AWS Provides Perfect Wastewater Treatment Solution for US Military

20170508_094018 (2).png

There is a critical need to provide soldiers with healthy, sanitary places to live all while protecting the local environment when deployed overseas. Wastewater treatment is a key component of keeping our military men and women safe. Wastewater that is improperly managed in the processes of establishing, operating, and closing base camps as part of contingency operations poses health risks to soldiers and surrounding communities, as pollutants released through the surface can seep into the groundwater. Reducing the logistical footprint of wastewater treatment while meeting environmental compliance requirements is a key factor for successful units in the field.


Active Water Solutions was engaged by the US Army to design a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) that treats 35,000 gallons of domestic wastewater per day. AWS designed a custom WWTP capable of supporting a contingency base of 875 soldiers. In addition, the WWTPs are modular and scalable for bases that host more than 875 soldiers and contractors. The Army installed three AWS WWTPs to accommodate up to 5,500 soldiers and contractors within Iraq. The WWTPs are manufactured within 40’ ISO containers, allowing for quick, efficient, and easy transport at a low cost.  

The military is designed to respond quickly on the battlefield, which requires equipment that can be easily installed, started, operated, and maintained. The AWS Contingency WWTP meets all of those requirements while treating the domestic wastewater generated from soldiers and contractors. The WWTP reduces BOD, TSS, and fecal coliform and has lower energy requirements compared to similar treatment systems.  

Interested in learning more about cost effective packaged wastewater treatment systems? Contact us today! 

Rising water costs and global efforts toward new water management initiatives

faucet-running-water-steel-861414 (1).jpg

The White House considers the global water crisis a national security threat as it undermines economic growth, compromises health, and hampers international affairs. To counter this, many federal agencies are collaborating to develop sustainable water supply and improve the quality of water at a global level. Congress has committed to help by allocating more federal funds to improve the water supply infrastructure and its sustainability.

ProcurementIQ, a procurement and purchasing research firm, predicts that the increase in government spending will increase the demand and in turn, raise the price of related products and services. This would have a significant impact on operational costs for multiple stakeholders.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) says that the global market for water and wastewater is upwards of $700 billion per year. On one side, there is the increase in water management costs; and on the flip-side, the pressure and investments have given birth to innovative technologies and new initiatives. Rising costs have directly played a role in improved water supply support products and services - treatment products, quality testing equipment, etc.

The private, state and local procurement departments would see a rise in the cost of maintaining water supply infrastructure. This would, unfortunately, be an unintended outcome of the US government’s global water strategy. In fact, the government has increased the budget for improving water safety in other countries. Because of this, ProcurementIQ predicts that water treatment chemicals, quality testing services, water treatment, and planning will be in higher demand and prices will surge dramatically. This would eventually increase business overheads & operational costs across industries.

The average cost of wastewater support markets (2018)

  1. Wastewater & treatment disposal: $2.22 per thousand gallons

  2. Water treatment chemicals: $710.58 per ton

  3. Water quality testing equipment: $445 per device

  4. Water quality testing services: $181 per sample

 

A major portion of the federal government’s budget for water treatment projects would be reallocated for environmental services. This would help sustain certain initiatives with long-term goals. One example is the Joint Chief’s project. It will focus on improving water by restoring forests and grasslands. The project won’t be devoid of work on improving aqueducts and reservoirs but it will focus on working alongside agricultural producers and forest landowners to improve water as well as local ecosystems. The U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies which have partnered for the project allocated $31.9 million for ongoing and new projects.

The USAID has advanced the global water strategy in light of the ‘water for the world’ act. Federal agencies are prioritizing water hygiene behaviors and cooperation on shared waters, protection and management of freshwater resources, and strengthening financing as well as governance. Agencies are addressing many countries internationally including Afghanistan, Kenya, Haiti, and Jordan.

The lack of quality water and management in many countries creates problems such as civil unrest, economic burdens, diseases, as well as food and energy shortages. Overcoming these problems in many countries would help the U.S. and other nations build toward a stronger future.

 Interested in learning more about advanced wastewater treatment systems for decentralized locations? Contact us today. 

