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. 

US Wastewater Infrastructure and Its Need for Increased Monetary Resource


The US wastewater infrastructure system has come a long way to become what it is today. But according to a recent survey, it is evident that much needs to be done to sustain it. Wastewater treatment has been around since the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 was passed by the US Congress.

There are 14,748 wastewater treatment plants present in the country. Wastewater removal and treatment is critical to public health, and the government has also put stringent regulations in place to reduce untreated releases. Because of the efforts devoted towards wastewater treatments, water quality has improved nationwide.

A survey was conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  It was revealed that the US would need to invest $271 billion over the next five years to keep the wastewater infrastructure system running and effective. The funds will be needed to improve virtually all areas of the wastewater infrastructure.

Seventy-six percent of the population relies on wastewater treatment plants for water sanitation. According to the EPA, since 1972 to 2012, the US population receiving secondary treatment increased from approximately seventy-five million to ninety million. The population receiving advanced treatment rose from about 7.8 million to 127 million.  Those receiving less-than-secondary treatment reduced drastically from about sixty million to 4.1 million.

The population has been growing, and as the population continues to surge, new houses are constructed. Also, households have been switching from septic systems to public sewers. The pressure on the existing wastewater systems has necessitated the need for increased financial resource. 

Funding the wastewater system has never been easy. The public does not appreciate the modern convenience associated with wastewater system, hence; it has also been difficult to communicate the need for increased sewer rates. Complying with the wastewater regulation has also been costly. This is because no federal funding is used to pay for operations and management of the wastewater infrastructure.

The US EPA identified some infrastructure requirement in its survey. They include:
1.    $52.4 billion to meet secondary treatment standards.
2.    $49.6 billion for upgrade of plants to attain higher level of treatment.
3.    $52.1 billion to repair conveyance system.
4.    $44.5 billion to install new sewer collection systems.
5.    $48 billion to prevent accidental discharge.
6.    $48 billion to implement structural measures to control polluted runoffs.
7.    $6.1 billion for conveyance and further wastewater treatment.

Interested in learning about advanced wastewater treatment technologies? Contact AWS today. 

AWS Leads The Way to Educate Future Environmental Engineers

  The AWS containerized system at NMSU is capable of treating up to 7,200 gpd.

The AWS containerized system at NMSU is capable of treating up to 7,200 gpd.

Education is key for future generations of environmental engineers that will eventually upgrade the current infrastructure and protect our future water supplies. New Mexico State University (NMSU) and Dona Ana Community College (DACC) have developed an award-winning water technology program designed to educate future operators and environmental engineers on the technical competencies needed in the water and wastewater industry.  With a high demand for wastewater technicians and a low supply of them nationwide, NMSU decided to train them through adding a custom, dual process train wastewater treatment system at DACC. The intent is to provide a resource that gives students a hands-on application from which to learn from, troubleshoot against, and implement operational methods they will encounter later in their careers.  

Active Water Solutions (AWS) was asked by NMSU to design a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) that was capable of treating 7,200 gallons per day of domestic wastewater, utilizing two distinctly different process trains in the same system for the water technology educational program.  One process train utilizes submerged fixed bed bioreactor (SFBBR) technology while the second train, running simultaneously, utilizes the conventional activated sludge (AS) technology. 

Having both process trains within one containerized wastewater treatment plant provides a platform for future operators and environmental engineers to directly compare the differences in functionality, procedures, and effectiveness between fixed-bed and extended aeration treatment methods. The system has been in operation since the summer of 2017 and is thus far exceeding expectations for the purpose intended.   

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

World Water Day Shines Light on Water Reuse


Almost 29% of the world's population lack access to safe drinkable water with a projected increase to 43% in 2050. Water scarcity due to an increasing demand for clean water and diminishing supply is a global reality, with factors such as flooding, climate change, pollution and increase in population contributing to a decline in the quantity and quality of water.

