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Wastewater is any kind of water that has been adversely affected by human activity. Hotels create a huge amount of wastewater, or used water, with guests and staff constantly using it for washing, cleaning and cooking. Even the swimming pool produces wastewater.
As water is never destroyed or created, once it is used it is returned to rivers, lakes or the ocean depending on location. However, wastewater must be treated before it is returned to the general supply.
If wastewater is not properly treated before being disposed of, it can pose a risk to public health and the environment, and is considered pollution.
Generally, domestic wastewater joins the sewer system where it is taken to a municipal water treatment plant. Once there, it is fully treated in several stages before being allowed to run off.
Due to increasingly stringent guidelines regarding facilities releasing wastewater into the municipal supply, many properties, such as hotels, will have an on-site water treatment system to treat the water before it joins the sewer system. A common method of on-site wastewater treatment is a septic tank.
Septic tanks are generally made of fiberglass or concrete and buried beneath the ground. Water runs into the system and over time separates into three separate layers, the ‘scum’ on top (usually made of oils and grease) and heavier particles at the bottom. Bacteria break down the solid waste remaining in the water.
Hotels may also have larger above-ground systems which operate in a similar but much more in-depth manner. There are also various chemical treatments to further break down the unpleasant contaminants before the water is released. Municipal wastewater treatment features several stages of intense water treatment.
Whatever system you have in place to treat wastewater in your hotel, you need to ensure you are complying with the correct level of contaminants deemed acceptable in your area. Not meeting this standard could lead to financial, legal, and environmental ramifications.
NCH Asia Pacific offers a range of wastewater treatment solutions to the hospitality sector to help meet local legal requirements. For more information, visit our hotels and hospitality solutions page or contact us .