Water Increasingly Important for Global Economic Prosperity

pexels-photo-27559.jpg

It may come as a surprise to some, but according to the 2017 risk report generated by the World Economic Forum, a lacking of water resources is one of the biggest threats to the global economy. More than other political crises like infectious diseases, large-scale weaponry, and conflict among hostile borders, the threat of dwindling water resources has the potential to shatter the global economy as we know it. Amplifying the problems, heavy metal contaminants are being found in increasingly alarming amounts of the public water supply. It is speculated that the increasing demand for water paired with the trending decline in availability and water purity continues to drive up the cost of water treatment, creating the perfect storm. 

In order to mitigate the growing water crises companies are scrambling to come up with innovative ways to recycle and reuse water in a way that can make the necessary resource cleaner and more readily available to the population. Unfortunately, the cost and heavy consumption of electricity make creative alternatives like the desalination of salt water a costly and less efficient way of attaining a steadily available source of clean water. Implementing such an idea would cost taxpayers millions. Fortunately, there is hope. Organizations like the Global Cleanwater Desalination Alliance are forming in an effort to drive innovation forward, determined to uncover more cost-effective and energy-efficient ways to achieve the same desired result. 

While desalination efforts show promise, diversifying our efforts will be important. It is pertinent to secure a variety of water recycling and re-use solutions to ensure that we do not run out of viable options for producing clean water and mitigating the impact of drought and the shortage of such a vital resource. Currently, 3% of the wastewater that is produced is recycled for re-use. With a massive influx of funding and a push to increase the water treatment industry, a 50% growth is expected over the course of the next five years, with the re-use of wastewater expected to grow to over 60%. 

While the water industry is tirelessly innovating with the hopes of sustaining a constant and endless supply of clean water, governments in high-risk states like Arizona, California, and Texas is making efforts for conservation by raising awareness and offering rebates for sustainable landscaping and the use of water-conscious gardening equipment. 

The problem extends beyond local drought and climate change. In drought-ridden desert countries like Saudi Arabia, the consumption of water is at an astonishingly high rate – and the government is paying for it. Higher tariffs are imposed to cover treatment costs, but the people who consume it are grossly undercharged for its use, according to the Global Water Intelligence. 

All over the world water prices continue to climb, and the same trend of undercharging for the high-demand resource is universally present. Water recycling may not solve all of the problems associated with costly water treatment, but it will reduce massive financial risk. Lack of clean water resulted in over $14 billion in fines, loss, and the engineering of new treatment facilities. Businesses are fearful, enlisting the help of projection software to estimate the water-related risk that they can anticipate. 


A valuable asset, water and the possibility of its regenerative potential through recycling and re-use continue to drive efforts to conserve and innovate towards a solution. Coca-Cola has invested nearly $3 million to upgrade their Scotland facilities in an attempt to conserve nearly 10 million liters of water annually. United Technologies has invested $2 million in southern California at its various locations to conserve water in an area that is not anticipating any relief from water scarcity anytime soon. Diageo jumped on board too, investing more than $2 million to avoid a spike in production similar to the effect that drought has had in Brazil. 

Businesses are encouraged to continue to participate in conservation efforts and employ the use of energy efficient smart meters and equipment to help educate customers and effectively reduce overall consumption and more importantly, waste. The war on water scarcity wages on, but as we continue to make small changes and create new ideas for achieving an endless water supply, there is a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel. 

Interested in learning more about advanced reuse technologies? Contact us today to learn more about how we're changing the way we treat and reuse wastewater. 

California To Adopt Long-term Defenses Against Future Droughts

bridge-california-cliff-7653.jpg

Water conservation is a way of Californian life. That is the vision of two bills that Governor Brown signed on the 31st of May 2018. The two bills - AB 1668 (Friedman) and SB 606 (Hertzberg) will further the ongoing water conservation efforts of environmental organizations, waterboard suppliers, and legislative members.

Although imminent climate change in California is characterized by intense droughts, these bills should provide a strong defense by improving water supply reliability. The crux of these bills is that the responsibility of realizing efficient water supply will fall upon urban water suppliers instead of imposing on homeowners and businesses.