Water reuse is the use of treated wastewater for beneficial purposes. Associated terms are wastewater reuse and water recycling. Water reuse augments existing water supply, and for communities experiencing water shortage, water reuse means extensive increment and an alternative source of clean water. Water reuse helps reduce wastewater discharge and as such minimizes or eliminates pollution. It reduces water over-abstraction, and eventually water stress. Water recycling results in a sustainable source of reliable and dependable water supply that is not affected by external factors like drought or variability in weather. 

Water reuse processes now tend towards managing wastewater as a resource instead of a waste. Wastewater treatment processes include preliminary, primary and secondary steps. Preliminary steps include measuring the flow coming into the plant, screening out large solid materials, and grit removal. Primary treatment targets settleable matter and scum that floats to the surface. Secondary treatment processes are employed to remove total suspended solids and dissolved organic matter. Secondary treatment processes consist of aerated activated sludge basins followed by final solids separation via settling or membrane filtration and disinfection.

Three types of wastewater treatment projects exist:

Nonpotable reuse projects treat wastewater for purposes other than consumption, such as irrigation, industrial use, and agriculture. Nonpotable reuse systems usually have lower water quality objectives than potable systems, and the level of treatment varies depending on the end use.

Potable reuse systems use advanced treatment processes to remove contaminants from so that is hygienic enough for consumption and to meet drinking water standards and other appropriate water quality objectives. Commonly, the highly treated water is then released into a surface water body or aquifer, then withdrawn, treated further, blended with other conventional water supply sources, and piped for the end users.

De facto reuse occurs when a community draws water from a water body that includes wastewater from upstream communities. De facto reuse is quite common and occurs unintentionally. The movement of water downstream serves to filter it and as such make it relatively hygienic. 

Are you intersted in learning more about new reuse technologies. Contact AWS today for more information. 

U.S. Wastewater Infrastructure Faces Future Challenges


New users are continually being added to the centralized wastewater system. It is estimated that fifty-six million new users will be connected in the next twenty years. The nation has about 14,784 wastewater system plants which protect public health. Wastewater water treatment improves water quality by reducing the harmful toxins that affect health and contaminate water bodies. 

The treatment is usually superintended by public works department. They ensure that standards are being met before the treated water is discharged into the environment. Seventy-six percent of the population relies on the treatment plants for water sanitation.

Public sewers and private lateral sewers run across thousands of miles, but these systems are prone to blockages and overflows. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates about seventy-five thousand sewers overflow each year. As the numbers of users increase, it is important that wastewater systems be developed. It is also estimated that about 532 new systems will need to be constructed by 2032 to meet future needs.

In approximately 772 communities in the U.S., wastewater, and stormwater drain into the same treatment system. These communities often experience capacity issues during periods of a downpour. This occurrence affects water quality and also stresses many antiquated systems in the U.S. 

The EPA estimates two hundred and seventy-one billion dollars will be needed for wastewater infrastructure over the next twenty-five years. Local governments spend twenty billion annually on capital sewer expenditures and thirty billion on operation and maintenance. As the population continues to rise, new houses are constructed, rural households switch from septic system to public sewers which leads to pressure on the wastewater system; therefore, resulting in increased expenditure in tune of billions of dollars to meet federal statutory requirements.

Cities often complain that complying with federal wastewater regulations is very expensive, and it is one of their greatest expenditures. Because there is no federal funding for operations and management, the full burden falls on the rate payers.

In many cities increased sewer rates have not risen in years which would help alleviate rising costs of maintenance. In many cases, the public does not see or appreciate the convenience of wastewater treatment. Funding has therefore been difficult for wastewater system.

Through modern treatment methods, treated water can now be processed quicker and more efficiently funding such capital expenditures is challenging. 

Many advanced technologies developed over the past decade can help alleviate many of the challenges that municipalities face. Active Water Solutions has developed portable, packaged wastewater treatment systems that are simple to operate and can expand current system capabilities. This technology allows for easy plug and play system expansion without the costly expenses often associated with large-scale systems. 

