Wastewater reclaim is a relatively new idea to help combat the water shortage issue our world is currently facing. Wastewater reclaim is a type of recycling which reuses water which has been used for municipal or sewage reasons. While the word recycling usually conjures to the mind images of aluminum cans or milk cartons, the possibilities are much more varied and numerous than just tossing a used soda bottle in the correct bin outside the local grocery store. The definition of recycle is “To recover useful materials from garbage or waste” or “To extract or reuse” and that is exactly what wastewater reclaim aims to do. With the fact that most water on Earth is unusable or inaccessible, it is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to rationalize using drinking water for things which involve cleaning. Droughts and lack of drinking water are no longer an issue only for third world countries, but many of the states in our country are also faced with this terrifying problem. Once one takes into consideration the wildfires which are currently raging in multiple countries around the globe, the idea of wastewater reclaim becomes more and more obvious as a smart and accessible alternative for certain projects.
Wastewater reclaim has been used for multiple things in the past. The most common thing it is used for currently is agricultural and landscape irrigation. It can also be used for toilet flushing and other industrial projects. While wastewater can be reclaimed into drinking water, it requires a great deal more treatment to get the water up to healthy standards. No human health issues have been found when humans come into contact with correctly processed and reclaimed wastewater.
Generally, industrial plants will use wastewater for things such as cooling. Since machines can be very particular about how warm they need to be to work, or have a tendency to overheat, cooling is an important part of the daily usage of the plant. Industrial wastewater reclaim can also use something called “gray water”. Gray water is a wastewater which has been used in sinks, showers, washing machines, and other things which don’t normally come into high contact with human waste products. This is also normally used for things like irrigation, however people residing in the areas around must be careful to use certain types of non-toxic and low sodium soaps and the like. It is, however, a good alternative to using what could have been drinking water when there is such a high demand in other areas.