Urban and agricultural water suppliers will need to comply with the following recommendations as per the bills:

  1. The creation of new efficiency standards for water use indoors and outdoors as well as new standards of wastage due to leaks. This would also include accounting and preparing for unpredictable changes in local conditions. 30th June 2022 will be the deadline for the State Water Board to adopt new standards.

  2. Starting November 2023, every urban retail water agency would need to define and calculate, annually, efficient water requirements for all of their services. These would include precise metrics for indoor and outdoor residential water use as well as commercial, industrial and institutional (CII) irrigation. The metrics would include dedicated meter readings and installations, accountability for water loss, unique local variances, and reuse of potable water (bonus incentive).

  3. Urban water agencies would need to meet water use objectives. Failing to do so would warrant enforcement protocols by the State Water Board. In the event objectives are not met, the state Board would issue informational orders by 2023 and conservation orders by 2025.

  4. Indoor daily per capita water usage would be limited to 55 gallons until January 2025. This limit would reduce to 50 gallons in January 2030.

  5. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) along with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)  would define the outdoor water standards based on climate, land cover, and other misc. factors. These would be effective by June 2022.

  6. The SWRCB Would also set the water leaks standard by July 2020 based on the previous SB 555, 2015 bill.

  7. The DWR and SWRCB would collaborate and define performance measures for CII use by October 2021. These would be adopted by the State Water Board by June 2022.

  8. To defend better against droughts,  urban water agencies would need to update water management plans (reliability, strategy, and requirements). Water supply protocols would need to function under the assumption of 5 consecutive dry years.  

  9. Agricultural water consumers would need to include an annual budget for supply and use as well as plans to meet efficient water use objectives.

  10. Agricultural water users would also need to provide a specific plan to stretch water resources and supply during long-term droughts while sustaining crops and livestock.

These recommendations would make California resilient against future droughts.

Interested in learning more about water reuse technologies? Contact us today. 




 

$256 Million In Water Infrastructure Promises Better Quality of Life in Rural America

bathroom-black-and-white-blur-615326.jpg

Quality of life is closely tied to water management, availability, and use. However, poor infrastructure causes problems in the supply and management of water. This includes leaks, contamination, and access. 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently in the process of investing $256 million to improve water infrastructure in rural areas. Their goal is to improve the quality of water and manage wastewater through 81 projects across 35 states says Anna Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development. 

Hazlett, in her keynote speech at the Arkansas Rural Development conference, described a strong partnership between the USDA and state & local officials. She spoke about the need for directly addressing the residents’ concerns (businesses included). In addition, their partnership will develop e-Connectivity in Arkansas. She emphasizes that regardless of where a society is situated, reliable and modern water infrastructure improves the quality of life and creates economic opportunities.

One project to be funded under this infrastructure budget is the Brazito Sewer system under the Lower Rio Grande Public Water Works Authority. The project will improve the quality of life for 1,088 residents and 20 businesses across two communities. They have received a 6 million dollar loan and an 8 million Colona grant. The new sewer system will have seven duplex lift stations, about 54,700 linear feet of gravity collection pipeline, 21,500 linear feet of force, 164 utility holes, 381 new sewer connections, eight package grinder pump units. The new infrastructure, which connects with the Southern Dona Ana County Wastewater Treatment Plant, will also abandon septic tanks and lower the likelihood of groundwater contamination. 

The lack of water in the unincorporated establishment of McIntosh, New Mexico was a huge problem because of existing health, security, and sanitation problems in the population (1484). This project acquired nearly 4 million in funds to build a deep community well with a water system. It includes a new 221,200-gallon water storage tank, 7 miles of looped 15-centimeter distribution lines, and 30-centimeter transmission lines, and in-line chlorine-based disinfection system. This would create a reliable source of high-quality drinking water as well as fire protection. 
 
In the 2018 Fiscal year, the Omnibus spending bill boosted financial support for water projects. Grants and loans increased from $1.2 billion in 2017 to $5.2 billion in 2018. In addition, the bill directs the Agriculture Secretary Perdue to invest in rural societies where the need for improvement is higher. President Trump proposes a $200 billion investment in infrastructure development of which 25% is dedicated to rural developmental projects. 

