New Company Makes Washing More Efficient

download (2)Even the appliances we use today have been updated to address issues surrounding water conservation. It’s relatively easy to install a low-flow toilet or a low-flow shower head, but saving money on washing clothing is much more challenging.

One startup company, AquaFresco, is attempting to make doing laundry more efficient by reusing the water used in washing a load of clothes. The company says that in the typical laundering process, 20 gallons or water is used along with detergent in order to remove a very small amount of dirt. Rather than sending wash water down the drain and into the sewer system, the company has developed a way that will allow washing machines reuse up to 95% of the wastewater used in the laundering process.

The technology, developed by three MIT graduate students, will allow consumers and institutions to substantially reduce the amount of water that is used. The team of students were the third place winners in MIT’s Water Innovation prize. Hotels and hospitals will especially benefit from this technology.

The company says that the technology will be available in the near future and will not require a major overhaul in infrastructure or require people to drastically change their behavior.

At Metro Water Filter, our water quality experts can help you improve your green image and keep your filtration in top condition. Call Metro Water Filter today to find out more about how we can help maintain or improve your water quality.

Nanopore Materials Continue Development

images (25)Though our planet is covered with water much of it is undrinkable because it is salt water. With growing concern about the availability of fresh water in many communities across the country, there has been more talk about building desalination plants, but these require a lot of energy. Engineers in the US have been working on coming up with more energy-efficient methods for removing salt out of seawater. If successful, such a solution could be used to give people access to drinking water and water for crops, which is especially important for drought-stricken areas.

Conventional desalination relies on reverse osmosis to channel seawater through a thin plastic membrane, but the process is very slow. To make it faster, water pressure must be raised, but this requires more energy to operate.

One of the materials that has been developed for desalination would allow a large amount of water to pass through very tiny holes called nanopores that block salt and other contaminants. The material is made up of a sheet of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) that is a nanometre thick. So far, this material has proved to be the most successful out of several types of materials that the engineers tested, and 70% better than graphene.

According to Mohammad Heiranian, first author of the study, the molybdenum disulphide membrane “allows the water to pass through it with far less resistance. In addition, the molybdenum in the center attracts water, and then the sulphur on the other side pushes it away, so we have much higher rate of water going through the pore.”

Researchers are currently working with manufacturers in order to help make such a process of desalination closer to being a reality.

At Metro Water Filter, we are committed to helping ensure that clean water is available to everyone today and tomorrow. We can help keep the water treatment system for your business or city in good condition. Contact us today for more information.

Coastkeepers Fight to Keep Water Quality High

downloadFor many organizations such as San Diego-based non-profit San Diego Coastkeeper, raising awareness about clean water has been a long hard road. The organization works to pressure government into repairing and replacing old sewer and water lines, as well as corporations to get them to improve their water usage.

Twenty years ago, only a few people were really concerned about water quality. Today, it’s an entirely different story. San Diego Coastkeeper is now helping San Diego city officials usher in a new era of water conservation in the area that includes water-recycling and reclamation.

San Diego Coastkeeper, which calls itself “the biggest little environmental organization nobody’s ever heard of,” has achieved this by active lobbying, community outreach, diplomacy, and even litigation in order to make increased water quality a priority in the region.

In 1999, Coastkeeper won its first major court victory against Southwest Marine, now called BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair. The company was held legally accountable for discharging pollution into the bay and was cited for cleanup of the mess. In 2005, Coastkeeper was able to reach a legal settlement with the city of San Diego. The settlement forced the city to spend millions of dollars in upgrades to sewage infrastructure that had been leaking waste on a daily basis.

“It’s a group that really at its core is about advocacy,” said Bruce Reznik, who now works as executive director of Los Angeles Coastkeeper. “At its heart we are an organization, a movement that stands up and says, ‘These waterways belong to all of us, and we’re not going to allow people to pollute.”

San Diego Coastkeeper is one organization in a network comprised of over 260 “waterkeeper” organizations in more than 21 countries.

Water quality is important to everyone. It’s important that your city or business have access to clean water. It is clear that communities, industries and everyone are standing up for keeping our waterways clean and ensuring water quality.

