Wastewater Recycling to Increase by 37% by 2027

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The general water supply has become a huge problem lately, so more and more investments are being targeted towards new water reuse or wastewater solutions. According to a new report issued by Bluefield Research, estimates show that expenditure for alternative capacity solutions in the municipal water sector in the U.S. will exceed $2.1 billion in the upcoming decade. 


According to Bluefield Research Director, Erin Bonney Casey water reuse solutions have become the prime focus for the US municipal utilities.  In fact, the municipal utilities are constantly looking for alternative options and strategies that would save the existing supplies of water. The director also points out that Bluefield Research has been monitoring about 247 water reuse projects in 11 US states in 2015. By this year, the number of these projects increased dramatically, from 247 to 775 across 19 US states. 


Florida, Texas, and California represent the core players regarding reuse activity. Even though the state of California saw a huge increase of rainfalls last year, the utilities have still gone further by adding 6.0 million m3/d of innovative water reuse facilities and supplies. Bluefield Research estimates that utilities will add supplies of potable water exceeding 2.2 million m3/d in the upcoming 10 years, especially in urban areas of the US. 


Bonney Casey further highlights the importance of a powerful potable reuse policy. California regulators seem to be the leaders in adopting such a strong policy, which will basically serve as a role model for all other states. Municipal reuse investments will likely increase by 15% in the upcoming decade, and water reuse solutions will represent a very important opportunity for growth across many sectors.  In the upcoming 10 years, the greatest majority of Capital Expenditure intended for reuse will be redirected towards pipes strategies (up to 42%), while the remainder will go towards engineering & design or advanced treatment solutions. 
The general market request for potable water solutions is quite high. Even more so, both national and foreign investors see advanced systems as the best opportunities for growth. It seems that the increased request for potable solutions, together with market growth is most beneficial to companies offering advanced technological solutions such as osmosis or bioreactor systems. 


Recycled wastewater usage was limited to uses in agriculture, golfing or green spaces. Today, wastewater seems to be present across many industrial applications and fields, such as data centers, for toilet/cooling systems in commercial spaces, or even in craft breweries. The future of reclaimed wastewater is not limited to use in municipal utilities, but treated wastewater will become precious in settings such as oil refineries, gas companies, power plants and more. 

Interested in learning more about innovative alternative wastewater treatment and reuse technologies? Contact us today. 
 

Fish Farm Gets Water from the Waste of a Sustainable Brewery

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Sustainable recycling practices represent not only a trend but also a necessity nowadays. Many companies today are rethinking how to dispose of their waste in the most positive, sustainable manner. Different organizations collaborate in this sense and come up with solutions that are helping make waste easier to dispose of in an effort to lower costs and create a more sustainable business practice.


Collaboration between a New York-based brewery, Five & 20 Craft Spirits and Brewing and a startup fish farm, TimberFish Technologies began to help develop a more sustainable way of disposing of brewery waste. The idea is that the fish farm gets the food and water for the fish from the brewery, in the form of used grains and wastewater. It all started when TimberFish built a tank system for the fish and other aquatic creatures to have a suitable habitat. Then, Five and 20 brewery had to build a system that would help them filter the brewing water properly. It is important to note that the grains from the brewing do not go directly in, but first, they get finely chopped and mixed with sustainably harvested wooden chips. 


The wooden chips being mixed in will release Phosphorus and Nitrogen in the water. These chemical elements help create a favorable environment for the microbes to feed properly. The microbes will eventually settle at the bottom and clean the water. As the microbes grow, they become food for the snails and worms in the water. As a result, the fish have food from a completely sustainable and clean process. The fish will also produce the excrements which will go back to the bottom of the tank, and the microbes can re-start producing food for the nails and worms. Everything works just like a chain-solution, a most ecologically friendly one.  This system offers the fish a beneficial ecosystem where they can thrive. 


The fish farm provides an innovative solution for the brewery to recycle their water, but that’s not all. The fish farm steps up on a financial level too in the befit of the brewery. In the past, the brewery had to pay separately for a service to clean up their water and take away the grain residue. Another company would take the grain waste away and then re-use it for compost. 
However, the brewery paid out almost $30,000 for these services alone. Today, this successful collaboration eliminates any costs, yet these two companies have created a truly sustainable and clean recycling concept. In fact, the companies have high hopes they will be able to build even more farms based on this sustainable procedure. The first harvest will take place next spring/summer, and the fish will go to local restaurants and markets. 

Interested in learning more about innovative alternatives to traditional wastewater treatment technologies? Contact us today. 