Interested in learning more about how you can expand wastewater treatment capability without the high cost of a traditional system? Contact us today. 

Increasing Demand for Packaged Water Treatment Systems Globally


According to QY Research Report titled ‘2017-2022, the water and wastewater treatment systems market is projected to vastly and steadily expand over the next few years.  Plants for packaged water and wastewater treatment are consequently expected to grow in number due to population growth and new implementation of regulatory standards. The need for clean water is pressing as packaged wastewater treatment is crucial for residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.     

What are Packaged Wastewater Treatment Plants?  They are pre-manufactured treatment facilities that treat the wastewater in communities or individual property.  They include aeration plants, sequencing batch reactors, oxidation ditches, contact stabilization plants, rotating biological contractors, and physical/chemical processes.  

A rise in global population has created its own set of issues with large quantities of untreated wastewater being disposed into bodies of water globally.  Aside from consumer demand, the government and international organizations feel the pressure with many of the environmental pollution issues, forcing them to impose some stricter and more robust regulations. The market will need swift advances in technology as the world becomes more aware of the consequences of pollution. The biggest driver is the building of awareness about what careless discharge of wastewater into bodies of waters is what the dumping does to the environment and the huge impact it can have on communities. 

The next big hurdle will be skilled labor to handle new technologies involved with packaged wastewater systems.  However, national and international bodies are determined to invest in this these packaged wastewater systems which could solve this issue. 

Countries at the forefront of this mission include Asia Pacific which is expecting a significant growth rate over the next few years, North America which is seeking governmental involvement, regional parts of Europe, South America, the Middle East, and Africa.  

Active Water Solutions is a major player in the packaged wastewater treatment sector. With their innovative solutions for rural and decentralized locations, they are a perfect fit for most communities globally. 

Interested in learning more about Active Water Solutions newest technologies? Contact us today. 

Iran Makes Big Step Towards Long Term Water Conservation


Last week, 100 water and wastewater plants in urban and rural Iran, worth more than $2.1 billion, went live during the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.  The energy minister, Reza Ardakanian, stated that about 99.4% of the population, 73% in rural areas, are connected to a drinking water network while 48% are linked to the wastewater network.  According to Ardakanian, “The government aims to provide drinking water to an additional two million villagers by 2021.”

With six billion cubic meters (bcm) of potable water, Iran creates 4.3 billion cubic meters of effluent water.  They can only reuse 1.2 bcm of that which is what they aim to fix over the next five years.  Their goal is to alter consumption patterns to fix this issue, especially in sectors that are heavily dependent on water.  This issue matters to the Iranian people as they are used to facing water scarcity: a problem that only gets worse.  

The energy minister is focused on making new guidelines and deciding how to use this precious, yet scarce resource, more efficiently.  Agriculture is a huge culprit.  In fact, Iran deems it as the biggest culprit for water consumption. Agriculture uses about 90% of the country’s water resources. 

Iran uses about 97 bcm of water a year, but they only have 88 bcm of renewable resources.  Experts believe that scarcity in Iran will be at their peak crisis levels by 2025: less than 1,000 cubic meters per capita.  In 1950 it was 2,000 cubic meters per capita.  Ardakanian stresses the importance of studies to see if water is being used efficiently in producing agricultural products.

Experts have proposed some potential solutions.  One of these includes financial aid for farmers to use more modern irrigation equipment that would better conserve this precious resource.  Another is energy tariffs.  These tariffs directly impact consumption of natural resources by “public and industries.”  The energy minister is focused on a subsidy cut for drinking water and raising awareness on wasteful consumption.  

According to Ardakanian, “As long as water prices are not modified, neither can we tackle the water shortage nor will people and industries change their consumption patterns.”  Drinking water costs about $0.21 for each cubic meter and $0.9 for the public per cubic meter.  Still, the agriculture sector and public wastefulness are huge issues in the fight for conservation of water. 

