Although few environmental tragedies are on the scale of the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010, it is the latest example of what happens when industry meets with the environment in a bad way. Few issues affect the public easily than ecological issues. This means you have to make sure your waste water treatment systems not only work but are of the best quality possible.
Why water can be such a bother
Water is a sensitive topic because of its importance to our existence and civilization. Science currently knows of no major organism on this planet that can live without water. Humanity will not long survive, both as a species and in the organized manner of our civilization, if suddenly there is a serious scarcity of clean water.
It goes without saying that industrial facilities near major bodies of water should have a water treatment plant that can handle its liquid waste. It is easy to be the headline of the evening news if your waste contaminates a nearby river, lake or even a stream. It can get even worse if said body of water happens to be a wildlife sanctuary, major fishing ground or aquifer that supplies water to nearby cities.
Even if you are far from major bodies of water, you cannot be lax in making sure your waste water passes regulations. Improperly handled waste water can easily contaminate the surrounding area. If you "merely" killed off the native animals and plant life, you are getting off easy. In case your waste happens to contaminate the water table, though, you probably wish you spent more on good waste water treatment systems.
Some pointers on cleaning water
Waste water treatment is not simply about passing your effluent through filters and purifier chemicals and leaving it at that. Not unless you want environmental groups and politicians to start picketing your facility's gates.
One of the major concerns about treating waste water is the question of just how clean the water is after treatment. Typical industrial waste can contaminate water chemically, biologically and physically. Your water treatment plant or process must remove enough contaminants to pass. Then, there is the odour. Liquid industrial waste almost always has this offensive smell to it, and properly dealing with this can be challenging.
Additionally, there are the by-products of the treatment process to worry about. One of the primary concerns here is the leftover sludge. This accumulation must also be treated and disposed safely and effectively. Sludge can be a much bigger concern than the original waste water itself if left untreated and disposal is not properly done.
This is why your water treatment plant and processes have to be top-notch. It should do its job of cleaning waste water and at the same time allow you to easily and properly dispose of by-products.