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Thread: refine sewage

  1. #1
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default refine sewage

    "Sewage,if not properly refined, may get into drinking water and cause cholera and dysentery outbreaks." Can I say that sewage is refined?

  2. #2
    Route21's Avatar
    Route21 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: refine sewage

    Hi Ostap

    As a NES, but not a teacher, I would say that sewage is "treated" rather than "refined".

    Hope this helps
    R21

    PS And the place where it is done is called a sewage treatment plant.

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    JMurray is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: refine sewage

    Can I say that sewage is refined?

    ostap.
    Yes. Sewage that has been treated at sewage treatment plants with filtration and other processes to make it safer to put back into the environment, is termed "refined sewage", as opposed to "raw sewage". Waste water is now able to be so thoroughly refined that it can be reused.

    not a teacher

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    Route21's Avatar
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    Default Re: refine sewage

    Hi JM

    You live and learn!
    Is "refined sewage" the term used in New Zealand?

    I hadn't come across it before and couldn't find any reference to it in the Wikipedia article on "sewage treatment" or the US/UK dictionary I use online.

    The terms I've come across are Primary/Secondary/Tertiary treated sewage/effluent.

    What it does say in Wikipedia (last updated 28th March 2011) is:

    Sewage treatment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Using advanced technology it is now possible to re-use sewage effluent for drinking water, although Singapore is the only country to implement such technology on a production scale in its production of NEWater.[2]

    I do believe there may also be new plant near San Diego in the US that "purifies" wastewater to make it suitable for domestic re-use.

    Do you have any industry reference for the term "refined sewage".

    I believe the main problem with such a term is the "Yuk" factor - nobody appears to want to drink "refined" sewage no matter how much it is refined!

    Best regards
    R21

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: refine sewage

    Quote Originally Posted by Route21 View Post
    Hi Ostap

    As a NES, but not a teacher, I would say that sewage is "treated" rather than "refined".

    Hope this helps
    R21

    PS And the place where it is done is called a sewage treatment plant.
    This has always been my understanding as well.

    Autobiographical excursus: In the summer of 1969 I was an animateur in a language school, and accompanied the students on a guided tour round Mogden Sewage Works (it's a real place - see Fury at plans to expand Mogden sewage plant - Hounslow Chronicle )

    Linguistic highlight of the trip, for me, was the discovery that their process used something called 'activated sludge'. My French translation, boue activé probably didn't do this justice!

    b

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    Default Re: refine sewage

    As someone who occasionally writes about both landfills and wastewater treatment plants in my job, I can tel you that both of these are FAR more interesting than a casual observer would ever guess.

    It would be so much more environmentally efficient to separate out your gray water (sink, shower) from your black water (toilet) water so we don't have to spend so much money treating sort-of-dirty water the same as our really-dirty water, and so much more efficient to treat the water to two levels, a drinking-water quality that can be returned to surface waters (or to reservoirs) and a non-potable-quality that can be used for irrigation, landscaping, or to flush toilets. Communities in the future will have to be designed with much greater sensitivity to water constraints!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    JMurray is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: refine sewage

    R21.
    I should have mentioned in my response that I too have always called it "treated sewage", not that it's a regular topic of conversation, but I have noticed "refined" more recently. I should also have said "sometimes termed refined sewage". Perhaps the use of "refined" is creeping in as part of a drive to make the idea of reusable waste water more acceptable to the public. There's a lot of resistance to it and merely saying that it's "treated' might not be swaying people. The term may only refer to the very advanced form of treatment. Barb will know more about this.

    A few examples can be found but, admittedly, not as many as I had expected.
    A selection:

    From a CIHEAM (Euro) paper on Technologies for water and waste water treatment:
    "Nevertheless, the viability of its application must be analyzed in the context of each locality, which may be quite different from the localities where refining and recharging plants have already been installed; and moreover the possibility of growth from the reuse of refined sewage should be analyzed".

    From an Australian site sustainabilitymatters.com, listing treatment systems available:
    Aqua Engineering DAF (dissolved air flotation) system for treating or refining wastewater, engineered in Europe to EU standards, has been introduced to Australia.

    – and this headline from The America's Intelligence Wire:
    "It stinks: Overturned tanker was carrying septic waste: Tractor-trailer carrying refined sewage leaks onto roadway."
    Last edited by JMurray; 30-Mar-2011 at 03:27.

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