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Wastewater Story

Housekeeping and Public Sanitation

When it comes to our country, what is the complaint most of our citizens have? It is the cleanliness problem we face. There is a clear lack of sanitation in our country and it is particularly relevant when we talk about everyone’s access to clean water. So what steps do we need to take to rectify this situation? Let us take a look.

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Water Management

We live in a country that’s blessed and laden with a lot of natural resources. From pristine glaciers and springs to vast seas with a thriving marine life, we almost have it all. However, with our ever-growing population and endless demands, we are fast running out of our natural resources. And this is especially true with reference to water management.

A very significant part of our country’s population still doesn’t have access to clean water. Now the main sources of continuous and clean water supply are our rivers and dams. And it our moral responsibility to keep them clean. However, today we are collectively failing that responsibility because of problems such as public defecation and poor industrial and personal wastewater management. So, let’s understand what we can do about it.

Let’s begin by understanding what’s wastewater. Now we all use water for our daily routine. And the water that’s drained out after use from our homes is called wastewater. Although wastewater is unusable, we shouldn’t waste it. We should treat the water and try to recycle the same. And this where a few steps from our side will make a huge difference in wastewater management.

Advanced technology today provides several solutions to treat sewage and wastewater before it enters the water bodies like lakes and rivers. And this is important because wastewater contains several pollutants and contaminants that cause diseases. And not only will this water pollute the rivers and lakes, it may also be a serious threat to the aquatic life.

Now that you understand the importance of wastewater management, let’s see what we can do from our side. For starters, we can follow some good housekeeping practices.

Good Housekeeping Practices

Wastewater is inevitable. It is a natural consequence of human activity and there’s nothing that you can do to avoid it. But what you can do is take a few important measures to limit the kind of waste produced.

Walking down a road, we all see open drains. And many a time, we wonder what causes the odor and why it’s so dirty. For starters, the most important thing that you can do in such a case is to approach the local authorities to cover the drains. By doing so, we can control the odor.

Another significant step that you can take is food waste segregation. While disposing of food waste, segregate what can be recycled. You can also check if you can build compost pits to dump organic food waste. Compost pits will help you in generating manure that you can then use for your plants and the local gardens.

Housekeeping and Public Sanitation

(Image Source: Wikipedia)

In addition to segregating waste, ensure that you discard oils and fats only in the dustbin. Cooking fats and oils can clog drains. Once mixed with water, they these fats can harden and clog the soil pores of the drains. Next, dump chemical waste like paints, motor oils, and insecticides only in dustbins and don’t drain them in the sink or wash basins. The chemicals in this kind of waste can kill natural microbes that can purify water.

Finally, don’t dump solid waste like tea leaves and coffee beans in the drains. Throw them in the dustbins or, better still, in compost pits. Another very conscious step that we can take is to stop littering. Ensure that you throw paper waste, sanitary and diaper waste, and plastic waste only in waste bins. Throwing this kind of waste in drains can choke and block the drains, which will lead to overflowing of the drains.

The lesser load we put on wastewater treatment, the better it would be for the environment; not to mention, the benefit of clean and continuous water supply.

Public Sanitation

Now, let’s discuss what we can do in terms of effective sanitation. As mentioned earlier, open defecation is a major issue in our country. And mostly, open defecation happens in dry river beds, railway tracks, fields, and sometimes, sadly, in water. Now, this is a huge problem because this affects not only surface water, but also groundwater. This kind of pollution can cause diseases such as cholera, polio, meningitis, and typhoid.

From our side, what we can do is create awareness. We should approach local authorities to construct septic tanks in areas that do not have proper sewage systems. In public areas, check for chemical or ecological toilets.

We can also do our bit by encouraging people to invest in hygienic, on-site waste-disposal systems that convert human waste to biogas. Again, do not litter in public areas such as railway stations and bus depots. In the absence of dustbins, carry disposable bags and dispose the waste at home.

Another significant measure that you can take is to encourage and cultivate the habit of hand-wash. Today, many companies are taking on the corporate social responsibility of educating and encouraging people to follow good sanitation routines. And one such routine that we can follow and encourage people to follow is hand-wash. In addition, we can join public fairs that conduct sanitation programs and create awareness.

Solved Question for You

Identify whether the following statement is true or false.

“You can dump liquid cooking waste such remaining oils and fats in the drain directly as it  mixes with water.”

  1. True
  2. False

Correct Answer: B. Cooking oils and fats should not be thrown into drains. These fats can harden and clog drains.

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