Water filter advancements
It’s a sad fact that 1 million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene related diseases, and every 90 seconds a child dies from water related disease. This is because many households in the developing world do not have access to affordable water treatment technologies.
The demand for water treatment equipment is expected to increase by 5.9% per year. Yet, there is an equal demand for information, education and in-depth studies to make sure that efforts are being concentrated in the right areas. The World Health Organisation (WHO) want to be at the forefront of these projects:
“The vision is to attain the highest possible reduction in waterborne and water-related diseases by providing up-to-date, evidence-based guidance and coordination, and support for water, sanitation and hygiene interventions. The mission is for WHO to be the authoritative source on health-based water quality information, for use by water and health regulators, policy-makers, their advisors and other stakeholders including practitioners and NGOs. This includes the provision of information and health-based assessments on the various microbial, chemical, radiological and physical human health hazards that may be present in the water cycle and the approaches to manage those associated risks.”
Water filtration technology has advanced dramatically in recent years, particularly through the use of nanotechnology. This means using titanium dioxide, rather than the polymer-based water filtration membranes being used around the world. Nanotech filtration kills bacteria in the water, and breaks down organic compounds using ultraviolet rays.
Additionally, there have been other technological advances in alternative water treatment options. Water filter technologies are not limited to third world countries. There is high demand for economical gadgets that can procure clean water. The LifeStraw was first introduced in 2008 for household use, for instance. Made with two filters, a membrane and a charcoal filter, it is used just like a regular straw. Unclean water is purified as it’s pulled through the straw and users can store this gadget away once they’ve used it.
Large scale thinking
Photocatalytic technology was first seen in Tokyo in 2014 and developed by Panasonic. This tech uses photocatalysts and ultraviolet rays from sunlight to detoxify polluted quickly. It also claims that it can remove arsenic and bacteria from water.
In 2014 Eagleford Texas reported that a company in Colorado had developed a water filtration system that could purify around 5000 gallons of water a day with a battery than runs on renewable energy. The filtration system, named SunSpring, is a seven-mile membrane that is 0.02 microns in thickness, stopping microbiological toxins.
The Tata Swatch was first launched in 2009 as a water filtration system targeted at low-income households in India. This system uses rice husk ash and Nano silver to eliminate disease causing germs and bacteria. It is capable of filtering 3-4 litres of water per hour.
There have been biological advancements alongside more traditional technological methods. The Euglena Biofiltration System makes use of a controlled algal bloom in wastewater, the aquatic organism absorbing water pollutants and toxins.
Euglena, an aquatic organism which absorbs water pollutants. The Euglena Biofiltration System makes use of controlled algae bloom in wastewater, which will then absorb the toxins.