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Water Pollution
Given in the paper
According to a report given by the Gazeta Mercantil, of 11.01.1994, excess indus
trial effluents and domestic sewage thrown into the river bed Iriri in Santa Cat
arina, caused lack of oxygen in the water, causing the death of approximately a
ton of fish. The country through which the river passes had been occupied, wrong
ly, by industries and households. Washington Novaes, geologist and former Enviro
nment Secretary of Brasilia, said that 65% of pediatric admissions are due to wa
ter contamination. (...) He also says that in Brazil, only 40% of the population
receives piped water, but only 10% of this water is treated. (...) In the count
ry there are about 20% of fresh water worldwide, but the water treatment program
s are ineffective, and the total disinterest by the government.
Journal of Commerce and Industry, 05/18/1995.
Sad news, no? Read the lesson to learn about water pollution.
Our class
There once was a fish. This fish was magical, for he had nine lives! But unfortu
nately, he died. The first time he died, he lived in the creek next to a simple
house on the outskirts of town. Then he rose and went to live in a large river,
which passed close to an industry. He spent a little time and he died a second t
ime. He rose and went to live far away in another state, a river that ran in the
middle of a farm. E. .. died again. He died when he was living in a dam, when h
e was living in a lake when he went to live at sea and died, the seventh time wh
en he was living in a simple aquarium. You could explain what caused the deaths
of the poor fish? Think about it. Reading this lesson, you'll know why the fish
died, and what could have been done to prevent his life was shorter than it shou
The water, the liquid that can not miss
Water is widely distributed in nature. She is in liquid form in the seas, oceans
, rivers, lakes and groundwater. That portion of the globe called hydrosphere. I
n the atmosphere, is in gaseous form. Water is also present in solid form, ice a
nd snow. In the clouds, the water is in the form of steam, which turns into drop
lets when it rains. Water is vital to plants, animals and humans. Our body conta
ins about 70% water, which is part of the cells. Water is present in the muscles
, organs, blood and even bones. The plants draw water from the soil and, with it
, nutrients such as minerals of iron, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium and potassium
. The water can be classified into: · Freshwater: provides the sources and river
s. Contain salts removed from the rocks, riverbeds and riverbanks. Rainwater is
fresh and has dissolved nitrogen from the air. Mineral water: as water is a grea
t solvent contains dissolved minerals. The mineral water is found in sources and
often have medicinal properties. For example, gas or water sources acidulate (p
resence of carbon dioxide), alkaline water (presence of bicarbonate), ferruginou
s waters (presence of iron salts) and sulfur (presence of sulfur salts). Salt wa
ter seas and oceans occupy approximately three quarters of the land surface, whi
ch corresponds to about one billion and 400 million km3 of water. In salt water,
the highest concentration of salt is sodium chloride (common salt) and a lesser
amount, magnesium and iodine. Hard Water: Water is rich in calcium salts and ma
gnesium, being unfit for domestic use. The dissolved salts prevent the formation
of soap foam and harden the greens. For use in industry, this kind of water sho
uld be treated with the addition of chemicals. Drinking water is fresh water or
mineral, which is mainly for human consumption. Must be colorless, clear, odorle
ss, need good flavor; be at a temperature around 10 º C; have about 200 ml of di
ssolved oxygen per liter, contain a small amount of minerals, not owning or orga
nic debris and microorganisms.
The water absolutely pure, dissolved minerals, is not found in nature. It is the
distilled water obtained for use in laboratories or in drug manufacturing. The
volume of water of our planet is stable. The waters of the seas, rivers and lake
s evaporate to form clouds. The clouds, when they encounter a front of cold air,
condense, falling in the form of rain. Rain water back to the seas, rivers, lak
es and groundwater. It is the natural movement of water, forming a cycle very us
eful for supporting life.
Wastewater is liquid waste
Water Pollution
Water pollution occurs in several ways: by means of human or animal waste, domes
tic sewage, industrial effluents, pesticides, soaps, detergents etc.. The domest
ic sewage and industrial effluents contain microbes, bacteria and other toxic el
ements. When dumped directly into rivers and seas, pollute the water, contaminat
ing it. People, individually, also pollute water, throwing rubbish and other deb
ris from the source and even in rivers or dams that allow drinking water. There
are also microorganisms that live in water. The greater the amount of organic ma
tter released into the water, the greater the number of microorganisms that will
develop there. These micro-breathing, consuming dissolved oxygen in water. Wate
r low in dissolved oxygen causes death by suffocation of fish and other aquatic
animals. What you just read explains why our fish died. He died because he lived
in rivers, dams and lakes polluted by domestic sewage or industrial or even by
an excess of pesticides used in plantations near the river where he lived. At se
a, the fish died because of the oil spill from a ship. The oil prevented him fro
m breathing. In the aquarium, died by excess feed that someone threw, causing an
increase in microorganisms that live in water. But what could be done to preven
t this? Do not throw garbage and other debris directly into the water and not al
low domestic and industrial effluents are discharged into rivers or the sea with
out first passing through a treatment plant. Polluted water must be treated. Tha
t's what we speak now.
