How to Clear Contaminants From Water Naturally

Nov. 2, 2016
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the November-December-2015 issue of Water Efficiency.

Eliminating Contaminants Naturally
The cost of energy isn’t the only expense on the mind of water municipalities. The cost to treat drinking water is increasing as runoff from farmland and lawns pours chemicals, nitrates, phosphates, and synthetic compounds into the supply. When water runoff flows into lakes, streams, ponds, and oceans, it can negatively impact water conditions, affecting fish, livestock, plants, and public drinking water. Surface runoff can contaminate water sources, cause eutrophication (algal blooms), and cause health issues for plants and animals.

But chemicals are not always the solution to maintaining and restoring water quality. “They are, in fact, disrupting the health of our water system in many cases,” states Wayne Tucker, CEO of Bio S. I. Technology. “We need to return to naturally-made products that not only reduce toxicity in the ecosystem, but sustain the long-term vitality of our most precious resources. These beneficial microbes have a purpose in purifying the environment.”

That purpose is to restore a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable ecosystem for plants, animals, and humans. Due to overuse of pesticides, we no longer have the microbial diversity of 50 years ago. “Putting live microbes back in keeps sludge from building up,” says Tucker. It also helps break down organic waste.

Pathogens in nature do good work by restoring the balance of the microbial population. When microbes are washed out of the soil, it leaves the soil bereft of nutrients. Treated with all-natural (not lab-engineered) microbes, carbon from pesticides, fungus, and oil are broken down and converted to usable material for plants. “It improves soils and water,” notes Tucker. “The change of direction is considerable. We realize we forgot how to take care of water and soil. [This allows us to] help rebuild soil and water with a natural product.”

There are many reasons to rebuild the soil. Tucker explains that if soil consists of 1% humus, when 1 inch of rain falls, most of the water runs off.

But, if the soil contains 2% humus and 2 inches of rain falls, the soil will lose almost none of it. Building up humus helps filter rainwater. Converting plant debris to humus holds moisture, which helps save water and reduce irrigation bills by thousands of dollars. “The only way to put humus back in the soil is with microbes: plant debris.”

By encouraging plant roots to grow deeply, the soil will hold even more water. “Everybody helps everybody,” says Tucker. Removing contaminants and encouraging plant growth in turn reduces contamination of water supplies. But, he cautions, there’s no silver bullet. “This program is part of fertilization. Add in small doses to build diversity throughout the year, even in winter.”

Bio S. I. offers three microbial-based products. The remediation formula and kit works on small oil, gas, and diesel spills. “Hydrocarbon is great fertilizer, but the additives are a problem,” explains Tucker. In addition to a lawn and garden line and an agricultural line, Water Doctor has a product for cleaning water in animal tanks and ponds. This all-natural product contains microbes that digest bottom sludge layers that build up over time, helping to control algal blooms and moss. Safe for humans and animals, Water Doctor encourages water plant health, breaking down organic waste and fertilizer compounds such as nitrates, phosphates, and other contaminants. Even when contaminants can’t be broken down with microbes, these biological products convert them into non-dangerous forms. 
About the Author

Lori Lovely

Winner of several Society of Professional Journalists awards, Lori Lovely writes about topics related to waste management and technology.