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Water and Waste

Water is a seemingly abundant resource on the planet, but that perception would be incorrect. Although 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, less than 1% of that is potable — fresh water that people can drink and water crops with. The rest is unusable with about 97% of it in the oceans, which are too salty for these purposes.

The average American uses about 100 gallons of water per day, depending on how you calculate water usage. The majority of that water is used in the bathroom for bathing and flushing toilets. In addition to the water used in homes, water used by businesses, industries, and storm runoff needs to be treated before it is released back into the environment. While nature can clean small amounts of wastewater, the billions of gallons of wastewater generated daily requires treatment plants. Once water has been treated it can be effectively released back into the environment without harmful effects to ecosystems and human health.

Review how wastewater is treated (the water that you send down the drain):

USGS (n.d.) What is Wastewater, and Why Treat it? Retrieved from https://water.usgs.gov/edu/wuww.html

In your posts this unit answer the following questions:

  1. Define wastewater and provide an example of where wastewater originates in your community?
  2. Some common measures of water quality are contaminant nutrient levels (nitrates, nitrates, and phosphorus), temperature, turbidity, bacteria, pH, dissolved oxygen, and toxic substances. Choose a measure of water quality and provide an explanation of how this quality is measured for in water and what the allowable ranges are in the water supply.
  3. Review your local community, town, city, or state government’s website for information and policies on water conservation and wastewater treatment. You can also use the EPA site to learn about your local water. https://watersgeo.epa.gov/mywaterway/
  4. Post at least one interesting fact that you learned in your research. Be sure to provide the resource for the information with your post.
  5. Lastly, describe the treatment process used to clean wastewater in order for it to be allowed back into the water cycle or reused. What is one way to now reuse non-potable wastewater?

Be sure to review the Discussion Board Course Rubrics.

For help with citations, refer to the APA Quick Reference Guide.

Use this reference when referring to your text:

Trefil, J., & Hazen, R. M. (2016). The sciences: An integrated approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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