What is the history of sewage treatment?
Sewage treatment is the process of doing away with contaminants from wastewater, or sewage, before it reaches natural bodies of water including rivers, lakes, ponds or oceans. Sewage treatment is a main point of water pollution management and public health safety. But how did sewage treatment evolve through the years? What had been the demanding situations and innovations that fashioned its history?
Here we will to explore the ancient development of sewage treatment from ancient times to the modern-day.
The earliest evidence of sewage treatment dates returned to the Bronze Age (ca. 3200–1100 BC), while some civilizations (e.g. Mesopotamian, Indus valley, and Minoan) used home sewage for irrigation and fertilization functions. They additionally constructed drainage structures to divert sewage faraway from city settlements. However, those structures have been usually supposed to hold rainwater and did not offer good enough treatment or disposal of sewage.
The historic Greeks and Romans advanced the design and construction of drainage structures and sewers. They also recognized the importance of hygiene and sanitation for public health and built public baths, latrines, and aqueducts to deliver water. The most famous instance of Roman engineering is the Cloaca Maxima (“Great Sewer”), which carried drainage water to the Tiber River from the settlement. However, even these advanced civilizations did not had powerful methods to deal with sewage before discharging it into natural water bodies. As a result, water pollution and waterborne diseases have been common problems there in history.
Medieval and Early Modern Ages
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the sanitary conditions in Europe deteriorated greatly. There was a little progress in city drainage or sewerage in the course of the Middle Ages. Most human beings disposed of their waste in open pits, cesspools, or nearby streams. The loss of proper sanitation contributed to the unfolding of epidemics together with the Black Death within the 14th century.
The state of affairs progressed slightly inside the early current period, whilst a few towns commenced to construct underground sewers and undertake policies to prevent dumping of waste into streets or waterways. However, those measures have been regularly insufficient or poorly enforced. Moreover, the population increase and industrialization inside the 18th and 19th centuries improved the extent and complexity of sewage, which beaten the prevailing sewer systems and brought about extreme environmental and health issues.
Modern-Age Sewage Systems
The creation of centralized sewage treatmentplants began within the end of 19th and early 20th centuries, basically in the United Kingdom and the United States. These plants used diverse physical, chemical, and organic methods to get rid of solids, organic rely, nutrients, pathogens, and toxic materials from sewage before discharging it into receiving waters. Some of the key improvements in this period encompass:
· The improvement of the activated sludge method through Edward Ardern and William Lockett in 1914, which uses microorganisms to interrupt down natural pollutants in sewage.
· The creation of the trickling filter out via Joseph Corbett in 1893, which makes use of a mattress of rocks or plastic media to aid a biofilm that degrades natural pollutants in sewage.
· The invention of the Imhoff tank by way of Karl Imhoff in 1906, which combines sedimentation and anaerobic digestion in a single unit.
· The application of chlorination via George Warren Fuller in 1908, which uses chlorine gas or hypochlorite to disinfect sewage and kill pathogens.
Sewage treatment is an important and dynamic area that has a protracted and rich history. From the historic civilizations that used sewage for irrigation to the present day structures that produce easy water and precious resources, sewage treatment has passed through superb adjustments and innovations. As the world faces new challenges inclusive of water shortage, climate change, and population boom, sewage treatment will preserve to play a critical function in ensuring water safety, environmental sustainability, and public health.
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