Helping your community or business provide clean healthy water for everyone is our specialty at Metro Water Filter. Call our offices to schedule to meet with one of our water quality experts today.

Students Develop Chattahoochee Monitoring Device

  • University students were challenged to develop innovative devices that can be used to remotely monitor the Chattahoochee River
  • Designs submitted by Michael Sotiriou from Suffolk County Community College and John Marshall from Virginia Tech selected as the winners
  • The devices will enable Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a non-profit organization, to efficiently monitor drinking water that more than four million people depend on

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper have announced the winners of the water quality monitoring challenge in which university students are challenged to develop innovative devices that can be used to remotely monitor the Chattahoochee River. This river on the borders of the US states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida provides drinking water for more than four million people in northern Georgia.

Designs submitted by Michael Sotiriou from Suffolk County Community College and John Marshall from Virginia Tech were selected as the winners. Ericsson will prototype each design for use by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

Eligible devices were required to cost no more than $200, be waterproof, RoHS compliant, environmentally safe and consume relatively little power. Additionally, the winning devices were selected for their durability and the ease with which they are deployed and anchored. In addition to the Ericsson team, the jury for the challenge also included members from the United States Geological Survey, the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, Sigma Connectivity, and staff from the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

Orvar Hurtig, Head of Industry & Society at Ericsson, says: “At Ericsson we believe wholeheartedly that ICT can be used to solve everyday problems. We’re excited that we were able to inspire students to innovate and propose devices that will make it easier for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper – and hopefully other similar organizations – to monitor the quality of drinking water that so many people depend on.”

Jason Ulseth, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, says: “Strong data is the bedrock of our work at Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. However, securing consistent and reliable data is a perpetual challenge. These winning designs are a fantastic way to begin the innovative process of creating an affordable device with the potential to revolutionize the work of Waterkeepers across the globe.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

About the winners

Michael Sotiriou, from Long Island, New York, is an engineering science honors student at Suffolk County Community College in Brookhaven, New York, with long-term ambitions in naval architecture and marine engineering. Mike has spent time working as the engineer on a schooner, the SSV Tabor Boy, as well as working on designs for high-speed watercraft. In the past few years, he has taken a keen interest in multiple Arduino-based projects – including some demonstrating the dynamics of rotational to linear motion. Currently, Mike is working on an algae bioreactor with the potential to provide renewable fuel.

John Marshall, from Wyoming, Rhode Island, is a senior at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (popularly known as Virginia Tech) located in Blacksburg, Virginia. He is in the computer engineering program and, in addition to technical interests that include micro-controllers and space technologies, John is a licensed pilot who enjoys flying locally with friends and family in his leisure time. Currently, John is part of a Virginia Tech team that is developing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for search and rescue operations.

Atlanta Takes More Water from Chattahoochee

download (58)If you live in the Atlanta Metro Area, then you’ve got really good odds that your drinking water comes from the Chattahoochee River. As Atlanta’s population grows, the demands on the river are going up, and that’s been causing a long-standing water war with neighboring states.

That war just had another shot fired when Atlanta approved new regulations that allows Atlanta to take more water from the river during drought conditions. But this could put the water quality of the Chattahoochee at even greater risk. Previously, there was a requirement that the intersection of the Chattahoochee and Peachtree Creek had to have a water flow of 750 cubic feet per second. This was so that downstream fish and recreational areas would have enough water. It was also so there would be sufficient dilution of sewage wastes from 12 sewage plants downstream of this point.

 

With less water flowing through the area now, it could put a lot of fish and even tourism at risk. The Georgia Water Coalition has named the Chattahoochee one of Georgia’s “Dirty Dozen”, one of the twelve water sources with the most water quality problems.

 

It’s now more important than ever to ensure your business has adequate filtration in place to handle Atlanta’s water quality problems. If you would like to have your system inspected, contact Metro Water Filter for an estimate. Water filtration is our only business. We will make sure that your system can handle any changes in pollution levels.

