Primer for Municipal Wastewater Treatment Systems
Wastewater treatment is needed so that we can use our rivers and streams for fishing, swimming and drinking water. For the first half of the 20th century, pollution in the Nation’s urban waterways resulted in frequent occurrences of low dissolved oxygen, fish kills, algal blooms and bacterial contamination. Early efforts in water pollution control prevented human waste from reaching water supplies or reduced floating debris that obstructed shipping. Pollution problems and their control were primarily local, not national, concerns. Water pollution issues now dominate public concerns about national water quality and maintaining healthy ecosystems. Although a large investment in water pollution control has helped reduce the problem, many miles of streams are still impacted by a variety of different pollutants. This, in turn, affects the ability of people to use the water for beneficial purposes. Past approaches used to control water pollution control must be modified to accommodate current and emerging issues.