Sustainable development places emphasis on meeting present needs without compromising the future. This can mean development of new technologies and processes, or alterations of systems that are already in place.
In many cities with old infrastructure, wastewater treatment is a large issue. Conserving resources while processing tons of waste is not sustainable on a large scale. Sewage sludge is one of the top contributors to waste worldwide. Not only is sewage sludge a major environmental hazard, it is extremely costly to deal with. Bioremediation, or more specifically, mycoremediation could be a solution to breaking down massive amounts of waste products.
Mycoremediation is an effective and environmentally friendly way to digest sewage sludge using a suspension of fungal spores. The methods currently used to dispose of sewage sludge consist of dumping, incineration, composting, application to crop fields, and landfill. In mycoremediation a filamentous fungus suspension is used to reduce the amount of contaminants while promoting the microbial and natural degradation of solids. The filamentous structures of the mycelium entrap bio solids where they become immobilized.
There are multiple ways to test waste water to see the success of mycoremediation. These tests include total suspended solids (TSS), turbidity, chemical oxygen demand (COD), and specific resistance to filtration (SRF).
Fungal treatment of wastewater sludge shows encouraging results and is a sustainable solution for waste water treatment. This environmentally friendly avenue has the potential to conserve resources and reduce harm to the environment during wastewater treatment.