Water Treatment
Since water does not multiply, ie not born water, it needs to be addressed in or
der to be reused. There are three basic types of water treatment. Treatment of n
atural waters captured and piped to fountains and rivers for consumption in citi
es. Industrial wastewater treatment, ie, liquid wastes generated from industrial
processes. Treatment of domestic sewage collected from the sewers and septic ta
Treatment of natural waters Water dissolves most substances, particularly minera
ls. Not surprisingly, as effective a solvent often contains impurities. After ca
pture, the water is distributed in cities by a network of pipelines, reservoirs,
pumps, valves and boxes-d water. In all the cities are built one or more water
treatment plants (WTP) that the purified before distribution and consumption. An
ETA is composed basically of: · · · · basins, where the impurities settle, a fi
ltration unit with one or more filters formed by layers of gravel, sand and vari
ous types of activated carbon, a mixing unit and disinfection; reservoirs, where
water is clean, fit for consumption.
Decanting is to separate solid impurities from a liquid
Drinking water should also be purified domestically. A home water purification c
an be done: · · with filter candle filter or ozone, with the boiling water with
the addition of chemicals that are not expensive nor harmful, as a solution of s
odium hypochlorite or permanganate potassium. Industrial wastewater treatment In
dustrial waste is treated in effluent treatment plants (WWTP). These stations ha
ve specific units for each type of effluent to be treated. There is a single sys
tem model, for the treatment of effluents, since the construction of a WWTP depe
nds on the nature of the effluent. However, the following basic operations are p
racticed in most seasons, with some variations: · grating and screening: the sol
id materials, like pieces of metal and other wastes are retained in the grids. T
he particles that are not held in the railings are retained in the sieves. This
material is then removed manually or mechanically. Grit removal: this blows, aft
er some time, is separated from the remainder of solid waste. Waste heavier sink
to the bottom of the tank, forming a sort of slime, and the lighter floats on t
he surface. The residue that remained in the background are removed and disposed
of in landfills.
Separation of oils and greases: in this tank, after some time, oils and greases,
being less dense than water, rise to the surface, forming a layer called scum.
Equalization: the equalization tanks, water is homogenized, ie, moved through el
ectromechanical shaker.
The equalization tank as the pH is related to the degree of acidity or alkalinit
y of a solution
settling tank
Thereafter, the liquid passes through pH adjustment,€ie, it has corrected its le
vel of acidity and is at rest again, for the last waste is deposited on the pond
bottom, or rise to the surface. The waste is removed and there is another fix t
he pH. This water, once treated, can be reused in industry.
This treatment of domestic sewage treatment can be done in two main ways: an act
ivated sludge or biological filters. · Activated sludge: is a mass of microorgan
isms that eat the impurities in the water. This mass is put into a tank of dirty
water. The water is stirred by means of aerators to keep the oxygen level, the
microorganisms consume the waste, and are growing. The residence time is determi
ned by technicians, according to the type and concentration of waste in the wate
r. After that time, the sludge is removed and the water goes to another tank, wh
ere it rests. This process allows the removal of up to 95% of waste, making the
effluent cleaner than in most other cases. Biological filters: are tanks filled
with gravel, which contains microorganisms similar to those of activated sludge.
The sewage is discharged slowly and uniformly over the gravel, forming a thin l
ayer. Microorganisms feed on the debris, cleaning fluid from the sewer. This pro
cess eliminates 80% to 90% of impurities in the water.
The treated effluent should be subjected to microbiological testing chemical and
physical-chemical laboratory trusted to verify the effectiveness of treatment a
nd were followed to national and local effluent discharge. The sludge retained i
n each treatment process should be dehydrated and dried on filter presses, band
filters continuously filter or vacuum drying beds outdoors. This silt forms a re
sidue that, according to their composition and origin, can be used as fertilizer
(domestic sewage), placed in controlled landfills, be incinerated or even be us
ed in recycling processes and other corporate materials.
Exercise 1 Answer the questions below. a) What are the main types of water pollu
tion? b) Why does water need to be treated? c) What types of water treatment?
Just to remind