 

Industrial Water Reuse On The Rise

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This is the time of year when we all begin reflecting upon the past year and deciding what direction we want our companies to take next year.  Black and Veatch recently put out a comprehensive report entitled; 2016 Strategic Directions: Water Industry Report. The 2016 report is a quantitative analysis, conducted over the past year that identifies current trends and the continuous challenges faced by the water industry. They found that the top concern was the increased demand and raising cost to maintain and preserve the integrity of infrastructure systems due to population growth. The report finds the water industry rising to meet some the grandest challenges yet. Managing infrastructure maintenance cost, navigating capital investment with limited resources and engaging customers who may be questioning the cost or the safety of their supply are all top of mind for many of the experts that were surveyed. Fortunately, there are bright spots of innovation and new approaches in cities that are learning to do more with less. Many are exploring alternative water supply strategies and energy efficiency while others are testing advanced purification technologies. In addition, they found that the application of advanced data analytics insights offers opportunities to future-proof their systems.

According to the report, the importance and interest in alternative water supplies, such as water reuse, brackish groundwater, and desalination, continues to grow throughout U.S as organizations look to build diversified, resilient water supplies.

It can be seen from the survey results that non-potable reuse is finding its way as a good “middle ground” for utilities and the public to consider. The report also states that non-potable reuse for landscaping or industrial use enjoys solid public support, and respondents to the survey indicated a strong outlook for this type of program. They suggest that the Water Reuse industry is expected to grow significantly due to the due to the following factors:

  • Interest in industrial reuse

  • Capacity for growth

  • Utilities are increasingly willing to take on new areas that they’ve not delved into in the past.

According to the survey, nearly 25% of water utilities that serve power plants are implementing non-potable water reuse, a figure expected to rise another 10% over the next three years. Use of recycled water in cooling towers is also expected to nearly double in the next three years, from 16% to 30%, and data center reuse will fully double in usage. In fact, master planning for water reuse is another way to look at the broader acceptance of alternative water supplies. Nearly 50% of respondents say they either have or plan to develop a master plan for water reuse, which shows a broad consideration across the country. Given that these results are based on responses from the entire country and not just regional responses from arid states, they highlight the bright prospect of water reuse in the future.

However, despite all of the innovations and acceptance of industrial water reuse, the scale and nature of the challenges in the water industry – from climate change to legacies of underinvestment – call for alignment, leadership, shared responsibilities and collaboration go beyond business-as-usual. Water leaders from around the world will have to address the current water situation in collaborative ways to overcome water challenges faced by cities throughout the world.

As technology improves, the best industrial water treatment methods are going to shift the paradigm from treat to discharge to treat to reuse. This is the mantra that is being recited more frequently, in the US and the rest of the world. In developing countries, high water use companies are looking for ways to reduce and reverse the consumption of potable water, putting more clean water back into the system than they take out. For instance, bottling companies are being called on to not only reuse their process water but clean enough water to be able to help the local municipalities increase clean water output to relieve the strain that they impose on the treatment system. Treatment systems that can amplify processing by reuse and even initial processing of water sources at the least cost are in high demand. The Active Water Solutions (AWS) system has proven to be capable of such processing. Using proven biological methods which have low energy requirements as well as low initial and life time costs, the AWS system approach is well suited for a wide variety of both treat to discharge as well as treat to reuse applications.

If you are actively looking for wastewater treatment technology that has industrial reuse capabilities, contact us today to learn more about our advanced treatment technologies.

The Need For Better Wastewater Technologies in Rural America

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We often hear about urbanization globally. More and more people are moving to the city. At the same time there are many people moving out of the city looking for a quieter and slower pace of life.  People looking for quiet green countryside, friendly neighborhoods, and pristine lakes, streams, and rivers. While these words conjure images of a Norman Rockwell existence the reality is that a number of households in many small and rural communities in the U.S. lack adequate facilities for the proper collection, treatment, and disposal of wastewater not only protecting their quality of life but their health as well.

The average home in the US uses 75 to 100 gallons of water per person per day. When people "use" water it doesn't go away; it becomes dirty and is wastewater or sewage. We typically don’t even think about where our wastewater might go once it’s gone. Out of sight out of mind, Right? The reality is that that waste often wreaks havoc on our greater ecosystem if not disposed of properly. Wastewater contains pathogens (disease organisms), nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.), solids (organic, inorganic), chemicals (from cleaners, disinfectants, medications) and water. Our poor environment can be decimated by all that we put into it. As individuals and members of a larger community, everyone must take responsibility for wastewater generated in their community. We need to start looking a new and improved ways of taking care of this unglamorous but highly important aspect of daily life.

