This paper introduces the reader to the concept of water and waste water engineering. Water and waste water engineering falls in the field of environmental engineering which can be defined as the application of principles of science and engineering for the purpose of improving the environment. This caters for air, water and land resources. Therefore, environmental engineering aims at providing healthy air, water, and land for habitation of humans and other organisms.
In a wider view, environmental engineering involves air and water pollution control, waste disposal, recycling and other public or environmental health issues, such as environmental engineering laws. In addition, it incorporates studies on environmental impact of either proposed or existing construction projects.
The main purpose of this paper is to give the wide readership population a basic understanding of water and wastewater engineering. The paper explains to the audience the meaning and importance of water and wastewater engineering. The purpose of the paper is to asses existing technologies that are applied in water and wastewater engineering.
Data used for the paper has been sourced from different textbooks and publications for the purposes of helping the reader understand how these processes and technologies apply engineering principles and concepts. With engineering playing a major role in the supply, distribution and treatment of water and wastewater, this paper will provide a basic understanding of the application of engineering principles in water and waster water treatment.
Water and Wastewater Treatment
Since the realization by human beings that their well-being and health is directly related to the quality of their environment, people have come up with thoughtful principles that attempt to improve on the quality of the environment. One of the biggest environmental issue that the world has been facing and, which has continued to be an area of concern, is the quality of water. Water quality directly affects not only the life of human beings, but also the life of all other living organisms. In a nut-shell, it can be concluded that water is life.
The concept of environmental engineering began as early as 19th century in London when a realization was made that good and proper sewerage reduced incidences of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera. Introduction of sewage and water treatment in developed countries enormously reduced waterborne diseases. It is therefore important for people to have a good understanding of how these treatment principles apply engineering concepts to reduce or alleviate waterborne epidemics.
Scientists and engineers have the responsibility of sourcing water supplies for agricultural and portable use. They evaluate the water balance and determine available water supply, water need in watershed, seasonal cycles of the water movement, and they also develop systems to treat, store and convey water for various purposes and uses.
There are a variety of candidate technologies that have been used in the treatment of household water. The technologies that attempt to improve the microbial quality of household water and also reduce waterborne diseases include both chemical and physical methods. Some of the physical methods include boiling, settling, exposing to UV radiation in the sunlight, filtering and UV disinfection using lamps. On the other hand, chemical methods of household water treatment include precipitation, coagulation-flocculation, absorption, chemical disinfection with germicidal agents and ion exchange among others. The above mentioned methods or technologies are those which can be used households at a lower cost.
Industrial water treatment technologies include disinfection, deionization, membrane and degasification. Disinfection includes processes such as ozonation, chlorination and ultraviolet sterilization. Deionization includes processes such as softening, counter-current regeneration, electro-deionisation and mixed bed polishing. On the other hand, membrane methods of water treatment include processes such as micro-filtration, nano-filtration, ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis. Consequently, degasification include processes such vacuum and forced draft.
Equipment Used
Before the treatment of water or wastewater using any method or technology, it is necessary for tests to be done to determine the level of contamination in the water. This is necessary because it determines how the treatment process will proceed and the amount of additives to be included during the process. Several equipments are used for measurements and control during the treatment process.
The PH value of is normally measured in water and water engineering processes, especially during the treatment process. For the purpose of measuring the pH value, pH electrodes are used. These will determine the level of acidity of water to be treated and even after treatment. It is also necessary to know the pressure, liquid level and flow rate