FREMONT, CA: For about half the world’s population, polluted drinking water is a major concern. There are approximately 250 million cases of water-based diseases each year, leading to approximately 5 to 10 million deaths. According to the EXPEDITION Project, 1.2 billion gallons of untreated sewage, and industrial waste are discharged into the U.S. waters annually. So, clean water is the need of the hour for all living species on earth.
Many experts worldwide want to use the water purifier lab built by David Reckhow, an engineer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Reckhow and his team have a new Mobile Water Innovation Laboratory for community visits and on-site testing. This Mobile Water Innovation Laboratory will provide promising and affordable water testing technologies for local communities.
In the United States, drinking water is heavily regulated; it also tends to be pretty clean, overall. Lead is a toxic and heavy metal used in many pipes. Studies have shown that people can be sick and the IQ of a developing child is permanently reduced with such pipelined water. A change in the treatment of Flint’s drinking water exposed an estimated 99,000 urban residents to high levels of plumbing, many of them being children. Such events indicated ongoing weaknesses in the treatment of water. It also shook many people’s trust in their tap water. Nevertheless, several recent cases of water poisoning have taken national headlines.
Some researchers eliminated new and potentially harmful pollutants to technologies, while some experts develop approaches to existing water systems. Others still aim to clean up contaminants at their source. The UMass Amherst team of Reckhow tests ferrate as a substitute for several water treatment steps. Ferrate is an ion as an electrically charged form of iron, and this material kills waterborne bacteria. But it also had an added advantage; it breaks carbon-based pollutants down into less dangerous.
Some water treatment plants use ozone gas for pollutants to break down, but it’s expensive. Reckhow’s Mobile Water Treatment Laboratory plans to test ferrate water treatment in Gloucester, Mass, early by 2019. Higgins and Strathmann will soon be testing the process at the Colorado Peterson Air Force Base. Sites are known to have PFAs tainted groundwater. The clean-up of these sites would eliminate pollutants before they can be used to feed city water systems or wells.