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.

Does Throwing Money at Water Quality Initiatives Help?

downloadIncreasing water quality is something that government agencies at every level are concerned with more than ever. Even with increased funding at state and federal levels to keep waterways clean, it can prove to be a challenge. That’s what officials in the state of Iowa are finding out.

Even though the state has increased its funding for initiatives designed to protect the state’s water supply by millions of dollars since the 1980’s, the Iowa Geological Survey said in a recent survey that there haven’t been any substantial improvements made toward that goal.

According to Keith Schilling, who took a look at 50 rivers for the survey, only six of the rivers had changed. Those rivers had increased levels of nitrate concentration, which is one form of water pollution. However, Schilling also said that phosphorous levels in the water were on the decrease, which is a sign of decreased soil erosion from farmlands.

Not everyone agrees that things haven’t improved though. In a recent radio interview, retired farmer and administrator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wayne Gieselman, who has been working actively with various water quality programs in Iowa, said that although the state has a lot of work to do, the state has come a long way since the 1970’s when water pollution was even more of a problem.

In every state in the country and in every community, water quality is a primary concern. Keeping contaminants such as pollution and bacteria out of the water supply is important to everybody. Over the years, advances have been made in helping communities keep their drinking water supplies clean. At Metro Water Filter we offer solutions to help maintain water quality for businesses and cities. Call us today to find out more about how we can help your water quality improve.

New Grease Trap Captures Fats and Oils at Origin

downloadTwo years ago, the residents of a London neighborhood noticed that it had become difficult to flush their toilets. When the cause of the problem was discovered, it turned out that the city had a 15 ton mass of congealed fats and oils known as a “fatberg” on their hands. The plumbing issues and the smells that accompanied this huge problem threatened the London sewer system for weeks.

What caused this fatberg? It was the accumulated fats and oils that had been improperly disposed of down drains across the city. Imagine all of the households that do this without thinking. It costs UK communities about £15m a year (about $30 million!) to remove these fatbergs from their sewers.

James Seers grew up listening to his father telling him to avoid putting fat down the sink drain. After the incident in London and its enormous fatberg, Seers was determined to find a solution to the problem.

What Seers came up with is a reworking of the P-trap found under most household sinks. This new device would filter out the oils, grease and other cooking debris that flow from the sink during kitchen cleanup.

The unit works by collecting the oils and fat into a container by using a series of filters so that they could be disposed of safely by the homeowner. The fats that are collected from the waste water can then potentially be recycled and used as biofuels. Seers estimated that the cost of the unit to the homeowner would be just a few dollars for the unit.

Seers has named his fat filtration system “Berglar.”

Keeping contaminants out of the water supply is important to every community. We have equipment and solutions that can help you maintain high water quality and keep the costs of clean water down. Call Metro Water Filter today to find out more.

Mobile Filtration Device Treats Agricultural Runoff

downloadAgricultural runoff is a huge concern. Keeping pesticides, nitrogen, and other chemical pollutants out of streams and groundwater supplies is a priority for keeping water safe and clean. If these pollutants get into the water supply, it can cause damage to ecosystems and make people sick.

One man, a professor at the University of Idaho, has developed a way to treat water contaminated by these pollutants through a mobile facility. This filter has an extra advantage. It can harvest the nutrients out of agricultural runoff and turn it back into usable fertilizer. Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology professor Greg Moller built the 9 ton, 40-foot long mobile facility with a grant provided by the Idaho Department of Commerce’s Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission.

Moller expanded on an earlier design he called reactive filtration water treatment. That water treatment system uses a filter of sand that is coated in iron. The iron-treated sand acts like a sponge that pulls pollutants out of the water. Municipal water departments around the world have been using Moller’s system.

Moller’s new device, known as Nutrient-Energy-Water Tech, adds a biochar powder that is treated with iron. The powder adheres to the pollutants in the water and allows them to be caught by the sand filter. The iron treated sand becomes infused with nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. This can then be converted into pellets that can be used as fertilizer.

How does your community deal with issues surrounding agricultural runoff? Can your water filtration system handle it? Make a call to Metro Water Filter and speak to our knowledgeable staff. We can offer solutions for your business or municipality for keeping agricultural runoff out of your drinking water.

Fight over the Clean Water Rule

download (9)Who rules how clean a body of water has to be before it can be used as public drinking water? That is up to the Environmental Protection Agency. The key piece of legislation used in those rulings is the Clean Water Act, which was passed decades ago. However, a ruling about an unclear part of the act has some states filing lawsuits.

The key question is which bodies of water are covered by the act. The state says that “navigable waters” are protected, and that “navigable waters” means “the waters of the United States.” But just what constitutes the waters of the United States? Back in May, the EPA released a clarification called the “Clean Water Rule” that puts forth their interpretation of what it means. It is a huge rule that can affect 60% of the land in the US.

Some states have challenged the new ruling, especially states with coastlines or waters that come in from Canada. 28 states and numerous other organizations have sued the government to stop the new definition, and those cases are working their way up through the court system.

In the meantime, it may be best to upgrade your filters now just in case you have to comply with stricter water quality rules. If new water quality rules require you to install better filtration and water sanitation systems, Metro Water Filter is ready to help you comply with new federal regulations. For more information, contact our offices.