President Trump created the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in April ‘17 to support the mission that improves rural communities. Eight months later, Secretary Perdue of the Task Force reported 31 recommendations based on the Task Force’s assessment. These recommendations would unite the federal government with the local and state authorities to improve rural water infrastructure in America. 

Interested in learning more about packaged wastewater treatment plants for rural and decentralized locations? Contact us today. 

Is Texas Water Really Protected?

architecture-buildings-city-45182.jpg

Texas industries are regularly in violation of environmental laws. They dump human waste and chemicals into its water bodies. Unfortunately, without facing consequences. Environment Texas, in a recent report, shows that over half of the Industrial facilities from Texas are in violation of their wastewater permits.

Along with human waste, the facilities dump grease, oil, and a number of miscellaneous chemicals into state rivers and bays. This evaluation of water affairs doubts the effort by Texas Commision on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to protect Texan waters. The report underscores the fact that TCEQ is lax and its efforts are insufficient.  

In their report, Environment Texas states that 132 of the 269 Industrial facilities from Texas violate their wastewater permits. One of them is the Ineos plant which creates polymers for pharmaceuticals and pipes. Researchers pointed out that the violation count is 938 across 21 months between 2016-17. This makes Texas a state with the highest number of violations in the USA.

 

In about 300 of these violations, refineries, chemical companies, and wastewater treatment plants dumped waste into rivers, bays, and lakes which were previously classified as ‘impaired’ by the EPA.  An example of this is the Neches River. Even after the EPA classified it as ‘impaired’, it is one of the common sites for toxic waste and pollutants to be released. Today, the Neches is one of the dirtiest in the country. This further delays the water’s recovery process and harms aquatic life.

 

Luke Metzger, the executive director of Environment Texas says that TCEQ is lax and thus, facilities are not forced to comply with these permits.

The Ineos USA facility holds a repeated violation (8 times) of dumping wastewater into the Chocolate Bayou between Jan. 2016 and Sept. 2017. Their wastewater release contained a large proportion of the E. Coli bacteria which points toward fecal matter dumping. The facility has failed to comply with the Clean Water Act for 12 months over 3 years. In spite of the obvious violations, TCEQ did not issue fines.

In February 2018, the Observer reported an investigation on the biased level of enforcement by the TCEQ. According to the report, there is a disparity between how TCEQ penalizes large corporate polluters and small businesses. Large corporate polluters (refineries & petrochemical plants) are rarely penalized for air contamination and illegal pollutant release even though they have the resources to pay, make amends, and fight back. Whereas, small gas stations were fined thousands of dollars for relatively simpler violations such as recordkeeping. Environment Texas, in a recent report, highlights this partiality where corporate giants easily get away with water pollution and small businesses are financially choked.

TCEQ’s spokesperson, Andrea Morrow, says that they routinely monitor the data which companies submit for violations. The companies also report permit exceedances which they check. She says that the TCEQ penalizes and has the authority to enforce corrective measures to improve compliance when violations are grave and warrant formal action.

The report clearly hints lax enforcement by the TCEQ. It highlights poor accountability for repeat violators (the corporate offenders). Because legal and procedural affairs take time (months to years), it is uncertain if TCEQ will penalize violators with a fine in some cases. Metzger believes that it is unlikely that these facilities would face consequences due to TCEQ’s lax track record.

In 1972, the Clean Water Act became a federal law after the Cuyahoga River (Ohio) caught fire. This seminal law created a nation-wide vision of a country with zero pollutant discharge in waterways over the next 13 years. Unfortunately, and at a high cost, this vision is far from being realized.

Regions hosting heavy industrial activities had more polluters than the industrially less dense regions. About 600 of the 938 violation cases involved facilities from Harris, Jefferson, and Nueces counties where the state’s largest industrial operations are run.

Without giving any undue justification, Texas does have a high number of facilities which in turn create the opportunity for pollution. Although this increases the likelihood of pollution, it does not warrant repeated violation of permits. Texas, today, has the highest pollution rank.