To ensure ideal and most appropriate technology for the community, leadership must have clear goals and specific criteria during the decision process.  The wastewater treatment solution that is chosen must provide the community with effective and manageable wastewater treatment at a reasonable and viable cost.

It’s important to remember that no two communities will have the same criteria, location or soil conditions, so looking at packaged systems can be the most beneficial and easiest option. Packaged plants like the scalable and customizable packaged treatment plants manufactured by Active Water Solutions can be very effective in alleviating the treatment challenges rural communities face. The AWS packaged treatment plants can be an easier more plug and play option for those looking to keep costs at a minimum and avoiding major infrastructure debt. The AWS systems can serve communities of 100 residents to 1,500 residents with minimal service and operations cost over the lifetime of the product.

Engaging all of the members of the community early in the decision-making process leads to the best solutions and encourages responsibility. Finding appropriate technological solutions to a community's wastewater problems is the easy part because of technologies like the AWS packaged wastewater treatment solutions. Working together as a community can ultimately be the biggest challenge to overcome.

Interested in learning more about AWS wastewater treatment solutions? Contact Us Today. 

Advanced Wastewater Technologies Helping Developing Countries

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The World Millennium Development Goals were set up by the United Nations in 2000 in an effort to help solve our global poverty crisis by 2015. It’s now 2018 and we can look back fondly at all that was accomplished, as well as all that still needs much more work. 

According to the World Bank, sanitation was one of the most off-track Millennium Development Goals (MDG) globally. Only 68% of the world’s population has access to improved sanitation, but 70% of the Sub-Saharan Africa population and 53% of South Asia still lack access. The world missed the MDG target for sanitation by almost 700 million people. Lack of sanitation not only causes major health related issues but it also holds back economic growth.

The economic losses that were found were mainly due to premature death, cost of treatment in healthcare facilities and lost productivity due to contaminated water systems. Lack of treatment has profound long-term impacts on populations.

Most people cite the high cost of implementing sanitation technologies and infrastructure as a barrier but the reality is that the cost of not implementing sanitation services and infrastructure can mean even higher costs in the long run. Many countries don’t put sanitation on the top of the priority list because many are dealing with political unrest, food supply issues as well as education and medical treatment of their citizens.  Many countries are dealing in the near term because they can’t look beyond what is happening today.  The long term strategy can be challenging,  making it only more costly. Most people are aware that poor sanitation has a health impact, but there is a lack of awareness of the extent of the economic implications as well. 

Many of our global urban centers are in desperate need of infrastructure upgrades due to rapidly growing urban populations. With advancements in wastewater sanitation technologies like Active Water Solutions we can help move the needle by decreasing waterborne illnesses and reusing the valuable but limited resources that are available.

The infographic below shows the real cost of prolonging sanitation development globally.

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Global Increase in Packaged Water Treatment Systems

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Market research provider Market Research Future has just released an in-depth report detailing information about the Global Packaged Water Treatment System Market (GPWTSM). Based on the information and data the GPWTSM is projected to experience a period of expansion over the next six years resulting in 11% growth above the compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Overall gross is anticipated to top $22 billion by the year 2022. 

But what does this mean for businesses in this sector? 

There is a broad range of factors resulting in this projected growth, not least of which is an increased overall interest in preserving and protecting the environment. As environmental impact and issues like global warming move to the forefront of public discourse, government bodies are beginning to set increasingly strict regulations for the disposal of wastewater in communities everywhere. As a result, the interest and demand for portable solutions that dramatically decrease the time involved in processing wastewater rise significantly. Solutions like these can be quickly brought to rural areas and towns with less cost and less intensive installation. 

Population Growth & Water Scarcity
Another reason for this projected expansion is an overall growth in populations all over the world, communities in need of safe, clean and low-cost water treatments. As cities become more engorged with people and rural areas expand as well, these areas are in need of sustainable treatments for drinking water to ensure consistent service to their residents while keeping tabs on expenditures.

Finally, fresh water supplies are becoming increasingly difficult to access and utilize. Droughts in areas like California have shown that readily available sources of drinking water are no longer a given, and many municipalities are searching for more reliable solutions for their residents’ needs.

Fast Growing Regions
When it comes to which regions are the largest and fastest growing, there are few surprises. North America is listed as first, followed closely behind by Africa and the Middle-east region. The projected high growth in North America is due largely in part to the droughts and water needs in areas like California and Arizona, as well as government regulations.

