Where Wastewater Comes From
Each person in the U.S. contributes 50 to 100 gallons of wastewater every day. It can come from:
How Treatment Plants Protect Our Water
- Homes: Human and household wastes from toilets, sinks, baths, and drains
- Industry, schools, and businesses: Chemicals and other wastes from factories, food service operations, airports, shopping centers, etc.
- Storm runoff and groundwater: Water that collects in street drains during a storm, as well as groundwater that enters through cracks in sewers
A wastewater treatment plant protects our water in three ways:
How You Can Help Improve Wastewater Treatment
- Reducing organic matter and pollutants: Helpful bacteria and other microorganisms are used to consume organic matter in wastewater. The bacteria and microorganisms are then separated from the water.
- Restoring oxygen: Treatment facilities help ensure that the water put back into our lakes or rivers has enough oxygen to support life.
- Removing solids: This includes everything from rags and sticks to sand and smaller particles found in wastewater.
By using water wisely. Practice water conservation at home and at work by following these tips:
- Be aware of how much water you use in your household
- By disposing of household products and other waste safely
- Fix leaks, and install water-saving devices and appliances
- Properly dispose of pet waste
- Use fertilizers and pesticides carefully, following the product’s instructions