Fighting COVID-19 on the front lines of wastewater management

Improving the Sustainability of Water Treatment

John Van Wingerden \ May 5, 2020

Wastewater management professionals are playing a silent-yet-crucial role in the fight against COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.

One of the most important preventative actions people can take against COVID-19 is to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly. While consumers expect clean water to come out of their taps on demand, they often aren’t aware of what goes on behind the scenes to keep that water clean.

Wastewater treatment plays a pivotal role in public health. Regular wastewater treatment methods are sufficient to protect against infection through water. Wastewater is, therefore, a critical activity and the work being done by wastewater treatment plant operators is essential in this race against COVID-19.

These workers are the silent heroes behind the scenes of this pandemic, showing up to work every day and ensuring that clean water is available to help maintain strong hygiene practices to avoid infection.

Wastewater treatment is also a vital service because of the role it plays not just in keeping cities and towns sanitary but also in solving some of the humanitarian challenges being faced globally. More than half the global population lacks access to clean water, and three quarters of households in developing countries don’t have access to somewhere to wash with soap and water. This could become significant as COVID-19 continues to spread; handwashing with soap and water is one of the key ways to avoid infection.

Water infrastructure is underfunded according to the UN, despite the essential role it plays in maintaining sanitation and healthy living conditions. Treating wastewater is expensive but it can deliver a strong return on investment, particularly when wastewater is used to generate biogas for clean energy.

Given the exceptional importance of ongoing and reliable wastewater treatment, IER would like to thank all those in the wastewater industry who continue to work during these challenging times to help ensure public safety. 

Over the years, we have helped many customers, from a range of industries, with their wastewater challenges. The strength and success of our organisation is due to quality of our products and the commitment of our team.
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Water is a fragile resource that needs to be protected at all costs. There is a global imperative for every nation, regardless of its available water, to contribute to smarter, more effective water treatment. This means operators in industries that rely heavily on water, such as agriculture and food production, need to be proactive in their approach to water management.

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