With a Call to Protect Drinking Water, Technology Becomes Key Component

With a Call to Protect Drinking Water, Technology Becomes Key Component

EPA article highlights algal bloom incident of Toledo, Ohio, and how nutrient measurement technologies help maintain safe drinking water vital to economic and environmental health.

In the summer of 2014, a harmful algal bloom triggered a state of emergency being declared in the Toledo, Ohio area. On a scale that drives home the point of how water impacts communities, half a million people were told not to drink the water coming out of their taps for several days because the bloom released toxins into the water that could have made many people ill.

Algal blooms like the one near Toledo are partly caused by an excessive amount of nutrients in the water – specifically, nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients are essential for ecosystems, but too many of them in one place is bad news. Not only do harmful algal blooms pose huge risks for people’s health, they can also cause fish and other aquatic wildlife to die off.” Around the country, the implications of this in terms of costs are significant—tourism-related activities alone incur losses upwards of $1 billion each year because people avoid fishing, boating, and visiting areas affected by such blooms.

A new innovation challenge was announced, and it’s devoted to bringing new, affordable [nutrient-level] sensors to the country’s waterways. These will help in pointing out at-risk areas, and should facilitate improved warnings to communities about the quality of their water.

But measuring nutrient levels in water is just one component of the puzzle. What about actually treating dangerous levels of nutrients so water may be safe to use again? That’s where water treatment and filtration technologies do their part. Team Gemini and its partner company A3-USA, Inc. provide robust, modular treatment technologies that are among the most efficient on the market. From Membrane Bioreactors to Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis systems, these components are able to retain suspended matter, bacteria, and viruses (pathogens), and can even remove carbon, phosphorous, nitrogen, certain toxins, and bio-accumulative micro-contaminants. Water quality doesn’t need to suffer because technology isn’t ready—it is ready, and communities must find ways of implementing effective treatment methods more widely for the sake of the environment, economy, and people’s health.

To learn more about A3’s innovative solutions, visit http://teamgemini.us/a3-usa/.

To read the EPA’s full article, visit http://blog.epa.gov/science/2014/12/new-challenge-put-technology-to-work-to-protect-drinking-water/.