Common Exposures for Water Treatment Plants

Most people might not stop to think about what happens after they turn off their kitchen tap or flush their toilet. But there’s a lot of work that goes into flowing our water from system to system through a network of underground piping. In this process, various common exposures are related to the work it takes to clean our water in water treatment plants.

The wastewater treatment source water is taken from wells, aquifers, and surface water locations and then piped to treatment centers for additional cleaning. After everything completes, the order moves through a distribution system to its final destination.

Operators of this process are subject to a wide range of hazards to get their jobs done right. Two of those main hazards include hydrogen sulfide exposure and methane gas exposure.

Let’s take a more detailed look at these risks below.

Hydrogen Sulfide Exposure

Hydrogen sulfide is a gas that is heavier than air and present in decaying matter. In the wastewater treatment industry, there are many instances where hydrogen sulfide gases can gather and grow. When there is a permit requirement for confined space entry, the operator must check the atmosphere for the presence of different gases, including hydrogen sulfide.

Unfortunately, there are instances where someone has been exposed to the gas and in need of emergency medical treatment due to overexposure. In these situations, a specialist must assist the city in rescuing the worker or workers. 

Methane Gas Exposure

The gathering of methane gas in the collection system can end up causing an explosion. Methane gases develop naturally in a wastewater treatment plant, especially when there is little to no air movement. Once the air and an ignition source blend with methane gas, an explosion occurs. This explosion causes immediate burns and possibly death to those who experience it. Prompt fire rescue is needed to avoid any increased damage and liability to the workers and the community.

Methane gas is a byproduct of sludge digestion, a system used to treat the settled matter in the treatment plant. Treated sludge in a plant can be used as fertilizer in the open-air market and is the right product for eco-friendly purposes.

Staying Protected with Wastewater Treatment Coverage

Wastewater Treatment Coverage can protect wastewater clients from dealing with massive litigation due to exposure. Not only do treatment plants have to worry about their workers, but they also have to consider the effects their processes and exposures have on the surrounding community. While making sure employees exposed to such hazards are taken care of medically, wastewater treatment plants need to ensure they are processing with the most current Wastewater Treatment Coverage to keep legal and financial risks minimized.

Wastewater Treatment Coverage is a well-rounded insurance package that provides public liability benefits to plants. Like auto or health insurance, operating with this coverage provides peace of mind and adequate medical and legal protection when claims related to worksite infection exposure occur.

 About Watercolor Management

WaterColor Management has insured the water industry for over 30 years. Our policies include unlimited defense cost coverage in the event of a lawsuit against you. Call us at (256) 260-0412 or email for a quick quote for your Water Business Professional, Products/Completed operations, Pollution and General Liability Insurance.