Impact of textile wastewater pollution on the environment
The impact of textiles is considered to be
the most polluting element in the textile industry. It affects
the environment and in a developing country like Pakistan, this
condition is more prominent. The wastewater becomes the main
source of pollution of the environment. It pollutes the surface
and subsurface water, soil and air. Today its proper management
and remedial measures such as disposal systems have become the
most serious challenges all over the world, including Pakistan.
Impacts of textile wastewater on the environment
The textile industries release a large
amount of wastewater containing toxic and hazardous pollutants
that badly degrade the environment . Textile industrial
wastewater also shows toxic effects on aquatic macrophytes and
algae, as it is noticed that, aquatic macrophytes could hardly
survive two days on textile effluent.
The textile wastewater pollutes the soil.
The soil is the most important medium for growing plant, bushes,
crops, etc. The quality of crops depends upon the quality of the
soil. So, when the quality of the soil decreases due to polluted
industrial wastewater, subsequently, the amount and quality of
crops also decline. It is also seen that the lower lands become
more polluted than the higher lands, as the effluents are
ultimately deposited in the lower lands.
The water pollution is considered to be the
biggest environmental threat all over the world. Generally,
surface water is used for dyeing, printing, sizing, bleaching
and washing, and therefore, this water mixes with the water in
rivers and thereby increases pollution.
Categories of Air Pollution
Air pollution is categorized by the
emissions of Carbon dioxide, Aerosol fumes and gases, Toxic
gases, Smoke and Dust.
Air pollution in textiles
Most processes performed in the textile
mills produce atmospheric emissions. Gaseous emissions have been
identified as the second greatest pollution problem (after
effluent quality) for the textile industry.
The major air pollution problem in the
textile industry occurs during the finishing stages, where
various processes are employed for coating the fabrics. Coating
materials include lubricating oils, plasticizers, paints and
water repellent chemicals essentially, organic compounds such as
oils, waxes or solvents, acid vapour, odors and boiler
exhausts. The cleaning and production changes result in
sludge in the tanks with process chemicals, which may contain
toxic compounds and metals.
Many chemicals, even when used properly can
still harm human health and the environment. When these
hazardous substances are thrown away without any proper disposal
protocols or treatments, they become hazardous waste.
Hazardous waste is most often a by-product
of a manufacturing process and some hazardous wastes come from
our homes: our garbage can include such hazardous wastes as old
batteries, bug spray cans, and paint thinner. Regardless of the
source, unless we dispose of hazardous waste properly, it can
create health risks for people and damage the environment.
How can hazardous waste effect us?
When hazardous wastes are released in the
air, water, or on the land they can spread quite easily and thus
contaminating even more of the environment and posing greater
threats to our health. For example, when rain falls on soil at a
waste site, it can carry hazardous waste deeper into the ground
and thus polluting underlying ground water. If a very small
amount of a hazardous substance is released, it may become
diluted to the point where it will not cause injury. A hazardous
substance can cause injury or death to a person, plant, or
Impacts of solid waste on the Environment
The solid waste breaks down in landfills to
form methane, a potent greenhouse gas. This exacerbates climate
change, triggering the destruction of the ozone layer. Due to
improper disposal of biodegradable waste, that is, illegal
dumping, the environment is affected adversely. Leaching is a
process through which solid waste enters the porous soil and
pollutes groundwater, contaminating the land. ,
Things to do
If we want to reduce the adverse impact of
Textile Effluent on the environment, we should be aware of the
bad effects of the Effluent. The authorities at the Textile
Ministry and industry should be aware of these factors. The
authorities always look for their benefits, but they should also
look for the healthy environment.
Government rules and regulations
The government of every country put some
rules and regulations for these kinds of industries, therefore
industry should follow the government rules and regulations.
Effluent treatment and disposal system:
The textile wastewater includes a large
variety of dyes and chemicals which is the major cause of the
various environmental issues and challenges for the textile
industry. The main pollution comes from dyeing and finishing
process. The main pollutants in effluent are high suspended
solids, Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), heat colure, acidity and
other soluble substance. So, substances which need to be removed
from the effluent are mainly COD, BOD, Nitrogen, Heavy metals
and dyestuffs. 
The process sequences involved in effluent
treatment are as follows.
Cooling and mixing.
Pressure Filter press.
Discharge to drain.
1. Primary Filtration
Primary Filtration is the first stage of
the effluent treatment plant, where effluent comes from weaving,
bleaching, dyeing, printing and finishing units.
2. Cooling & mixing
In this stage different type of effluent is
mixed and cool down with the help of fan motor.
After cooling and mixing, the effluent is
transferred to neutralization tank with the help of a pump. Here
acid and alkali are mixed to neutralize the effluent. In this
context, sometimes, the pH meter is also placed in the
After neutralization, the effluent is
transferred to a coagulation tank. Here coagulant is added with
5. Separation sludge
The separation sludge tank separates
effluent from the water and sludge is formed in the lower level
of the tank.
6. Pressure filter press
The next step filtration under pressure. A
certain amount of pressure is created here in this context.
7. Discharge to drain
After completion of all these processes,
the effluent is purified and can be safely drained without any
impact to the environment.
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