Weighing the Costs to Treat Wastewater

In researching the article "What to do about waste" for this issue, I was reminded of how daunting and serious the task of dealing with wastewater is at a rental business. There is so much technology available today to make the chore more effective as well as easier, but it comes with a rather hefty price tag.

Water treatment systems can cost up to $30,000, which is no small change for a rental business, particularly when you consider that the investment does not bring in any revenue of its own. The fact is, however, the potential cost of not treating your wastewater is much higher. Environmental fines for noncompliance are stiff and the process of remediating contaminated soil is a horrifically expensive and tedious process that could easily put a small- to-medium size rental company out of business.

What surprised me when speaking with sources for the article was the discovery that some rental businesses invest in a water treatment system, get frustrated with what they perceive to be its complicated operation, and ultimately wind up using it as a decoy to convince regulatory agencies they are complying when, in fact, they are continuing to dump their wastewater into the ground and storm sewer.

On the one hand, I can't imagine spending tens of thousands of dollars on something and then not using it. On the other hand, it rankles me that there are business operators out there who are so cavalier about what they are doing to the environment. In short, it is simply irresponsible to consciously discharge untreated wastewater into the ground.

As you read the article, you will find that there are numerous methods of dealing with your wastewater.

Manufacturers have worked hard to bring you a lot of options where this arduous chore is concerned. But it's not as simple as picking a system and having it installed at your business. You need to take responsibility for researching and choosing the right system for your specific needs to ensure you end up with a system that is simple for you to use and that adequately and effectively treats your particular type and volume of waste.

According to Steve Kent, vice president of sales and marketing at EZ Environmental Solutions, the reason why many systems become covers for noncompliance is because business operators fail to ask the right questions of their vendor when they purchase their water treatment system. In fact, you need to find a vendor who listens to your situation and tailors a system according to your needs.

Water treatment system vendors can go a long way toward helping you design a system that's right for your business, but ultimately, the responsibility is still yours. Don't kid yourself into believing what you do with your wastewater doesn't matter or you won't get caught for noncompliance. The cost to all of us is too great.

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