When we think of artificial intelligence, we usually associate it with algorithms, surveillance technology, social media, the Internet, automated jobs, robots, and crime detection. We still cannot imagine artificial intelligence seeping into every aspect of our human experience, including the way we consume and expel natural resources. We grapple with it being a potential solution to the climate crisis. The very idea of it makes us afraid. What if we lose control of our creation? What if we get usurped?
What does this all have to do with wastewater treatment?
We deal with water every single day, and we cannot live without it. Humans are made up of water. We drink it, use it in our food, wash with it, and include it in chemical compositions found in practically everything that makes our lives easier. The problem is where that water goes after we use it and how much of it we can reuse. Our water resources are not infinite.
To make matters worse, we pollute a great deal of it without realizing the consequence of our actions. As much as this is the responsibility of corporations rather than individuals, the truth is, we all get affected. We must then turn to science to give us answers.
The future of the septic tank must then be focused on sustainability. That means that most of the water wastes should be treated and recycled until they are good enough for human consumption. Only a small amount of water waste today is replenished in this manner. Future septic tanks embedded with artificial intelligence can detect microorganisms, microplastics, and a variety of toxins and learn how to deal with them, whether with complex dilution systems or the addition of neutralizing chemicals. Smart artificial cleansing plants can also enter this process. For all we know, the future of wastewater treatment is multidisciplinary.
Tapping Natural Faucets
Another thing that future septic tanks must be able to do (or can do soon, if we permit ourselves to innovate and respect innovations) is to learn where to distribute and redistribute water. First, it will discover underground sources of water. Then, gathering supply from them or existing bodies of water (that can include our oceans), it can replenish our emptying or polluted water sources through the methods mentioned above. It is not just a matter of how but also where. That has the potential to change ecosystems and benefit lives other than humans’, which will, in turn, help the lives that thrive on them. And this process will return to us.
Water treatment is one of these countless methods that can help change the state of things around us, and we have not fully tapped into the potential of artificial intelligence in improving the situation. In this perspective, the recycling and reusing of water become not just a business issue but also an ethical one, one that calls for human innovation to be saved. Maybe artificial intelligence will soon usurp us, or we can design them in a way so that they can save us. Either way, technology is progressing, and this includes systems that affect our everyday lives.