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What are the consequences of not disposing wastewater properly?

Posted on January 11, 2019

Wastewater is a consequence of modern life with homes, businesses and cities all outputting large quantities. Whether it comes from your toilet, shower or an industrial plant, it all has to be treated to become safe to drink or release back into the environment. If wastewater is allowed to go untreated, there can be dire consequences.

Bodies of water

A lot of untreated wastewater is allowed to flow directly into bodies of water – although this shouldn’t happen, it still does. This can seriously pollute the water, creating a toxic environment for plant and marine life which can have far-reaching and long-lasting, devastating consequences. For example, a sewage leak into the River Trent back in 2016 resulted in over 15,000 fish being killed and considerable reactive water treatment needing to be carried out.

Soil contamination

sewage coming out of pipe

Some wastewater can get absorbed by earth and will then filter through the ground. This could be the result of leaking or flooding of wastewater systems, or from surface runoff which has become polluted by contact with waste or chemicals.

The effects of wastewater leaching are twofold. The first is that the soil itself will become contaminated with the bacteria and pathogens present in wastewater. This soil contamination can then harm plant life growing in the contaminated area. The second is that, eventually, the wastewater could seep down to groundwater and contaminate it. Groundwater is considered to be a fresh and clean water source – wells utilise groundwater – but wastewater leaching can even taint this supply, making it unsafe for consumption.

Consequences for people

If wastewater isn’t disposed of correctly, it can find its way into water which will be used by people for drinking, cooking and bathing. Not only is this a repulsive thought, this can be very dangerous to people’s health – the pathogens which are present in wastewater can cause illness and disease, ranging from vomiting and diarrhoea to dysentery and cholera.

Being at the top of the food chain also means that humans are at risk of eating many kinds of contaminated foods. For example, if you eat several fish which have been living in and consuming contaminated water, the pollutants from each individual fish can build up in your body and become more of a problem.


Wildon UK are experts in sewage treatment and drainage, helping homes and businesses across the UK. We can help to ensure that your property is disposing of sewage and wastewater effectively and responsibly. With over 20 years of industry experience, our highly trained team can handle installations, maintenance and repair work across a wide variety of systems. For expert advice or more information about our products and services, simply get in touch with our friendly team today.

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  • Design
    As wastewater specialists, we can design a system that is tailored around your individual needs.

  • Supply
    Once a design has been created we will supply and install it safely at your premises.

  • Maintenance
    We are on hand to carry out any maintenance duties to avoid unwanted problems in the future.

  • Repairs
    Our wastewater engineers are highly trained to perform any repairs necessary to keep your system working efficiently.

Wildon (UK) Ltd is a registered company in England. Registered Number 5759940 VAT Number 217 95 81 80