Waste Water

Waste Water Disposal

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Wastewater treatment is a process used to convert wastewater into an effluent (outflowing of water to a receiving body of water) that can be returned to the water cycle with minimal impact on the environment or directly reused. The latter is called water reclamation because treated wastewater can then be used for other purposes. The treatment process takes place in a wastewater treatment plant, often referred to as a Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) or a sewage treatment plant. Pollutants in municipal wastewater (households and small industries) are removed or broken down.

Once wastewater has been treated, it is disposed of by reintroducing it to the environment. Three methods for disposing of treated wastewater effluent are:

  1. Surface water discharge
  2. Subsurface discharge
  3. Land application for beneficial use

Wastewater disposal, as the name suggests, refers to the management of contaminated water from industrial, commercial or domestic sewage activities. For oil and natural gas production, wastewater is generated during drilling and production operations.

Federal, state, and local regulations prohibit the disposal of untreated wastewater into storm drains or surface waters (in some cases, a special permit can be obtained to allow this). Wastewater must be managed under one of two federal laws – the Clean Water Act (CWA) or the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). When dealing with wastewater treatment or disposal, it is important to work with a waste company that specifically deals with waste water to ensure all legal and socially responsible steps are taken to handle your waste.

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