with installation are of the utmost importance. If the sewage system isn’t the correct size it could be a very costly mistake. The anticipated load going through the system has to be sized correctly for it to meet the necessary discharge consent. The system has to meet the requirements of your business and that of the Environment Agency. 

We use our in-house installation team of engineers for the installation and maintenance of treatment plants throughout the UK. 

By Williumson

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