Recently, Singapore's decision to stop relying on water supplies from Malaysia and to recycle their own waste water has provoked scepticism and derision from the South-east Asian community. It is certainly not the first country to take up the initiative, nor will it be the last. And despite jokes of finding corn in Singaporean water, we must acknowledge the fact that they are harnessing the powers of micro-organisms in bioremediation.
Brock Biology of Microorganisms defines waste waters as:
...materials derived from domestic sewage or industrial effluents...
Most of us just tend to think of it as, er, 'excrement cocktail'.
Whatever we may call it, waste water is a problem. Because of public health, recreational, economic and aesthetic considerations, it is in highly bad taste to merely dispose of waste water into natural water systems without first processing them. You do not want your drinking water to taste of sewage. You do not want to get food poisoning because your water supply is contaminated with human waste.
This is where microbes come in, accepting this horrendously gross cocktail of waste and breaking down the organic substances into simple ones, turning crud into water that is pure enough to be releasedContinued page 21/25