Water filtration is a multi-billion dollar market, so you can bet there is serious talk about the future of water filtration and water usage. For one thing, we as a civilization are doubling our water consumption every twenty years. Water droughts are an increasing problem even in first world countries. What is on the horizon for the next twenty years in terms of new technology and trends?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.5 billion people lack access to effectively filtrated water, while 7 out of 10 people without access to clean water lived in the country. The problem is only becoming graver, but the good news is that technology is finally catching up.
Here are three ideas that you may find refreshing.
Membranes are in, chemicals out.
According to Stanley Karrs of Power & Mining at Evoqua Water Technologies, many large companies are displacing chemical treatment systems and instead using membrane technology. The structure of microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis brings about the purest possible water. Top companies like GE, 3M, Dow FilmTec and others are already getting on board with membrane treatment.
Ultraviolet technology is being championed over chlorine.
According to Citi Investment Research and Analysis, chlorine is no longer the only option for wastewater treatment plants. UV light disinfection works by destroying parasites in the water as it is exposed to the light. This process, also called Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, actually disrupts the parasites’ DNA and nucleaic acids, leaving them essentially powerless to contaminate food and water. The technology is powerful enough to neuter bacteria, viruses, molds, and other pathogens. Whereas this technology has been around a while in medicine it is a new trend among water filtration companies.
Ocean water is being recycled.
Ocean water can be recycled into usable water, which means if this technology is shared and expanded upon, we could have more than enough water to help drought-inflicted areas. Large scale desalination sees ocean water pumped to a treatment facility where salt is then extracted using reverse osmosis. This makes the water drinkable and usable. It is a pricey technology (one billion dollars was invested for just one plant in San Diego County) but it will be watched closely to see how we can make it work. Energy is also a major problem, though water companies all over the world are now turning their attention to solar energy, hoping to cut down on energy costs.
A spokesperson for FiltraSystems.com says that it’s all good timing and the perfect opportunity to make the cause known. “We owe it to our children and children’s children to invest in greener technology. We as a people, owe it to ourselves to let our politicians know that these issues matter. Incentives, laws, awareness campaigns…this is what’s going to make a difference.”