Technology Solutions
Treatment systems that can amplify processing by reuse and even initial processing of water sources at the least cost will soon be in even higher demand as we face more and more severe drought zones. Advanced technologies such as Active Water Solutions (AWS) wastewater treatment and reuse systems, have proven to be capable of cutting costs while providing superior water treatment in decentralized locations, globally.

Interested in learning more about Active Water Solutions advanced water treatment technologies? Contact Us Today. 

23 Counties in Violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act

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The ever-aging water infrastructure in the United States has become an increasing cause for concern, and environmental factors and pollution have done nothing to help drinking water quality. Since 1974 with the passing of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that 23 counties in the United States are in egregious violation, citing more than 15,000 instances of harmful levels of chemicals in municipal water supplies all over the country. While some contaminants are naturally occurring, an increase in industrial activity within the recent decade has seen a disturbingly large increase in chemicals and other harmful particulates seeping into surrounding ecosystems and groundwater.


Between September 30th, 1980 to July 3rd, 2017, the EPA found that out of the 23 counties in violation, Dona Ana County in New Mexico had the lowest amount of contamination violations. With 52 violations in total, the most recent issued in November of 2008, the EPA found unsafe levels of uranium in the county’s drinking water supply. While uranium naturally exists in the environment, levels have increased to harmful amounts, most likely due to the NASA White Sands Test Facility where missile tests have historically been performed.


Unfortunately, the 52 violations that the EPA gave Dona Ana County pales in comparison to the 231 recorded violations found in Cumberland County, North Carolina. With a water system that serves nearly 16,000 residents, Cumberland County has the highest amount of violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act, with the most recent violation having been issued in May of 2009. Much like uranium, radium is a naturally occurring element. However, increased exposure to the element’s radioactivity has been linked to increased risk of anemia and bone cancer.


Other contaminants that the EPA has found in the American public water system include trihalomethanes (TTHM) and haloacetic acids, which are byproducts of chemicals which are commonly used to disinfect water for drinking purposes. Unfortunately, recent studies have found a link between TTHM and haloacetic acids and an increased risk of cancers, as well as certain birth defects when ingested in high concentrations or over-exposure. In addition to these substances, the EPA has also cited other contaminants such as fecal coliform, which is known to cause gastrointestinal illnesses, fever, and other flu-like symptoms.


While many counties have taken measures to increase drinking water quality, further analysis for the data collected by the EPA shows that those counties with the highest amount of violations also happen to be the most economically poor. With few financial resources, it is understandably difficult to make the necessary changes to reverse these violations. Without external funding from the state or the federal government, such violations may continue to plague counties all over the United States.

If you are interested in learning more about advanced water treatment technologies connect with us today. 
 

The Pharma Challenge. What Can We Do About It?

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The existence of pharmaceuticals in the environment and the water supply in small amounts (nanograms to low micrograms per gallon) has been widely discussed and published over the past decade. The increase in detection is primarily attributable to the advances in analytical techniques and instrumentation.

Though the chemical and drug companies denounce any danger from exposure to these low concentration drug residues in water, science and common sense says otherwise. Studies show drug residue cocktails do cause harm. A 2006 study conducted by University of Insubria in Italy simulated water that was drug-polluted by creating a low-level concoction of various drug residues and testing it on embryonic cells. The scientists discovered that, even at low doses, the drug residues stopped cells from reproducing. Although current water contamination levels are measured and researched in parts per million or parts per billion, there is not currently a way to understand just how much exposure citizens experience what those effects are. People regularly drink contaminated water, shower in contaminated water and cook with contaminated water; this suggests that the exposure to contaminants could be huge.

How Do We Fix This Problem? 
Conventional wastewater treatment facilities typically utilize activated sludge processes or other forms of biological treatment such as biofiltration. These methods have demonstrated varying removal rates for pharmaceuticals, but are usually not very effective. There are newer and more advanced technologies that are being deployed as a more suitable alternative than AS. Newer technologies have proven more effective and better at removing pharmaceuticals than ever before. One such technology developed by Active Water Solutions called the DynaFlow I has proven itself to be one of the most cost effective solutions in helping to remove pharmaceuticals from the water supply.

In the bigger picture, the EPA has taken a four-pronged approach that involves public education, closer monitoring of water supplies, partnering with health care institutions and agricultural entities to reduce waste. New regulation will most certainly be on the radar of most political heads shortly. As a first step toward possible regulation, the EPA has added ten pharmaceutical compounds, one antibiotic and nine hormones, to its watch list of potentially harmful contaminants that warrant greater investigation.

