Monthly Archives: October 2019

5 New Innovations In Water Treatment Technology

Water treatment technology has come a long way. New Jersey’s Jersey City started everything by being the nation’s first city to regularly treating water for the community’s residents. That was 1908. Within 10 years, thousands of other communities followed suit and helped lower the rates of disease and infection linked to contaminated water.

At the time, cholera and typhoid fever were two of the most common diseases spread through contaminated water. By 1920, less than 20 years from the nation’s first water treatment system, the number of cases declined from 0.001% of the population to approximately 0.00034%. Advancements in water treatment continue to help eliminate these diseases. In 2006, the number of cases was minuscule at 0.000001%.

Today’s focus isn’t all on quality. Today’s water treatment advancements focus on everything from energy efficiency to recycling wastewater. Here are five innovations in water technology you need to know about.

Solar-Powered Water Treatment

The reliance on electricity has been a concern for water treatment. If a power grid is knocked out for days following a catastrophic event or storm, it can severely impact water treatment plants. The loss of pressure can allow contaminants to get into groundwater. If a pump shuts down, untreated sewage could get into nearby streams, rivers, and lakes.

Zero-emissions is another focus. Cleaner air is important for the world. The more people embrace green practices, the less impact these processes have on the environment. There’s also the cost of running a plant. Water treatment is paid for through water bills. Homeowners may struggle with increasing bills. Keeping costs low for the community is important.

One of the ways companies are working around this is by tapping into the sun’s energy. An Arizona water treatment plant installed close to 23,000 solar panels to produce the bulk of the energy needed to operate the plant. By switching to solar power, the plant expects to save more than $1.6 million.

The Sun Can Also Help Process Hydrogen

Hydrogen is used in everything from the fertilizer that farms use to plastics manufacturing. Princeton University came up with a way to draw hydrogen from wastewater using the power of the sun. By creating a silicon processing chamber, bacteria and sun work together to force the water to split. The hydrogen bubbles to the top where it can be collected and used in industrial settings. The water continues on its way through the water treatment plant.

Turning Algae Into Biofuel

Gas-powered cars are the norm. Many heating systems rely on propane and kerosene. Researchers have been working hard to find alternatives to gas. Researchers are looking at algae as an option. With an algae water treatment plant, it can double as a biofuel plant.

Some wastewater treatment plants use algae to process some of the waste. After the effluent is treated, you have algae left over. That algae can be converted into biofuel. Algae used for treating water also helps lower electricity use. A Cal Poly study compared a nutrient-removal system to an algae system and the cost dropped from around $950,000 per year to $300,000.

Membrane Water Treatment

A water treatment plant in Singapore is testing out technology designed to reduce liquid waste by more than 90%. A fiber membrane filter allows water to pass through the filter at speeds that are 30% faster than current filtration systems. The metals in the wastewater the filter processes go into a concentrated liquid that can be reused in other industries. It’s believed the energy savings will be five times less at a membrane filtration plant.

Improved Stormwater Management

In the country, heavy rainfall puddles on the ground and eventually works its way through the soil where it’s filtered. In a city, that heavy rainfall rushes to the sewers where it can overload a water treatment plant. It may back up and cause flooding that causes erosion.

Stormwater management techniques are being developed to help prevent this. Some of the methods being used are to have water from rooftops go into gutters that connect to rain barrels. Those rain barrels can be used to water gardens. Rain gardens are popping up on the sides of city streets to collect runoff. It adds greenery to city streets, which also boosts oxygen going into the environment. This all lowers the rush of water going to water treatment plants or running into streams and lakes where the polluted water enters the water source without first being treated.

Lakeside Equipment understands the advancements the water treatment industry has seen. Founded in 1928, we’ve helped customers around the world create clean water for people in a cost-effective manner. We pride ourselves on quality systems that match your budget. Call us for more information.

Does Wastewater Become Drinking Water?

Have you ever thought of what happens to the water that gets flushed down the toilet, the rainwater that goes into sewers, or water that’s washed clothing and dishes? Every day in the U.S., the average person uses as much as 100 gallons of water. Flushing toilets and taking showers and baths are two of the biggest culprits.

All of that wastewater that’s being flushed or drained into septic tanks or sewers can be recycled. People aren’t often comfortable with that idea. They can’t imagine taking toilet water and recycling it into clean drinking water. In fact, a questionnaire found that almost half of those surveyed said they would be willing to try recycled wastewater. Just over 1 in 10 said there was absolutely no way they’d drink it. Would you? It might be the only way to prevent water shortages.

Why Do Countries Need to Start Recycling Waste Water?

Throughout the world, there are countries struggling to meet the public’s demand for water. Water scarcity occurs due to the climate and/or failing infrastructure. According to the United Nation, more than 2 billion people already live in a country that is dealing with water scarcity.

Chennai, India, gained a lot of attention in 2019 when Chembarambakkam Lake, one of the city’s largest water reservoirs dried up despite receiving 30 inches of rain in 2018. The lack of water is affecting businesses and close to 10 million residents. Emergency trucks and trains can’t bring in the water fast enough to keep up with demand.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations finds that 96% of the world’s water use comes from bodies of fresh water, such as ponds, lakes, and rivers. As the climate changes and water sources dry up, it could be disastrous. Turning wastewater into drinking water is not only possible, but it’s also one of the best ways to keep cities and towns from running out of water.

How Does Wastewater Become Drinking Water?

Water arrives at a wastewater treatment plant where solids and large particles are filtered. Those solids are removed and composted, sent to a landfill, or incinerated. Grit removal is next. Small stones, sand, and other smaller particles sink into a chamber where they are removed. The remaining water flows to the next stage.

This removes some of the waste from the water, but it can’t remove it all. The secondary treatment stages start. This process involves making the most of the bacteria and oxygenating the wastewater. Bacteria help consume smaller particles that have made it through to this stage. The bacteria do their job before the water is filtered through very fine filter systems. Chlorine is added to the resulting water to kill bacteria and the odor that remains. Chlorine kills about 99% of the bacteria that remain in the water. The chlorine has to be removed and then water is ready for the next step.

This clean water needs to be processed for human consumption. Dechlorination is the next step. It’s a process used to remove excess chlorine and may use exposure to ultraviolet lighting. Some water treatment plants use reverse osmosis, which uses pressure to force the water through filters. These filters remove additional bacteria, remnants of prescription medications that are still present in the water, and any viruses that have made it through. Additional chemicals are used and then UV lighting helps remove those chemicals.

Once this is complete, the water is sent to natural water supplies. It mixes with these natural water supplies, is filtered again, and makes its way back to homes and businesses through the water lines and pipes. By the time it reaches homes, people would have a hard time believing the crystal clear water came from a wastewater treatment plant.

California’s Already Doing It

California’s Orange Country residents have already embraced recycled water. When one of the county’s reservoirs reached critical lows after years of drought conditions, the Orange County Water District took action. The plant cleans and returns up to 100 million gallons of wastewater each day and returns it to the public water system. The treated wastewater is mixed with the main water supply and reaches hundreds of thousands of people.

The right equipment is needed through each of these stages of water treatment and purification. Founded in 1928, Lakeside Equipment helps companies and cities around the world plan and implement water treatment systems that deliver results while also being an economical solution. The equipment is designed to last and help with energy costs at the same time. Call 1-630-837-5640 to discuss upgrading your current water treatment system to be cost-effective while delivering clean, recycled wastewater to area homes and businesses.