The recent Thanksgiving holiday, with all its traditions, is a great reason to get together with friends and family, enjoy a traditional feast, and celebrate all our blessings. But what reflections does it hold for professionals in the wastewater management industry?
We think some may include gratitude for our position of great responsibility in guardianship of the public health. Despite the relative abundance of fresh, potable water in our country, it takes focused, sustained effort to keep it safe, and that’s where we come in.
Let’s take a look at a few facts:
- According to the EPA, most homes and businesses send their wastewater to a treatment plant, where many pollutants are removed from the water. Wastewater treatment facilities in the United States process approximately 34 billion gallons of wastewater every day.
- Globally, two million tons of sewage, industrial and agricultural waste is discharged into the world’s waterways.
- At least 1.8 million children under five years of age die each year from water-related disease. That’s one every 20 seconds. The World Health Organization believes about 2.2 million people die every year globally from dysentery and similar diseases, usually caused by unclean drinking and bathing water.
When you think about it, all of us who work in wastewater management and its peripheral industries are what stands between our nation’s citizenry and potential chaos caused by rampant disease.
It is deeply gratifying to know that the work we do every day really matters. It is a source of pride and deep satisfaction that the decisions we make in the course of our work has a direct impact on the wellness of ourselves and our fellow citizens. After all, how many can truly say this?
Let’s give thanks this year, and every year to come, that we have been entrusted with such important work, and allow it to motivate us to strive each day to be worthy of that trust. Let’s remember that it is in the giving of our all, in service to our work and our country, that we are part of the solution.