Are lessons from big water the answer?
As an unrelenting drought continues to make its mark on California and the Southwest, technologies once thought to be separate from the residential and smaller commercial markets have come into clearer focus. No longer is it a case of if these technologies will become mainstay applications, but when. California’s recent wet winter may have staved off more drastic water reduction legislation but there’s no clear indication that the drought is over. Texas, in the midst of severe drought for a couple of years now, resorted to desalination as its savior. The difference is that Texas did what California only talks about.
We all drink recycled water, no matter how we play it. Over the eons, the process Mother Nature uses time and again to keep the planet fruitful and healthy continues its life-renewing cycles. When your clients turn on the tap, they believe their glass of water is as fresh and clean as if it just rained down from the clouds. But we know that water is not pristine! Mother Nature recycles everything. In the arid regions of our country, it’s not unusual to hear someone say that the desert recovers its own. That’s the natural process that continues to make the planet habitable.
Desalination, long considered a bastion against desertification, is no longer just for the Middle East, where lack of potable water is a given. Desalination plants continually supply populations with safe, potable water. Only in the past few years have more municipalities considered this an option in the US. Recycling and reuse, often termed toilet-to-tap, is also gaining more positive reviews. Wastewater plants employ methods that ensure water is clean and safe to drink. If everyone who said “Yuck!” really thought about it, they’ve been drinking water the dinosaurs contaminated that Mother Nature has been recycling for eons!
Dr. Tim Mollart of Element Six presents an article on a diamond technology in broad use for wastewater treatment plants that is beginning to get more attention. Peter Cartwright extends his overview of the not-so-positive aspects of claims made by manufacturers for devices that have failed to gain qualified, third-party validation. In the closing season of conferences, the Eastern Water Quality Association reports on a very successful and memorable annual event. Dr. Kelly Reynolds explores the connection between fracking and water quality. Although this is a topic that has been in the news cycle for some time, definitive information about the impact on water quality has been less well covered.
As we near the end of 2016 and begin preparation for the holiday season, we look back and count our blessings for all of our successes over the years. We hope you can tally more than a few on your balance sheet for the year. Until we meet again, all of us at WC&P International wish you a warm, safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
Kurt C. Peterson