As per the report, federal enforcement has decreased under Trump’s administration. Fines have lowered and the EPA is pursuing fewer cases. The monetary value of fines was 60% lesser in the first 6 months of Trump’s administration as compared to Obama’s, or Bush’s, or Clinton’s.

To compound these issues, the current administration has proposed a reduction in EPA’s civil enforcement budget. The budget is likely to drop by $30.4 million for the year 2019. The auxiliary federal budget which funds grants that assist states in fighting water pollution will drop by 20% in 2018 and 2019.

Interested in learning more about wastewater treatment options that can help alleviate many of these problems? Contact us today. 

Water Reuse Week - Florida, A national leader in reclaiming water

beach-beautiful-bridge-449627.jpg

The volume of reusing treated wastewater (reclaimed water) is astoundingly huge in Florida - over 200 million gallons daily; just within the St. Johns River Water Management District. In that spirit, May 13th to 19th was recognized as the ‘water reuse week’ in Florida.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), along with a few agencies, emphasize on the benefits of reusing wastewater. Chuck Drake, the Governing Board Secretary, says that we need to use reclaimed water to support outdoor watering needs (domestic & otherwise) and reduce the burden on conventional water supplies. With this, he says, we can protect our natural resources and meet future water demands. The water reuse week was a great opportunity to inculcate public awareness for reuse and celebrate the underlying state-level affairs. He notes that every person’s effort matters as they make educated decisions about managing water.

According to Dr Ann Shortelle, the St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director, Florida is a national leader when it comes to water reuse. The department has partnered with agencies on cooperative funding projects to deploy and develop water reuse opportunities in their neighboring 18 counties.  Florida utilities began using reclaimed water in the 1970s and they have become a major force in water management with a state-wide influence.

What is water reuse?

A lot of water is used for industrial and domestic purposes - cleaning, bathing, production, etc. Once used, most water becomes wastewater. This waster can be treated at multiple levels for so that it has some use in society again. Water reuse is the use of treated wastewater for beneficial outcomes.

What are the benefits of water reuse?

Communities can lower the burden on freshwater supplies and thus conserve it. Reuse is a favorable alternative to wastewater disposal which may have pervasive detrimental effects on the environment.

When reused water is used, the burden on fresh drinkable water is lowered which further liquidates the supply of drinkable (pun intended) water in homes, businesses, restaurants, etc. Desperate alternatives to the production or supply of drinking water can take a back seat.

Overall, reuse is being environmentally conscious at every scale.

Florida neighborhoods have purple pipes that distribute reclaimed water. Although this water is unfit for drinking, its uses are non-trivial. Irrigation is the largest use for such water. In fact, the month of May also puts a huge demand on irrigation water due to the hot and dry climate.

Upwards of 1.6 billion gallons of reuse from domestic treatment plants is permitted every day. For this purpose, Florida has a well established color-coded network of reclaimed water pipes.

The district, on the whole, takes special efforts in the promotion of effective and efficient applications of reclaimed water. The district is funding research studies and pilot programs that innovate and deploy treatment technologies. Opportunities for financial assistance have been created through cooperative programs so agencies can develop systems.

 

Interested in learning more about reuse wastewater technologies? Contact us today. 

The Impact of Climate Change on Water Supplies

astronomy-discovery-earth-2422.jpg

Today climate change and its associated impacts have become the center of attention for water resources’ planners and researchers all over the world. The lack of concrete understanding of the potential risks associated with these impacts and the fact that they will not be uniform across the world added to the complexity of the task. Currently, studies show that climate change will have an impact on reservoir water supplies in terms of both quality and quantity. Therefore, when designing for future water treatment processes, designers have to factor the climate change projections into their systems’ designs and operations. As a result, The Water Research Foundation in its report Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change on Reservoir Water Quality examined how climate change alters the risks facing the reservoirs’ water quality. The aim of this research was to enhance the estimation of the future potential impacts of climate change on water reservoirs, quantitively, through designing and testing a new approach.   

