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Every Drop of Water Speaks of Itself: Wastewater and Where It Goes!

The topic that is going to be discussed in this article is one that probably won’t make the top 10 in topics to have a discussion on, but probably something you have all thought about at least once in your life. Where does the waste that goes down the toilet all go? Before outlining where it goes, I think its important to discuss what happens. According to WSHU, wastewater separates into solid sludge and liquid greywater, as it is in the septic system.

Germs in the system break down natural parts of the waste and adds nutrients to the wastewater. This nutrient-rich wastewater in the end depletes into the soil. When all goes smoothly, the nutrients provides plant growth. So back to the main question; where does it all go? Water leaving our homes commonly goes either into a septic tank in your back yard where it then goes back into the ground or is sent to a sewage-treatment plant. If you want to see footage to envision it, here is a video from YouTube on wastewater.

Focusing solely on Toronto’s wastewater, according to the City of Toronto, Toronto’s wastewater treatment plants are designed to remove chemicals and other unwanted materials in three ways: consistently, cost-effectively and environmentally constructive. It is important to keep our environment clean and safe for cleanliness and health purposes and the City of Toronto enforces that. Toronto’s care process ensures that the water released into Lake Ontario abides all provincial and federal laws.

Lake-Ontario-Waterkeeper
Although Toronto does its best to keep the city clean that doesn’t mean they haven’t had issues in the past. According to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, when rain hit the city in July of 2013, it had no place to go. Approximately 50% of Toronto’s surfaces like roads, sidewalks, parking lots and rooftops were not able to soak up the rain. So where did it go? It streamed into storm drains. When all that rain was joined with sewage (i.e., wastewater from toilets) it besieged two of Toronto’s sewage treatment plants. If that doesn’t cry “uh oh” I don’t know what does.

Humber-Wastewater-Treatment-Plant
The Humber Wastewater Treatment Plant detoured approximately 367,364 m3 of sewage in excess of 28 hours from the plant and an extra 116,578 m3 was evaded in excess of 19 hours at Berry Road on the Humber River. The additional problem that unfortunately rose was that when the storm had passed people ventured to activities like fishing, paddling and swimming. Without a doubt they weren’t aware of the bypass, so it was not viable for them to take precautions to protect their health against E.coli.

The moral of the story is to make sure our septic tanks don’t get over flown with water. Of course, we can’t control Mother Nature, but we can make sure we don’t flush things like tampons, or overflow toilets, because what we flush down the toilet has an effect on our environment and especially our homes. Sewage problems can lead plumbing issues and that’s that last thing people want to deal with. So I hope you all learned something today, and now you know where it all goes.

Written by Tanya Klien

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