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Neutralisation of Water to Protect the Environment

The presence of high levels of acids or alkalis is just one of the many ways in which water can be contaminated and therefore damaging to the environment. Not only can it put plants and animals at risk that rely on the water to drink and sustain life, but can also be lethal for fish and other aquatic creatures which live in the water.

A pH at either end of the scale can be too much for certain species of life form to live in, and a dramatic change in the composition of the water to such a level can kill instantly. However even a slight change in pH levels can cause distress, suffering and a slower death as, for example, a raising or lowering of the pH level can severely disrupt the workings of a fish's gills in the uptake of oxygen.

To combat this, a company must take steps to ensure that the waste it discharges into surrounding watercourses does not alter the pH balance of the water. Ideally this will be achieved by not discharging anything into the water, but where this is unavoidable the company can treat all waste water in a process of neutralisation to bring it back up or back down to a neutral level of around 7 before it is released. This will often produce residues or gases which can also be harmful to health and the environment if released into the open, and may themselves require specialist treatment to render safe and harmless.

The discharge of waste water and the treatment and dealings with acidity or alkaline levels require specialist knowledge and a highly trained person who knows what they are doing. There is also likely to be a need for compliance with permits and regulations, either on a local or national level, depending upon the location and jurisdiction in which the activities are taking place.

Related Course

Please see below for more information on the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate:

NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate, or NEBOSH National Certificate in Environmental Management to give it its full title, is an environmental health and safety course which is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who are responsible for managing environmental issues at their workplace.

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate qualification focuses on UK law, so is really only suitable for those who are based and operate within the UK.

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