Wastewater Treatment News From Around The Web:
World demand for water treatment chemicals is forecast to rise 5.8 percent per year to $30.6 billion in 2017, according to a study by the Freedonia Group.
Health-care researchers have long claimed that use of antibacterial soaps can create drug-resistant germs in the home, leaving individuals more imperiled by infectious disease than they would otherwise be. Now there’s worry that the major antibacterial ingredient may be fouling up our water systems and introducing mutant germs into our environment.
A new water reclamation project has been started in Missoula, US, which makes use of hybrid poplar trees. Thousands of trees have been planted on the 130-acre site, which will be watered with treated wastewater. Some of the chemicals in the water will help the trees’ growth and in turn the trees will help to filter the wastewater. The project will stop the treated effluent from being released into the river.
Each year, one global industry gulps down trillions of liters of fresh water, together with massive amounts of chemicals. The wastewater from that industry is then dumped, often untreated, into rivers that bring its toxic content to the sea, where it spreads around the globe.
Ever since the Romans pioneered Water 1.0, centralization has been the big idea behind urban water systems. In fact, this original design principle has been so potent that each subsequent upgrade was built on its foundation.
Starting with the addition of filtration and chlorine disinfection on the front end of water distribution systems (Water 2.0), and continuing to the installation of biological wastewater treatment on the sewer end (Water 3.0) and beyond, modern water infrastructure is still guided by its original blueprint of ancient Roman-style aqueducts and cloacae.
Centralized urban water systems are presently under considerable stress from a variety of overlapping factors. Increases in population density, changing precipitation patterns, competition for water resources and recognition of the need to leave more water in streams to protect aquatic habitats are driving a movement toward formerly unusable water sources, such as seawater and wastewater effluent, for our next drinking-water supply projects.
Coincident with these changes, concerns about chlorine disinfection byproducts, endocrine-disrupting chemicals and pollution of surface waters with nutrients are causing us to rethink our ideas about water and wastewater treatment. A deeper awareness of the damage caused by stormwater runoff is leading to a new focus on urban drainage systems. But coming up with the money needed to expand the water supply portfolio, improve treatment efficiencies and fix urban drainage systems at the same time that our long-neglected pipe networks and treatment plants are reaching the ends of their design lifetimes is a tall order. As a result, rapid increases in water bills and more frequent and intense controversies over water are becoming the norm in most places. In the near future, these pressures will force us to make some tough choices.