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due to climate change, freshwater resources are expected to be scarce all over the world, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. Moreover, climate change poses a risk to the quality of potable water as it will accelerate the growth of algae and increase the frequency of cyanobacterial blooms in the reservoirs which will affect the safe water supply to humans. Hence, the researchers focused their efforts on trying to find ways to reduce these potential impacts and provide tools to prevent them.    

The researchers identified the increase in algal growth, turbidity, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) loads as the most-likely impacts of the climate change on the reservoirs. Therefore, the research team used an integrated modeling scheme to study three potable water supply reservoirs. The choice of these reservoirs took into account the type of climate in which the reservoirs are located, their role in the potable water supply chain, and the availability of historical data as the research team believed that this would be the best way to measure the potential impacts of climate change and compare the resilience of the different water supply systems; these chosen reservoirs were: Hsin-Shan Reservoir in Taiwan; Occoquan Reservoir in Virginia, USA; and Myponga Reservoir in Australia. 

Regarding the Hsin-Shan Reservoir, this reservoir is located in Northern Taiwan and is the largest drinking water source in the region. The reservoir is found in a humid, sub-tropical climate, and located in a tropical cyclone area. For this reservoir, the researchers examined the negative impacts of climate change on the water quality, both, in the near term (2020–2039) and long-term (2080–2099). This reservoir is both small and deep in size which increases the vulnerability of the quality of its water to climate change, especially from thermal stratification. From the collected data, the research team deduced that there is an increase in the intensity of the tropical cyclone activity due to the rise in atmospheric water vapor and surface water temperature from a warming climate. Moreover, they concluded that an increase in atmospheric temperature was the primary reason for the lower water quality in the reservoir because it will lower the dissolved oxygen concentrations and release more phosphorus from the sediments.

On the other hand, the Occoquan Reservoir is located in Northern Virginia in which The Upper Broad Run and Middle Broad Run watersheds can be found in its northwestern part. These watersheds drain into Lake Manassas which is an artificial lake that is a vital potable water supply for the surrounding area. The climate in the reservoir’s area is classified as temperate, and the area experiences four distinct seasons. The research team projected the potential impacts using two models based on the mean yearly precipitations and the mean yearly surface air temperature. These parameters were chosen to depict the upper and lower limits of the other different models and to denote a “hot and wet” and “cool and dry” climate conditions. From these models, the researchers were able to conclude that there will be a future thermal stratification in Lake Manassas which can expand and intensify thanks to the global climate change. Furthermore, increased water flow in the streams and channels is expected due to climate change which will result in an increase in nutrients pollution in the reservoir. Nevertheless, Lake Manassas could serve as a mitigator of these negative impacts within the reservoir and increase the resiliency of the region to the adverse effects of climate change.

Finally, regarding The Myponga Reservoir, this reservoir is located in Southern Adelaide and receives water from a natural catchment. This region has a Mediterranean-like climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters and the water is treated through a conventional treatment process that comprises of flocculation and chlorination at a close by water treatment plant. The results of the experiments done on this reservoir show that the water quality of the reservoir will suffer significantly from the higher demand. Moreover, from the modeling simulations and the data collected, the research team is confident that the Myponga River will most probably stop supplying water to the Myponga Reservoir in the future because the rising temperatures may result in less precipitation. In addition, they believe that a decreased inflow from the catchment and increased evaporation will put future stress on this particular water system; and that the nutrient loading will decrease due to the drop in both concentration and volume. Nonetheless, this recent decrease might not lead to less productivity from the reservoir because the internal nutrient cycle will be able to maintain this productivity.

From all the above observations, the researchers believe that it is vital to actively manage the watersheds to stop and control the contaminant runoff. To achieve this objective, the use of an integrated-modeling approach can help inform business-related future risks related to catchment-derived nutrients, DOC, and microbial contamination. In conclusion, based on the research findings, a number of conclusions can be reached: first, where air temperatures increase, surface water temperatures will rise. Second, the increase in temperature will impact the nutrient dynamics based on stratification behavior and intensify the phytoplankton productivity. Finally, the researchers recommend that destratification approaches to be implemented in the future designs and operations of the water reservoirs, as well as, the solutions to prevent and control contaminant runoff. Ultimately, utilities will have to develop more proactive strategies to lower the amount of in-stream and nonpoint source nutrient loads.