The problem is so prevalent people have actually turned to praying for water, publicly in Iran. Farmers are in need of water for their animals, and people are looking to have drinking water in the coming years.  But if they can’t make it rain, the only option is conservation of what they currently have.  Iran made their first huge investment in the cause by funding and developing 100 water and wastewater plants.  Now it’s up to the people to use water wisely in industry and at home.

Interested in learning more about advanced wastewater reuse technologies for rural and remote applications? Contact us today. 

Minnesota Turns to Water Recycling to Help Replenish Water Supply


Water is a precious resource.  It makes up about 70% of your body composition.  Almost every bodily process requires water to function.  A lack of any basic necessity is a scary thought, but a lack of water for consumption is the most frightening of them all.  It’s a genuine threat and some states like Minnesota which has been pushed to realize this danger take it seriously and are looking into recycling water.

According to Minnesota Public Radio, population growth, an increase in irrigation, and industrial use of groundwater resources are depleting supplies in a few parts of the state.  According to Jen Kader, the program manager for the Freshwater Society which is a nonprofit water conservation group, explained, “We don't often think about water being something that we have to consider being scarce in Minnesota.  Yet in some places, water resources are being drained faster than they're being replenished.”

State officials and environmental groups have decided to treat and reuse dirty water to build up their clean water sources.  Meanwhile, by capturing this stormwater, it’s reducing flooding and ridding lakes and rivers of pollutants.  After all, the water is fine, but it’s the stuff in it that isn’t.  

The way the process works is you take raw sewage, run it through bar screens and a grit chamber to take out the big stuff then run it through a primary clarifier in which the chunks go to a digester and for de-watering to produce useful biosolids.  Meanwhile, the water from the primary clarifier goes to the aeration basin and final clarifier, supplemented with a thickener to return to the digester or run through a sand filter and disinfectant to produce reusable water.  

So far, in Minnesota, state officials and environmental groups have been collecting, treating, and reusing dirty water for the purposes of reducing demand for clean water and ridding lakes and rivers of pollutants.

St. Paul installed a water-reuse system to save about 450,000 gallons of water annually.  Water is collected from the roof of the Metro Transit maintenance facility, treated for debris and microbe removal and used for toilets and irrigation for the field.  Also, in Hugo, a housing development is buying stormwater for irrigation opposed to using drinking water. According to the City Administrator, Bryan Bear, “The stormwater costs them a lot less to buy, and so that saves significantly on their water bill.”

Luckily, people are interested in reusing water in Minnesota.  According to Anita Anderson, an engineer in the Minnesota Department of Health, even though water recycling projects are expensive and the state regulations are confusing, there’s significant interest in reusing water.  She said, “We were starting to get more calls from people asking, 'Can I use this source of water to irrigate with?’  Or, 'I want to do an eco-development, and I want to recycle all the water on site.'"

Water reuse is soon to become a popular process in Minnesota, perhaps a pioneer for other states in need of water conservation.

Can Less Food Waste Save Our Planet?

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Sure, you may not love that meal your parents packed for you, but don’t throw it out!  Don’t waste food and valuable resources!  The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization states that one in three people are malnourished.  However, keep in mind, 1.3 billion metric tons of food is wasted every year.

Food waste is both an economic and environmental issue.  As the world’s population increases, this issue is only expected to get worse, unless we can be less wasteful.  Meanwhile, the environment is being harmed because it takes a lot of water, fertilizer, and land to produce food.  Not to mention, this significantly contributes to issues like global warming and excessive landfill waste.

According to another FAO study, 54% of food waste occurs through food production, harvesting, handling, storage, processing, distribution, and consumption stages.  But, why should you care?

When you dump leftovers, you’re not only throwing out food that someone else in the world needs., you’re also throwing out all the resources that went into producing your food.  This includes energy, water, and fuel.  Food waste easily becomes a lot of water waste.

