According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), among the main primary activities that pollute the planet's water are industrial agriculture and livestock, which uncontrollably dump pollutants that are very harmful to water quality, as nitrates and phosphates. In different corners of the planet, more and more groundwater and surface waters suffer contamination from residues of human activities, so finding solutions for water pollution It is one of the main strategies worldwide to continue making use of this precious asset.
If you want to delve into this topic, in this Green Ecologist article you will find detailed information about what is water decontamination, methods and importance.
The water decontamination includes all those methodologies and strategies that allow purify the water that shows signs of different types of pollution, with the aim of turning it into a usable resource for different uses. Thus, the water decontamination systems They are essential for the optimal and effective reuse of this natural resource that is increasingly scarce and associated with dangers.
In the next sections we will see which are the most used methods to decontaminate water, making special reference to those that use ecological alternatives to the decontamination of wastewater, thus avoiding the use of artificial chemical decontaminating processes, which entail associated environmental damage.
In addition, we recommend you read these other articles on the Causes and consequences of water pollution and How to avoid water pollution.
The water purification techniques are increasingly sophisticated and modern, within which we can find different alternatives depending on the type of industry and the use of the waters that have been polluted. Thus, among the main solutions for water pollution we can find:
The use of aquatic plants or algae for the decontamination of water is a technique characterized by its high performance and ecological methodology, that is, it is devoid of polluting chemicals.
Through the so-called "algae and bacteria consortia", certain species of aquatic plants interact through symbiosis with specific bacteria, being able, as a whole, to eliminate pollutants from water through bioremediation processes. Complementing themselves for the exchange of carbon and nitrogen, as well as for the uptake of nutrients, they ensure their joint survival in environments where they would not be able to survive individually, while generating indirect benefits: water decontamination and biomass generation, later used as raw material to produce biofertilizers.
In addition to their role in the formation of consortia with algae that we have seen in the previous section, bacteria contribute decisively with their metabolic activities to the maintenance of the biogeochemical cycles of water. They are capable of removing nitrates and phosphates, as well as hardly biodegradable chemicals, such as pesticides and hydrocarbons.
The water decontamination techniques used by bacteria They are based on the accumulation of intracellular deposits of compounds and chemical substances that, being insoluble, cause serious contamination in natural water resources, as well as diseases in humans, animals and plants.
A clear example of the role that bacteria play in the decontamination of water is that of bacteria capable of degrade hydrocarbons found in oil, this being the main source of water pollution by hydrocarbons in the biosphere.
Different groups of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms They are commonly used in biological reactors and water decontamination stations.
Thanks to their ability to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from water, microorganisms are one of the biological water decontamination treatments most used. They generally favor the elimination of chemical compounds and elements through the formation of sludge, which are subsequently treated and purified in sewage treatment plants by means of biodegradable decontamination treatments.
Among the most sophisticated and innovative techniques for water decontamination, appears the use of solar energy. By applying photocatalysis processes based on the use of sunlight, it is possible to treat, decontaminate and even reuse contaminated water.
Said contaminated waters are usually industrial waste waters, to which the application of radiation with germicidal use is useful, that is, capable of inhibiting the reproduction of organisms responsible for water pollution.
The water decontamination is currently included as one of the fundamental measures to ensure the availability and use of drinking water on a planetary scale. Numerous and diverse problems, such as people's health, the lack of fertile soils for cultivation and the contamination of natural water resources, are potentially harmful without adequate treatment and decontamination strategies.
In this way, it is important to take into account both those strategies focused on how to avoid water pollution (based on the conservation and protection of natural water resources as a source of water supply), as well as those other strategies related to the decontamination of water, in which both physical, chemical and biological processes intervene, depending on the causative factor of said contamination.
Finally, we invite you to read this other article about Solutions to water pollution and watch this video about it.
If you want to read more articles similar to Water decontamination: what it is and methods, we recommend that you enter our Pollution category.Bibliography