 

Water Reuse in Europe - What's Next?

city-continent-country-269790.jpg

Water is perhaps the most abundant yet inaccessible resource available on Earth. The amount of water that is currently available for use is infinitesimal compared to the quantity of unusable water in oceans and ice caps. Water scarcity has become a dire problem. An obvious solution is reusing water that is available. Unfortunately, the potential for reuse has not been fully realized in the European Union (EU). The current challenges include:

  1. Water reuse expenses are high (developing wastewater treatment plants (WTPs), potable and non-potable water segregation)
  2. Lack of unanimous legislation across EU members
  3. Scope for public distrust (capitalism-based paranoia, health risks)

The European Commission (EC) has initiated a discussion aimed at overcoming these problems and promote safe water reuse protocols. Based on a legislative proposal of minimum quality requirements (MQR) by the EC, their Joint Research Centre (JRC) was commissioned to prepare a scientific report (now published) which proposed MQR for reusing water on two primary fronts - aquifer recharge & agricultural irrigation.

The EC asked the Scientific Committee on Health, Environment and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for their scientific advice and commentary (Rizzo et al., 2018). SCHEER  believes the MQR proposal does not provide sufficient shielding against 3 primary environmental risks.

●     Effluent contamination risk: There would be an unwanted occurrence of Water Framework Directive (WFD) priority chemicals and the contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) such as personal hygiene and beauty products, pharmaceuticals, microplastics, etc. in WTP effluents (Pal et al., 2014).

●     Antibiotic resistance risk: A pressing issue is a possibility of WTP effluents creating antibiotic resistance in irrigated crops. These effluents have a high proportion of mobile genetic elements like bacteria that carry antibiotic resistant genes which could assist antibiotic resistance in plants and soil (Rizzo et al., 2013; Becerra-Castro et al., 2015). The report failed to account for this known risk to water resources as well as humans and animals. 

●     Microbiological risk: The report does not account for the microbiological risk involving bacterial regrowth in treated wastewater storages which supply to irrigation. Extra care is needed as bacterial regrowth cannot be completely stopped under regular operating conditions found in WTPs (Li et al., 2013; Fiorentino et al., 2015).

These risks can be minimized and water reuse can be made safer with a minimum required tertiary treatment that includes conventional filtration and then disinfection. However other processes such as adsorption and advanced oxidation should be implemented when economically sustainable.

An appropriate program for monitoring should be implemented that checks CECs, indicators of antibiotic resistance, and disinfection byproducts along with the conventional parameters (TSS, COD, etc.). The precise nature of monitoring should be based on the current advancements at the EU level.

Are you interested in learning more about advanced wastewater treatment and reuse technologies. Contact Active Water Solutions today.

 

AWS Announces Middle East Agreement

  The TPS team represents Active Water Solutions  at Sustainability Week in Abu Dhabi.

The TPS team represents Active Water Solutions  at Sustainability Week in Abu Dhabi.

Clean water is a necessity for all communities globally. More nations are looking for innovative water and wastewater treatment solutions. Active Water Solutions recently developed an agreement with Saudi Arabia based Technology Products and Services Co., an Al Kuhaimi Group company. This relationship will build a presence for AWS technologies across the Middle East. 
"We're excited about the opportunity to work with TPS and help bring more robust systems to the communities in this region," stated AWS President, Adam Burke. "Our technologies enable broader capacity across the region due to the simplicity of O&M and a resilient design."

The agreement between the two entities was finalized at International Water Week, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which is held annually in Abu Dhabi and is the leading event for promoting water sustainability in arid nations. "This agreement will provide us at TPS the ability to bring new and innovative wastewater treatment options to communities across the Kingdom and other Gulf countries," states Nasser Alnahhas, General Manger of TPS. "We see the AWS product line playing a major role in the future of wastewater treatment here and are excited to be able to build and deliver it from within Saudi Arabia."


Interested in learning more about how you can partner with AWS?  Contact us today.