Industrial effluents are liquid wastes which are produced in the course of industrial activities. The last two decades in India have seen rapid industrial development and, as a result, the disposal of the waste generated by these industries has become a serious problem. As most of it gets discharged into nearby river sources, it is the major source of natural water pollution. This adds up the pressure in terms of wastewater management and can eventually lead to a point source pollution problem, which not only increases the degree of environmental pollution but also has serious health hazards.
Environmental and Health Impacts
The potentially harmful effects of wastewater effluents to the receiving water body are manifold and depend on:
- The volume of discharge
- chemical concentration
- microbiological composition
The impact of this degradation can result in:
- Decreased levels of dissolved oxygen
Low levels of dissolved oxygen affect the survival of marine living organisms by increasing their susceptibility to diseases, retardation in growth, hampered swimming ability, alteration in feeding and migration, and eventually rapid deaths.
- Physical changes
Untreated effluents can lead to physical changes to the receiving water bodies. All aquatic living organisms have certain characteristic temperature adaptability and tolerance limits. Any increase or decrease in the average temperature of the water body can have ecological impacts.
- Increased levels of toxic substances
Effluents have several toxic substances which can have a direct impact on terrestrial plants and animals. This happens due to high levels of ammonia and chlorine, high burden of oxygen demanding materials, the concentration of heavy metals and organic contaminants.
- Bioaccumulation in aquatic life
Due to this, certain substances which are in low concentrations or barely measurable in water can sometimes be found in high concentrations in the tissues of plants and animals.
- Increased nutrient loads
This results in algal clumps, odour, decolouration of the water, extensive growth of rooted aquatic life, extreme oxygen depletion, etc.
- Deterioration of groundwater
Moreover, many times this wastewater, when released, leach down the soil and affect the quality of the groundwater adversely.
- Health Problems
There several microbial pathogens present in the effluents which can cause water-borne chronic diseases which can have long term effects, such as degenerative heart disease, stomach ulcer, diarrhoea, skin and tissue infection, dysentery, typhoid, intestinal disorders, gastroenteritis, etc.
How to tackle it?
In order to minimise the risks to public health and the environment, it is the need of the hour to treat the industrial effluents. This can be achieved through the application of appropriate treatment technologies, careful planning, regular monitoring and appropriate legislation. It is also important that standards and limitations concerning the release of industrial effluents, as set by regulatory authorities are not compromised.
Rochem India provides effective and efficient solutions backed with advanced technologies like Disc-Tube Reverse Osmosis, Nanofiltration, Zero Liquid Discharge, etc for the treatment of industrial effluents. With the drive to incorporate next-generation technologies for the effective treatment of the effluents, Rochem India caters to a wide range of industries.
To know more:
Call us at: +91 (22) 6704 9000