The carpet cleaning industry is built upon the capacity of cleaning hard-to-clean stains, dirt build-up, and the overall cleaning and sanitizing of carpets. In order to do this, the most effective carpet cleaning techniques make use of powerful chemicals that can clean, treat and sanitize yards and yards of carpeting in various homes and buildings. Unfortunately, once the process of carpet cleaning is done, there remains the problem of the disposal of wastewater that is the byproduct of the carpet cleaning process.
The reason why the post-carpet-cleaning process is so important, and why it has spurred a recent move towards “green” carpet cleaning methods, is because of the environmental impact that improper wastewater disposal can have on the environment.
Because of the kinds of cleaning chemicals used, and the resulting concentration of chemicals, dirt, grit, and waste that comes from cleaning dirty carpets, what results is potentially toxic wastewater. These are non-biodegradable concentrations of waste that can accumulate in a city’s sewer system, which may even potentially result in screening problems in wastewater treatment processes. Sometimes, if such wastewater is improperly disposed of, such toxic wastewater never makes it to treatment facilities at all, but instead is absorbed back into bodies of water such as underground waters, rivers or streams, or back into the oceans without any treatment at all.
The repercussions on the environment are obvious. Not only are these wastes non-biodegradable and likely to persist as toxic substances contaminating bodies of water, but being released back into the environment in this way, whether having undergone treatment processes or not, can be dangerous and possibly even lethal to aquatic life, land and water ecosystems, and even to human life, health and welfare. What, after all, ties all living beings together than our need for water?
Most carpet cleaning wastewater contains highly alkaline chemicals, aggressive enzymes and disinfectants, sodium formulations, dyes, bleaches, ethers, and various other chemicals whose main purpose had been to clean carpets.
If the wastewater resulting from cleaning methods that make use of these chemicals, is improperly disposed of and finds its way into the environment, it can potentially endanger whole ecosystems and the life that they contain. The same is also true for humans, human life, and human health and welfare – particularly if such carpet cleaning wastewater disposal has been “disposed of” within the vicinity of a home or any other well-populated areas like parks, beaches, lakes, etc. One particularly dangerous chemical byproduct is butyl cellosolve, which can potentially damage a human or animal’s central nervous system kidneys, blood and liver.