Potential Health Risks Associated With Wastewater Use

There are economic and agronomic advantages of wastewater when it is used in agriculture. Packaged STP manufacturers or sewage treatment plant makers are introducing some health risks involved when you use wastewater.

Irrigation with wastewater can help increase the available water supply that is later used for other purposes. Moreover, the value of fertilizers of many wastewater is crucial.

Experts evaluated that typical wastewater effluent from domestic sources could be a fine source of nitrogen, phosphoros and potassium, which are usually needed for growing various crops.

Moreover, organic matter and micronutrients also offer additional benefits.
The major constraint to any wastewater use project is the health of general public. Domestic wastewater has pathogens that can cause illness when the people fail at managing it.

Even several work activities make workers to get in touch with sewage and sewage products. Every year, some workers suffer from disease caused by sewage. Major illness belongs to mild cases of gastroenteritis, but fatal diseases, like leptospirosis and hepatitis.

Who is at Risk?
If anyone works in the following areas, than the person or the team is at health risk-

  • Local authority employees work in sewer inspection and maintenance work
  • Construction workers who have a job of repairing or replacement of live sewers
  • Employees who work with sewage treatment plant
  • Agricultural and forestry workers who have to expose to sewage sludge
  • Workers or employees who clean and maintain the underside of railway carriages and empty sewage compartments of aircraft, etc.

Sewage term can be used for raw sewage, sewage sludge, or septic tank waste. Raw sewage generally contains water excrement, industrial effluent and debris, like condoms, sanitary towels, plastic, etc. Excrement is a key source of hazardous micro-organisms that includes viruses, parasites, and bacteria.

Health Risks Related to Sewage:

  1. Gastroenteritis
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Hepatitis
  4. Liver damage
  5. Fatal kidneys
  6. Skin infection
  7. Eye infection
  8. Chest tightness
  9. Dry cough
  10. Aching muscles and joints

How Microorganisms Present in Sewage Enter The Human Body?

  1. The most common way is by hand-to-mouth contact during drinking, having meal, smoking, etc.
  2. Another way is skin contact, through cuts, penetrating wounds or scratches. There are certain organisms that can enter the body through the surfaces of the nose, eyes, and mouth.
  3. By inhaling. There is dust, mist, or aerosol that workers inhale during their job, which causes health risk.

How To Protect Against Health Risks?
You cannot eliminate the hazard as microorganisms are an inherent part of sewage. One can minimize the exposure to sewage using technology like remote-controlled robotic cameras for inspecting sewer, drying sludge prior disposal, bypass pumping of sewer sections prior to reconstruction, injection of sewage into land instead of spreading. It is important to provide personal protective equipment such as waterproof or abrasion resistant gloves, eye and respiratory protection, footwear.

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