Pollution is a major issue faced by urban communities all over the world. Whether it is in the form of air, land or water pollution the phenomenon affects our lives in several ways. The rising cases of asthma, poor quality of food grains, fruits and vegetables and spread of water-borne diseases are just some of the effects of pollution.
Development with harmony
Cities around the world are grappling with lack of hygiene and sanitation facilities due to poor infrastructure planning. In most cases the available resources and facilities prove to be insufficient to support the increasing population.
Urban development in harmony with the environment is an important aspect of town planning something which is often overlooked in most places. A well planned settlement with facilities for water treatment both for potable purpose as well as recycling makes for healthy living. Industrial units, one of the main sources of water pollution should be away from residential zones with facilities to treat effluents and exhausts.
The benefits of Water treatment
Recycled water has been used to great benefit for agriculture and landscaping purpose. In coastal areas or places where the rainfall is heavy, storm water and rain water treatment systems have provided large amounts of water to communities to be used for a variety of purposes from residential hygiene related to large scale irrigation.
Advanced technology with traditional means
Several urban and semi-urban areas have extensive water treatment facilities that make use of sophisticated filtration systems. These systems are usually based on up to three levels of purification based on physical, chemical and biological processes. The physical filtration method is based on traditional means using sand, pebbles and sediment chambers. Advanced filtration processes include materials like active carbon, ion-exchange process, artificial and biological membranes and the like.
The water treatment system has been used extensively in most places on a large scale as well as for domestic purpose. Entire cities are served by water treatment plants situated at various places. Small water purifier units seen in many households use the same filtration technique albeit on a small scale.
Health is wealth
Water purification units for potable purpose also make use of additives like chlorine and water softeners along with the other methods. Storm water runoffs are now systematically collected in tanks and treated in plants to be used for flushing toilets, watering trees and on croplands. This has reduced the prevalence of diseases like malaria which occur due to stagnant water. Also the incidence of other water borne diseases too has reduced considerably in places where water treatment plants have been set up.
Often along with financial constraints, lack of knowledge, awareness and infrastructure lead to degradation of the environment. Most town planning authorities have tried to resolve the problem by allocating a separate fund for environmental concerns as part of maintaining public health and hygiene.