Water: Technology could help clean supplies

Posted on Jul 6, 2016


Cocoa Utilities Director Jack Walsh describes some of the newer water treatment technologies on the market. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted June 22, 2016.

Toxic algae blooms flourish as humans contaminate waters with fertilizers, sewage and air pollution.

Aging boomers pop more pills to keep fit. And farmers feed more antibiotics and hormones to fatten livestock.

But how these “emerging substances of concern” will alter ecological health remains largely unknown. What is known:

New chemical introductions far outpace state and federal budgets for research and monitoring, and federal regulators will continue to create new standards for currently unregulated substances.

Flint, Michigan showed that even water pollutants thought long-ago conquered can reemerge to harm us.

One Nation: American Innovation presented by Harris

One Nation: American Innovation presented by Harris (Photo: FLORIDATODAY.com/USA TODAY.com)

Utilities are looking at alternatives to chlorine, which forms byproducts that can increase lifetime risks of cancer and other health problems.

Meanwhile, the demand for water never lets up, increasing opportunities for innovators who can find cost-effective ways to treat more troublesome water supplies. Today, technologies that cleanse river, lake or other surface waters can cost twice as much as treating groundwater. Desalinating ocean water costs three times or more.

Jack Walsh, Cocoa’s utilities director, keeps a close eye on cutting-edge filtration technologies such as magnetic ion exchange resin, as well as the move toward nano filtration.

“It’s basically a very, very fine woven fabric so small that it can capture atoms,” Walsh said. “It can capture the molecules that make up the organics and things that you don’t want in the water. “

The cost of switching to magnetic ion exchange or nano filtration is a factor that’s gradually easing, he added.

Contact Waymer at 321-242-3663 or jwaymer@floridatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @JWayEnviro

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watertechnology – BingNews