Pipe Corrosion Lead to Elevated Lead Levels in Flint

download (36)Earlier this month, we discussed the water quality issues that residents of Flint, Michigan were facing. It turns out that the situation is much more dire than it first appeared. The elevated levels of lead that were found in the water were also showing up in the bloodstreams of the city’s school children.

Because of this, the State of Michigan removed its top official in charge of water and admitted that they had failed to control corrosion in the city’s water pipes, which were the cause for the high lead levels.

The city’s staff employed a federal protocol they believed was appropriate. Unfortunately, according to Dan Wyant, director of the Michigan Department of Water Quality, that protocol wasn’t adequate to address the situation. Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder, has called for a review of the situation by a third party.

“We do not know whether the misapplication of federal rules was intentional or due to negligence. That’s why the Legislature needs to have a robust role in any investigation, and in ensuring those responsible for Flint’s water crisis are held accountable,” he said.

However, some in the state legislature such as Michigan Senate Minority Leader, Jim Ananich (D-Flint), argues that both the State and the EPA put their own interests ahead of those of the citizens of Flint.

Up until last year, the city of Flint was getting its water from Detroit Water and Sewage Department. The City of Detroit has been using phosphates to treat the issue of water corrosion in its pipes to ensure “optimized corrosion control,” as is called for by federal guidelines.

When the city of Flint opted to leave Detroit’s water and sewer system and began using its own backup water source from the Flint River, they never added phosphates. A water quality study conducted by Virginia Tech found that water from the Flint River was 19 times more corrosive than water previously obtained from Detroit.

The decision to use river water was a temporary solution. The city was waiting until the Karegnondi Water Authority completed a pipeline that would transport water from Lake Huron and send it to Flint.

Everyone depends on clean drinking water. Federal guidelines exist to help ensure water quality today and into the future. If you are the person who is responsible for meeting and maintaining the water quality goals for your community, you know how important your job is. At Metro Water Filter, our experts can help you ensure the level of water quality your city or business depends upon. Contact our offices today to schedule a meeting with one of our water quality experts.

New Initiative to Control Algae Blooms Begins

download (26)Today with concerns over water quality at an all-time high across the country, we love hearing about solutions that both industry and communities think up to help improve our precious water resources.

After concerns over recent algae blooms in the Ohio River and Lake Erie due to increased levels of nitrogen in the water, a pilot project has been initiated in the Ohio River Basin area that may offer a solution to the problem of algae blooms.

American Farmland Trust and the Electric Power Research Institute recently announced the establishment of the nation’s first interstate water quality trading market. This new water quality trading market will offer a way for industries to purchase water quality “credits” from farmers in the watershed. In turn, watershed farmers use the funds from the project in order to make improvements on their farms. These improvements can further reduce the amount of fertilizer that typically runs off fields of crops and from barnyards and livestock areas.

According to a letter that Brian Brandt, the director of Agricultural Conservation Innovations at American Farmland Trust, sent to the editor of the New York Times; the water quality trading market estimates that they will keep over 12,000 pounds of nitrogen and 3,800 pounds of phosphorous out of waterways from some 29 farm projects in just the first year of operations.

According to Brandt, once the program reaches its full scale, it could make a “significant positive impact on the water quality and health of the watershed.”

Are you meeting your water quality goals? Keeping the water supply clean, healthy and available for everyone for years to come is part of what we do best at Metro Water Filter. We can help you meet your goals for clean water for your city and your business. Call our offices to schedule to meet with one of our water quality experts today.

Bad Water Leads to Elevated Lead Levels in Flint Residents

 

download (6)What happens when a city changes how it gets its water and the change is definitely not for the better?

Residents of the city of Flint, Michigan are finding this out after a recent report revealed that children living in the city showed elevated levels of lead in their bloodstreams.

Since the change in the water supply, the elevated levels of lead in children in two of the city’s zip codes have tripled. Many families out of concern for the health and welfare of their families have opted to purchase bottled water, some spending as much as $15 per week.

The problem began after the city opted to stop getting its water from Detroit and start getting its water supply from the Flint River last year.