The World Resources Institute says that 135 trillion liters of water are lost for every 1.3 billion metric tons of food waste. Believe it or not, agricultural practices consume most of the water used every year, about 70% of it.  A quarter of that goes into draining the food waste.

The food waste that ends up in landfills then produces methane.  Methane is a greenhouse gas. A report stated that if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases, next to the US and China.  

What you can do about it

You cannot solve this issue alone, but every step you make towards less food waste. Here are ten things you can do to reduce your food waste!

1.    Grocery List

When you go shopping, save yourself some money and food you’ll throw out anyway.  Buy only what you need and will eat.  Avoid buying things in bulk if they have a small expiration date.  Then, if you get food with a short expiration date, make sure to eat it first!

2. Smaller Portions

Get healthy and save the Earth all at the same time just by consuming smaller portions!  If you don’t put more than you can eat on your plate, you won’t waste as much food.  

3. Buy Quality 

Buy quality food.  If you purchase vegetables and fruits, make sure they’re in great condition, so you won’t end up throwing them out.  Sometimes they have dents or rotten spots.  But at the same time, don’t throw out food you’ve boughten if it’s got just a few bad spots.  You can cut out the nasty parts and eat the rest!  It’s perfectly fine!

4. Monitor the Fridge

Monitor your fridge at all times to keep your food safe.  If it gets too warm, everything will rot.  If it’s too cold, that’s just as bad.  Prevent the need to throw out food.

5. Reuse and Recycle

Keep looking for opportunities to reuse or recycle food.  If you really cannot stand that can of beets in your pantry, give it to the food shelter where starving people would love that can of beets. Anytime you have excess, unopened, food, donate it to your local food bank.  It’s much appreciated!

If you’re the farmer, retailer, food processor, or consumer, it’s your responsibility to reduce waste.  You can start today by finishing those veggies on your plate that you may not love!

Interested in learning about advanced water recycling technologies? Contact us today. 

King Point Cove - A Lesson In Wastewater Reuse

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While in the early stages of the development, the developers were interested in creating a wastewater treatment and reuse system that could scale up as the community continued to expand.

The King's Point Cove Project needed a solution that could handle wastewater flows that were highly variable. Given peak times created by events at the clubhouse and tournaments on the course, the current system would get overwhelmed. Additionally, with a small number of homes on the collection system to start, a traditional activated sludge proved too difficult to operate effectively. Thus, the Active Water Solutions Packaged system was chosen for its ease of operation, and its resiliency in the face of variability.

The effluent criteria for this project include 5 mg/L for BOD, 12 mg/L for TSS and 3 mg/L for NH4-N.  The design for the initial phase was developed to treat 15,000 gpd, and  was built in a single 53’ high cube shipping container.  Due to the permit requirements, and intended reuse, tertiary filtration was also included for effluent polishing.   

The treatment system was designed as a submerged fixed-bed biofilm reactor (SFBBR), which incorporated a specifically-calculated fixed-film surface area submerged in the aeration basins (i.e. bioreactors). The process train is simple and includes an influent fine screen, two aerobic bio-reactors, clarification, disinfection, and tertiary filtration.  A sludge holding tank was also integrated into the self-contained system. 


Simplicity and biological stability are the core benefits of the King's Point Cove system. Considering the required low BOD effluent, and additional nitrification requirements, the SFBBR’s biofilm-based treatment process allows for a more complete carbon oxidation and improved autotrophic bacteria proliferation.  Biofilms are highly self-regulating in accordance with pollutant concentrations, thereby omitting the need for a RAS process in most cases. Therefore, the operator does not have to be concerned with balancing F:M ratios or varying quantities of wasted versus returned sludge.

The development at King’s Point Cove is an ideal example of what happens when science and design work together to make wastewater treatment and reuse seamless and environmentally friendly. 

Interested in learning more about this project? Contact us today.