Many people believe that removing pharmaceuticals by boiling water is an effective treatment of their water, this is not the reality of how to treat pharma contaminated water sources. Experts have proven that boiling water to remove drug residue is not a valid option. If you think bottled water is a way to get away from the low levels of drugs found in some public water supplies, you would be mistaken. According to an NRDC report, Twenty-five percent of bottled water comes from the tap. Bottled water labels are regulated by the FDA, to help consumers know what is inside but, if bottled water companies use water from municipal sources and do not treat it further to purify it, then it is useless to use them as a way to get rid of pharmaceuticals. 

There is a long road to travel before we solve this major issue of the 21st century. We have only begun to realize the implications of pharma in our water streams. Recognizing and identifying that it's an important discussion is the first step in addressing this complex and challenging problem that has global implications. 

Interested in learning more about advanced technologies that can help remove pharmaceuticals from your water streams. Contact us today. 

The Real Cost of US Infrastructure Problems

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In this new era of shiny, pretty, and hip new technologies, we have gotten very good at turning a blind eye to the things that we know need to be addressed. One of the most important of those is the aging wastewater treatment infrastructure. The time has come for us to wake up and pay attention to the new challenges that we are being faced with. Much of our drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, the million miles of pipes beneath our streets, is nearing the end of its useful life and approaching the age at which it needs to be replaced. And as our population brings significant growth to urban areas of the country, the need for better and more robust treatment systems is here.

According to the AWWA study, Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge¹, if we are to maintain even the current levels of water service, restoring existing water systems and expanding them to serve a growing population will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years.

Let’s take a look at that number. One trillion dollars may seem to be a lot of money but postponing infrastructure investments in the near term will only add to the problems we will face in the years to come. According to the AWWA if we don’t begin to solve this problem our costs of fixing our water infrastructure could double to over $2 trillion if action isn’t taken now.

Another point that we need to remember is, not only will the cost to implement new infrastructure increase, but it also increases the odds of facing the extraordinarily high costs associated with water main breaks and other catastrophic infrastructure failures. We need to keep in mind that the $1 trillion needed doesn’t need to be invested over night. It will by fiscal necessity be spread out over the next 20 years. But, if we act now there is time to plan and implement policies that will get us on the right track and headed for a more definite future.

Business as usual, is not an answer to this problem. Not only do we as residents need reliable water systems but all of us, public and private rely heavily on our infrastructure.  If we choose to wait to address the updating of our water systems our economy may be in jeopardy because of rising costs and the loss of valuable marketshare.

With the recent atrocity in Flint, Michigan where thousands of people were poisoned by lead contaminated drinking water, we know easy fixes will not suffice and that action must be taken.  We can’t delay the inevitable and with the costs inevitably rising now is the time when new technologies can be implemented and encouraged. Status quo won’t work anymore.

There are many actions that we can take as a community and as a country to ensure that our water infrastructure lasts for generations and that our economic future is safe.  Can we really afford not to?

Interested in learning more about how advanced technologies can help alleviate our infrastructure problems at a fraction of the cost? Learn more here. 

 

¹ http://www.awwa.org/Portals/0/files/legreg/documents/BuriedNoLonger.pdf

Our Biggest Water Crisis To Come

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As the population of the United States and the world keeps growing, more pressure is put on our water resources. There are very few individuals that don’t think that we will eventually have some sort of water resource issue in the near future.

The United States Geological Survey has been running a long term survey asking this very question. What will be the biggest water problem in the coming years? To date, there have been over 83,000 participants and respondents to the survey from across the United States.  The survey asks the participants to choose from five answers to that question. 

  • We will not have enough water

  • Our water will be too polluted

  • Drinking water will be unsafe

  • Water systems will break down

  • There won’t be a water problem

When looking at the state to state answers its astounding to see the huge variance in answers based on geographic location. California resident’s response was overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that we will not have enough water with 41% of them choosing this answer.

The Western half of the US is already in the midst of not having enough water in many locations, a true present crisis. While 37% of Colorado residents responded that they didn’t think the US has a water problem at all.  What we found most interesting was that largest total response of all fifty state with 39% of the total votes went to the idea that our water will be too polluted in the next 10 years.

While pollution is certainly a major issue that we all must concern ourselves with, there are technologies out there that can certainly help fight and solve our pollution problems. There are Innovative technologies that have been developed to help combat pollution while conserving water that is efficient, effective and to be deployed.

What do you think our biggest water crisis will be in the next 10 years? Take the quiz and see how others voted. If you are interested in learning more about technologies that help solve some of our most serious water problems, contact us today. We’re revolutionizing the way we treat water, one gallon at a time.