Waste water and recycled water are commonly treated for reuse before being implemented as gardening irrigation. This is an important step in protecting plants from harmful bacteria and preventing disease. This is a complicated and expensive process that is applied to the majority of water used throughout the home to protect families while limiting water waste.
Waste water typically flows through the sewers before reaching what is known as a storage chamber inside of a water treatment plant. As the water passes through these pipes, it is filtered by coarse screens that comb out large solids. Toys, rags and other inorganic garbage must be filtered out before the water is processed.
Used water is full of harmful bacteria that can be extremely dangerous to both humans and their gardens. Sometimes this bacteria is encouraged to grow for a brief time to help consume waste products. The microorganisms will eventually multiply in large clumps until they sink to the base of the tank from their own density.
The main cavity within the water treatment plant is known as a gravity chamber or sedimentation tank. Here, both inorganic and organic solid materials will drop to the bottom of the tank where they are pumped out and disposed. Waste can be sent to landfills or wetlands that can consume the waste and microorganisms. The remaining water is then passed through a new filter for further treatment.
Polishing filtration requires water to pass through biologically active filtrations, activated carbon, sand or gravel layers. This is a mechanical process that traps microscopic particles through extremely fine filters. Some processing plants will use complicated chemical processes like reverse-osmosis to trap particles one-thousandth of a micron or larger.
The final stage in water treatment is the disinfecting stage, where water is passed through another permeable membrane. The water will be disinfected with chlorine or ultraviolet light before being deemed safe for use. Chlorine will be removed before leaving the plant. The purified water is pumped back into natural water sources, where it can be collected for use in private homes again.