Has your Water been Tested Lately?

downloadHow do scientists find out whether or not a body of water is polluted? It is up to water quality scientists to send samples of water back to labs to find out what is inside our nation’s waterways. In the lab, they look for common pollutants that can show that a waterway is being damaged or that water might make you sick.

Water tests are a necessity in our industry. The only way you can scientifically tell how well a filter works is to compare water test results from water before it goes through the filter and after. Many businesses and municipalities test their water at least once a year to ensure high quality water gets to where it needs to go.

Federal and state regulations set limits on the amount of pollutants that can be in water before it is unsafe to drink, but many cities want even tighter restrictions. The only way to ensure you are meeting the standards is to test your water regularly.

Do you need assistance in getting your water quality tested? Let Metro Water Filter help you out. We can test your water and recommend different filtration systems to eliminate any minerals, bacteria, or other pollutants that we find. Whether you own a small business or you need to figure out how to get extra-clean water to a power plant, we have a solution for you. Contact our offices today for a free consultation.

New Water Filter Uses Tearable Sheets

From Adweek.com

From Adweek.com

We love learning about new forms of water filtration. Here’s another new one that has some great potential because it is so portable. A researcher at Carnegie Melon University has invented a filtration book that allows users to tear out pages that act as water filters.

The tearable pages are impregnated with copper and silver nanoparticles. These particles kill harmful bacteria in water, and quite well too. They tested the sheets at 25 different contaminated water sources around the world. 99% of the bacteria were killed when water was poured through the sheet.

Each sheet has instructions printed on it in the local language. To use it is simple. Tear off a sheet and slip it into the filter basket, then pour water through it. Each sheet decontaminates about 100 litres of water. While some particles do wash off into the water, the amounts of copper and silver are low enough that the drinking water is safe.

However, the sheets aren’t ready for prime-time yet. More tests need to be done to see how well the sheets deal with viruses, and researchers want to test more locations. However, if it goes well then it will be very easy for people to carry around a book of filters.

Today’s leading-edge filter solutions become the core technologies of tomorrow’s large-scale filtration systems. Want to know how we can upgrade your current filter? Contact Metro Water Filter for a free consultation.

Ecological Disaster in the Animus River

Washington Post

Washington Post

You may have missed this news story if you don’t live in the Southwest, but there is a major toxic spill occurring in the Animus River. EPA workers caused an old mine to blow out, spilling three million gallons of contaminated wastewater into the river. The ecological damage is spreading out over multiple states and river systems. It is still leaking contaminated water into the river.

The water is heavily contaminated with heavy metals, notably lead, cadmium, and arsenic. The lead levels in the river have risen to 5,720 parts per billion. The legal EPA limit for lead in water is 50 parts per billion. States of emergency have been declared in several states, and the EPA is shipping in bottled water to deal with the crisis. Thick sludge is also building up on the river banks as the yellow plume travels downstream.

It is a major ecological disaster, and more could be in the making. There are many abandoned mines that need cleanup along the river. The EPA has discouraged groups from cleaning up the mines because of the danger of highly-contaminated water. Now the EPA has cause just such a blowout.

Could your filtration systems handle such heavy contamination? The EPA may require you to shut down, but having a strong filtration system could get your water system back online faster. Contact Metro Water Filter for more information on how we can help you filter heavy metals out of your water.

Water Quality Month

downloadAugust is Water Quality Month in the United States, but that doesn’t mean we’ll slow down our efforts to provide clean filtered water to municipalities and businesses. One of the organizations we have to work with when we do a major installation is the Environmental Protection Agency. They provide us with much of the data we need to know which filtration systems will be necessary for water supplies.

According to the EPA, over 40% of U.S. waterways have some sort of water quality problem. Common contaminants include pesticides and other chemicals used in homes and businesses. It doesn’t take much to cause enough contamination to make water undrinkable or unsuitable for industrial uses.

That’s why a good filtration system is so important. Proper filtration does more than just improve the taste of your water. A proficient filtration system can prevent water-born illnesses which are illnesses caused by water contaminants. Water filtration is an important part of public health.

Do you need advice on how to filter your water? If you live in the Southeast, you should contact Metro Water Filter. We don’t dabble in water filtration. It is our core business. We specialize in large-scale filtration installations for businesses and municipalities. Call our offices for more information on how we can help you improve, repair, or install a water filtration system.

Tarpon Springs Opens New Reverse Osmosis Facility

downloadFlorida does have aquifers, but getting adequate water is a challenge. The land is so close to sea level that many groundwater sources can be brackish. This is where fresh and saltwater mix. It is often not drinkable and requires special techniques for filtration.

Tarpon Springs has just cut the ribbon on a new reverse osmosis facility that can turn brackish water into safe drinkable water. The capacity of the system is expected to meet the city’s needs for the next 20 years. The new system also frees up the need for Tarpon Springs to buy water from other municipalities.

Other cities have also taken up reverse osmosis to supply their cities with drinkable water. One city, Clearwater, even has an ambitious plan to convert brackish water into fresh water and inject it back into the original aquifer. The idea is that with enough time, they can bank away water for the future.

Cities must always ensure they have enough water for their citizens and their local industry. Metro Water Filter can help you in that quest. Our water purification and filtration systems can be sized from small businesses to entire towns. For a free quote or to learn more about what we can offer you, contact Metro Water Filter for a consultation. We’ll be glad to help you secure your water for the future.