explores industrys role as both a user of water and its responsibility
to protect water quality.
if you include
, accounts for about 53%
of all water use. Thermoelectric generation 47%, irrigation 34%,
public supply 9%, industrial 6%, mining 1%, livestock 1%, domestic
1%, commercial uses 1%. But different industries use water in different
that rely on clean water use
water, or have their own facilities on site to do some water treatment
to ensure the waters quality. The food industry requires clean
water so there is no health risk from food it produces. Nobody wants
to drink a soda made with contaminated water. Paper mills use millions
of gallons of water to manufacture paper. If the water has too much
or too many chemicals, the quality of the paper could suffer
or machinery could be damaged.
other industries, water is key to production but it doesnt
necessarily have to be clean. For example, power plants and steel
mills use large volumes of water as coolant for their equipment.
For those types of industrial uses, water doesnt need to meet
the same high standards of cleanliness.
water needs to be treated before its returned to the water
cycle. Treatment may remove chemicals used in manufacturing or change
the waters temperature. (Putting hot or cold water back into
a lake, river, or stream can significantly change the temperature
which affects aquatic life.) Industries that discharge
into sources, like rivers or streams, must have a
special permit from the EPA. In exchange for the permit, industries
agree to treat the wastewater so that it meets water quality standards.
Instead of handling treatment on their own, most industries choose
to use their communitys wastewater treatment plant.
you know that one quart of oil disposed of improperly can pollute
as much as 250,000 gallons of water? A lot of small businesses,
like photo processing labs and dry-cleaners, use toxic chemicals
that need to be disposed of properly. Each business is responsible
for how they manage all their materials, including wastes and water.
Management practices directly determine whether any industry, big
or small, makes a positive or negative impact on water quality.
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