Improper treatment of human waste and sewage is a major cause of environmental and personal health concern. More specifically, improper waste treatment and disposal is implicated in many environmental and human health problems. Apart from being an eyesore that devalues the surrounding environment, improper treatment and disposal of waste leads to the release of toxins into the environment. These toxins, which come from electronics, plastics, and batteries, are a direct threat to human health because they can contaminate surface and ground water. Another effect of improper waste treatment and disposal is that it leads to the loss of important resources, which could be recycled and reused instead of exploiting virgin resources and depleting the natural environment. Moreover, some improper ways of treating waste such as burning can lead to the release of Greenhouse gases, which have been implicated in global warming and other climatic changes (Carr 90-98).
On the other hand, improper treatment and disposal of animal waste causes serious water pollution problems, which in turn affect human health and aquatic life. One of the most obvious ways through which animal waste causes water pollution involves the feedlot runoff. An open feedlot runoff involves animal feeding operations in which the fecal matter is allowed to infiltrate into surface and groundwater, particularly when there is no vegetation, crop, or forage growth around the feeding area. As a result, important nutrients, which could be used for crop production, are washed into lakes, streams, and rivers. Furthermore, the feedlot runoff is a major pollutant because of the organic matter, which depletes the oxygen supply for fish. Moreover, the runoff contains ammonia, which is very toxic to fish. On the other hand, the fecal matter from animals harbors different pathogens, which can cause diseases such as cholera and typhoid (Gilbertson et al. 5).
Therefore, considering the undesirable consequences caused by improper treatment and disposal of waste, it is important for everyone to take a proactive role in ensuring that different wastes are collected, contained, treated, and used according to the recommended standards. For instance, according to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1983, feedlot runoffs should be controlled by establishing good water drainage systems in the feeding area, diverting external runoffs, which could otherwise increase the amount of the feedlot runoff, and establishing proper ways of collecting, storing, using, and disposing the runoff. The most conventional way of disposing the feedlot runoff involves constructing a settling basin, which allows one to remove solid waste before the feedlot flows to a detention area for storage or a disposal area (Gilbertson et al. 10). This among other recommended methods of waste treatment and disposal can go a long way in terms of ensuring that the detrimental effects of improper waste treatment are avoided.
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