What are the solutions to Liquid Waste?

The major steps to solving our liquid waste problems are:

  1. Limit what is flushed down toilets, sinks, showers, etc.
  2. Limit storm runoff from farm fields and urban environments.
  3. Limit the use of water when possible to prevent wastewater treatment facilities from becoming overfilled.
  4. Invest in wastewater infrastructure

By considering what is acceptable to flush down our drains, what wastewater treatment facilities can process, we can limit the amount of waste that makes it through treatment facilitates and back into our watersheds. The video above provides excellent examples of what can and can’t be flushed down our drains. Also, limiting the amount of storm runoff will decrease the amount of waste the treatment facilities need to process. For example, the addition of green areas in urban environments and buffer zones on the edges of farm fields can reduce the amount of trash and chemicals that get washed into storm drains and ditches. With these two improvements, we can improve the quality of or rivers and lakes, and make it easier on our wastewater and water treatment facilities.

The main solution to solve the liquid waste problem we face today is to invest in our wastewater infrastructure. According to the ASCE Infrastructure Report for 2017, wastewater treatment infrastructure received a grade of a D+ (3). By creating new treatment facilities, updating old facilities, and adding more piping, we can be more prepared for the expected 56 million people that will be joining the centralized wastewater treatment plants by 2032 (3).