Wastewater Overview

June 3, 2024

Infrastructure: The Foundation Business Is Built Upon - Wastewater Overview

Your Union County Chamber of Commerce is committed to promoting the investments in infrastructure needed for businesses to grow. As part of our advocacy efforts, we will be publishing a blog series to inform you about how our infrastructure systems work and why they are important to our members. We are starting this series with a crucial aspect often overlooked until it becomes a pressing issue—wastewater management, also known as sewer.

What is Wastewater and Water Reclamation?

Simply put, wastewater, or sewage, is the water that has been used in our homes, businesses, industries, and farms. It includes everything from the water that goes down our kitchen sinks and showers to what is flushed down the toilet. Managing this wastewater efficiently is crucial, not only for public health, but also for the environment and our local economy.

Water reclamation refers to the process of treating wastewater to make it safe and suitable for other uses. Union County’s treatment facilities, known as Water Reclamation Facilities (WRF), use advanced processes to clean the wastewater thoroughly. This treated water can then be repurposed for various uses, such as irrigation for agriculture or landscaping, industrial processes, and replenishing surface water or groundwater. This practice is particularly important in areas facing water scarcity and is a key strategy in sustainable water management.

In Union County, an example of this is the Olde Sycamore WRF, which uniquely treats wastewater to a standard where it can be safely used as irrigation water on a private golf course, demonstrating a sustainable and beneficial reuse of water.

Wastewater Treatment plant

Why Should the Business Community Care?

Effective wastewater management is essential for several reasons:

Public Health and Environment: Proper treatment of wastewater is crucial for preventing disease and protecting the environment. Businesses depend on a healthy community as a base for their workforce and customers.

Economic Growth: Adequate capacity ensures that businesses can open, expand, and thrive. Limited capacity can lead to stagnation and deter new investments in our county. We’ll discuss capacity more in our next post.

Property Values and Quality of Life: Effective infrastructure supports property values and enhances the quality of life. Businesses benefit from being in a community that is attractive to current and potential residents.

Looking Forward

In subsequent posts, we will delve deeper into the specifics of flow rates, capacity issues, and the implications of these factors on future development in Union County. We will also discuss the technological and operational aspects of our treatment facilities to provide a clearer picture of how our county manages this critical resource.

Last modified: June 5, 2024

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