The state of Michigan has begun distributing water filters to the residents of Flint because of growing concerns about the city’s water quality. Charities, individuals and private organizations have been distributing bottled water for a number of weeks. The United Way, according to the Genesee County Health Department, has been working to insure that Flint Schools have access to secure water filter systems.

A public health emergency was declared last week and the Mayor of Flint, Dayne Walling said in a statement to the media that, “Any bottled water donations we receive will be used for our children and other high risk groups, such as our seniors.”

The Mayor and the city’s Technical Advisory Committee that is made up of water experts is due to meet in the near future in order to discuss both short and long term solutions to the problems the city of Flint is now facing with its water supply.

Having contaminants that put the health of citizens at risk is a serious concern. It is the nightmare of anyone who is responsible for the water supply of any city or business.

If your business or city is facing concerns over access to clean water, contact Metro Water Filter today to speak with our water filtration experts.

Student Develops Corn Cob Filtration System

images (1)The issue of having clean water affects everyone, no matter where they live in the world. Thinking about water purification in new ways by using available materials was what inspired Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai and helped the 14-year-old student from India win the Google Science Fair prize and Scientific American’s Community Impact Award for 2015. Lalita will receive $10,000 in a funding grant and a year-long mentorship from Scientific American.

Lalita, through observation, noticed the corn cobs that farmers usually discarded. Not even the farm animals would consume them. Lalita brought home some of the shriveled corn cobs and put them in a bowl of grey water on the table of her family’s kitchen. When she came back, she observed that the water looked clearer.

Lalita got the idea to repurpose the corn cobs because they were both environmentally friendly and available in abundance. When water is poured through Lalita’s filtration device, different water contaminants are removed by going through consecutive levels of corn cobs. When Lalita took her invention to her school’s chemistry lab and ran tests on the water quality, it was determined that between 70 and 80 per cent of contaminants in the water had been removed.

Other tests will be required before Lalita’s filtration system can be marketed to farmers, but she hopes that the simple system can be used to help farmers in her country and around the world clean up waterways in a cost effective and environmentally friendly way.

It’s wonderful to see Lalita’s commitment to making sure her community and other communities have clean water. The future of clean water depends on people like her to keep drinking water safe for everyone in the future. At Metro Water Filter, we are committed to helping ensure that clean water is available to everyone today and tomorrow. We can help the water treatment system for your business or city in good condition or we can help you when considering an upgrade your system so that it can handle increased demand. Contact us today for more information.

Baltimore City Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Filtration Plant

downloadIn Baltimore City, members of the community celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the opening of the city’s first water filtration plant. Even after 100 years and many upgrades to the system, the original filter tanks that are housed inside the red brick building built in 1915 are still being used. Baltimore’s water is considered to be in the top 20 cities with the best municipal water in the U.S. The city marked the event with a great deal of celebration that included live music, zoo animals and attractions for kids of all ages.

When the original gatehouse and reservoir lake were constructed around 1880, Baltimore’s water was unfiltered. According to Kurt Kocher, Baltimore’s public works spokesman, water ran directly from Loch Raven Reservoir to Lake Montebello. Before they had a filtration system the water was treated with alum at the gatehouse before it was released into Lake Clifton. Kocher said that in those days there were frequent complaints of water that smelled bad, was discolored, and carried illness.

Photographs from the city’s historical archives were available to show what the Gate House next to Lake Montebello looked like in 1915 when they installed the filtration system. On the day that it opened, nearly 5000 people came to taste the filtered water. Even though the water was much more appealing to drink after filtration began, the issues surrounding water-borne bacteria in the water were not fully addressed until the 1920’s when chlorination was introduced.

The cost of the facility when it was built was an estimated at $1.75 million, which is approximately the equivalent of $28.3 million today. The filtration system in Baltimore was considered state of the art in its day.

A lot has changed in 100 years since that filtration system was installed. Many advances have been made in helping communities keep their drinking water supplies clean. At Metro Water Filter, our focus is in helping businesses and communities find the best solutions to ensure water quality. Contact us today to discuss the ways that we can help you have clean, clear water.