Why Do We Need a Sewer System?
- It stinks. If you release wastewater directly into the environment, things get very smelly very fast.
- It contains harmful bacteria. Human waste naturally contains coliform bacteria (for example, E. coli) and other bacteria that can cause disease. Once water becomes infected with these bacteria, it becomes a health hazard.
- It contains suspended solids and chemicals that affect the environment. For example:
- Wastewater contains nitrogen and phosphates that, being fertilizers, encourage the growth of algae. Excessive algae growth can block sunlight and foul the water.
- Wastewater contains organic material that bacteria in the environment will start decomposing. When they do, these bacteria consume oxygen in the water. The resulting lack of oxygen kills fish.
- The suspended solids in wastewater make the water look murky and can affect the ability of many fish to breathe and see.