Scientists have discovered that water-related wastewater is often used to clean up wastewater generated by algae, bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.
The results are the first in a series of studies examining water-treatment practices at the scale of millions of hectares in aquatic production.
The first of these papers, published on Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, found that wastewater generated during the production of aquatic products such as aquacultural wastewater, which is produced by using aquatic plants to clean sewage, is often treated in a way that reduces water pollution.
“This study is the first time that wastewater treatment and wastewater reuse have been analyzed at the level of millions or even billions of hectares,” said the study’s lead author, Peter Czajkowski, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Berkeley.
“Wastewater is produced in all aquatic systems and we can reuse that wastewater to clean our wastewater treatment processes.”
Water is produced when a plant feeds algae and bacteria that grow in its environment, producing nutrients and other compounds.
The algae then grow to produce more water.
The plants that produce the water are the same plants that make the algae, so the algae produce its own water and the water is consumed by the plant.
The wastewater that comes out of the algae also contains other nutrients that make up the algae’s life cycle.
The research team examined wastewater produced by algae-plant production and reused it for wastewater treatment, and it found that the wastewater used to dispose of wastewater generated at a water-production plant contained far fewer pollutants than the wastewater from plants that use algae for a similar purpose.
“We think it’s not surprising that wastewater from algae-production plants is far less polluting than wastewater from a plant that is used to grow plants,” said Czabkowski.
“It’s just not a common process, and wastewater treatment is not common at all.
The team then looked at wastewater that was reused by aquaculturists in a laboratory, and they found that when the wastewater was reused, it was not treated at all, which suggests that wastewater reuse is more efficient.
The study’s findings also show that wastewater that is reused may contain other nutrients.
The study found that water from a wastewater treatment plant that reused wastewater that had already been treated and reused a fraction of the amount of water that was recycled into the surrounding environment.”
It’s interesting to see that the reuse of wastewater is more effective than the reuse itself, but the reuse has a lower ecological impact,” Czajakski said.
The paper’s other authors are: Robert M. Daley, an aquatic biologist at the State University of New York at Binghamton; and John W. Smith, an assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at the California Institute of Technology, and an associate curator of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
The researchers are collaborating with the California Aquaculture Center in the United States Department of Water Resources.