According to recent statistics released by the Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs, more than 11 billion litres of wastewater is collected every day in UK sewers. This water is then treated by water treatment plants and returned to the ecosystem, where any contaminated water is disposed of or used to create alternative energy.
Without this treatment, wastewater could be hazardous to both wildlife and humans and the environment as a whole, which is why businesses need to reduce the risk of contamination wherever they can.
By lowering the risk of water contamination, businesses can not only help improve the overall water quality across the UK but they can also save money by doing so. Many water management companies will charge a larger sum of money to collect and dispose of industrial water.
To help you avoid these extra charges, we have put together a list of the top five ways your business can reduce their contamination in their wastewater.
Install oil interceptors
You can collect any oil or grease by installing an oil interceptor that may make its way down your drain.
The interceptor’s sole purpose is to safely and efficiently separate any oil from the flowing water passing through the many chambers and pipes in your business’ water system. Once a significant amount is collected, it can be safely disposed of by a water management specialist.
Reuse and Recycle
Not all wastewater needs to be sent for treatment: businesses can recycle their wastewater for various purposes.
Depending on the size of your business, you can utilise the water in various ways, such as watering plants, offering a car washing service to employees or even cleaning the outside of your property. You can save money and make your business more efficient by focusing on reducing your business waste and how you deal with the waste that remains.
Monitor your water waste
Monitoring water is an integral part of any business’s environmental management. By keeping accurate records of the volume of water, the businesses can identify peak periods when they will need to take action. Other benefits of monitoring your wastewater include:
- Identifying inefficiencies and leaks
- Identifying opportunities for water savings and set reduction targets
- Reducing risks associated with disruptions in water supplies or increase in the cost of water
- Finding ways to keep solids out of the water supply
Keep solids and hazardous products separate
Solids, oils and other hazardous products cause major problems to a business drain and sewers. The number of blockages and pollution incidents relating to fat or oil is steadily increasing year on year.
There are approximately 200,000 sewer blockages throughout the UK every year, of which up to 75% are caused by fat, oil and grease.
It’s also important to keep medicines and toxins separate from any drains or supply pipes – even if the water has been treated, contamination from any toxic materials could be poisonous and may lead to lethal results.
Treat what needs treating
To save money, businesses should only treat water that needs to be treated. If you ask your employers to act with discretion when using the business drains, you can avoid unnecessary treatment and charges. By separating liquids from other sediment and suspended solids, wastewater can be treated more directly and at a lower cost.
Microplastics in Water
A worrying concern globally is microplastics in water. There are microplastics in water everywhere, and insufficient treatment of wastewater and sewage is the main cause.
The blame is placed on the water management companies and in the UK, the practice of releasing wastewater into rivers with the low flow, which is typical in dry spells.
The low river flow fails to remove the microplastics, i.e. take them out to sea, which is also damaging to our health when we eat fish. Therefore the drinking water is contaminated with microplastics.
Globally businesses need to reduce their reliance on plastics – as consumers choose businesses committed to eco-friendly practices.