Wastewater Treatment With Reverse Osmosis for Sustainability

July 24, 2019
As the world moves further towards dangerously low water levels, it demands a solution that can quench the thirst of millions while still maintaining ecological balance.

​​Earlier in June, a large aquifer was found just off the northeast shore of the US near New York. It is said that the aquifer contains enough water to fill 1.1 billion Olympic swimming pools. This new finding has opened a door to the possibility of more such aquifers hidden beneath the seabeds across the globe. While it is definitely some good news, it is important to note that this cannot be the only alternative to the ever-increasing problem of shortages. And after years of experimenting with various methods, ignoring the idea of recycling wastewater for drinking, it turns out the world today is turning towards just that.

Sammy Farag, CEO of AMPAC USA agrees, “Using rejected water through sewage treatment was not acceptable by many around 10 years ago. But look at the situation today, countries and companies have begun using it to fulfill their needs and not many have a problem. The change from the past 10 years is that the shortage of such an essential element was not a pressing matter then. Today, you cannot turn a page in the newspaper or ignore a post on your phones about the water crisis and climate change.”

And it seems to be as real as it can get. BBC released a possible list of cities that are in danger of running out of essential water to drink, and in the past year, more cities have been added to the list. All over the world, cities are either waiting for the dark clouds to pour some rain in a drought or struggling for their lives while running from floods. The climate has gone haywire all over the world and the mismanagement of water could be a contributing cause. Here is where sewage treatment can help with the troubles.

Wastewater Treatment

This is a procedure where rejected water from industries, or possibly an entire city, is brought to a facility to be treated. The water goes through an elaborate process of filtration, which, today, is most commonly reverse osmosis. While the process does have its own downsides related to rejection, it never disappoints in quality, which is probably why the requirements to get such plants or systems installed in industries is a topic gaining heat.

AMPAC USA, for the past 30 years, has been serving customers with the best quality wastewater treatment systems. And we can easily say the orders have skyrocketed in the past five years. Before, not many customers opted for these products because of the taboo associated with it,” says Farag.

But what could be the reason for a sudden change in its popularity?

The major reason can be associated with the increasing price of water for industries and the decreased availability. Countries and businesses both began working out strategies that could help them save water and money, respectively. Additionally, for industries, it could be a way of getting in the good graces of their customers and regulatory authorities, as governments began giving incentives for sustainability. It is a good cause, and so it had to eventually gain popularity,” added Farag.

And this does reflect in the number of industries that have opted for a wastewater treatment solution as part of their strategy to satisfy their needs.

The Rejected Becomes The Accepted

The acceptance began when a large beer brewing company showcased its products made from reclaimed water. Stone Brewing Company is near San Diego and is one of the largest in California. They worked with the treatment plant in the city to make beer. The program, called Pure Water San Diego, led to the launch of Full Circle Pale Ale, which was a beer made from reclaimed waters in San Diego. This was in 2017 when San Diego officials, including Mayor Kevin Faulconer, were happy with the experiment and hoped, together, they could achieve their goal of providing one-third of the city’s demand from reclaimed waters by 2035. Although this experiment was only for the event, local brewery owners did take notice. Coming from a big company like Stone, other smaller breweries began investing in treatment systems that turn waste into pure drinking water.

And especially for beer breweries, it is a win-win! Every brewer will tell you that water controls the taste of beer and so if they could use reclaimed water for their production, it could give their beer unique taste. This can easily give them an edge over their other competitors,” says Farag.

Positive Reception

It seems that countries all over the world are now warming up to this process that employs reverse osmosis for purification. The two biggest industries in China, for instance, currently employ reverse osmosis for recycling their waste. The coal and chemical industry in the country faced many challenges while employing the process, but it eventually led them to innovative RO elements. Even in India, the capital New Delhi has now installed new sewage treatment plants to provide for the city each day. The good news is now everyone is working towards making potable water available, not only to people or for industries but for the planet too.

Disneyland recycles wastewater for all its rides and has been in partnership with the Orange County Water District (OCWD) for 10 years now. The water used in the park goes to the OCWDs Groundwater Replenishment System, which ensures regular refills of aquifers. The County does it by using state-of-the-art treatment systems. While Disneyland takes a different approach, most of the entertainment parks install industrial Reverse Osmosis Systems for clean and healthy rides each day.

Indeed, it seems if countries put their resources into building such treatment facilities, the growing distress on the world could decrease to an extent. If this alternative has positive effects on the issues of today, it can help build a sustainable future for everyone.

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