» About Water Quality
Polluted water and inadequate sanitation kills at least two children every minute worldwide: making clean water critical for sustaining life. In the United States, where wastewater treatment is relatively advanced compared to some other countries, most Americans do not know the source of the water that flows in and out of their homes.Common questions include: Where does it all go after we flush the toilet or pull the plug on the drain? How is used water cleaned and safely returned to the environment?
The answer is the local water resource recovery facility, which operates 24/7 to make sure the community’s wastewater is treated properly and released back into waterways such as lakes, streams, rivers, where it flows to one of the great oceans or lakes. It can also be used again along the way for irrigation, commercial or residential use, groundwater replenishment, and even drinking water, or it evaporates into the atmosphere and returns as rain in some other part of the world. Water is used over and over again, and thousands of water quality professionals around the world work to protect its quality and cleanliness.
For an easy-to-read description of how wastewater is treated, check out Following the Flow: An Inside Look at Wastewater Treatment, a full color booklet available at no charge.