So far, what we know with absolute certainty is that earth is the only planet with water on its surface. With most of the water visible from the outer space, a truth is also that the visible water is not fit for use. Of the water present on the earth. Approximately only 1% of it is fit for human use and is present in the form of lakes, rivers, aquifers, and underground water.
MONTCLAIR, Calif., November 11, 2018 (Newswire.com) - The United States of America is a very vast country with its regions ranging from freezing cold to scorching heat. But on an average, the country receives and the annual rainfall of 715 mm as of a 2014 study exactly as it was in 1962. The country is ranked 55 in the world in terms of Renewable water availability with 8,845.96 cubic meters on its surface.
The US still remains amongst one of the top developed countries in the world with strong growth markets and economy. And despite its continued growth with limited water resources, it has managed to come so far with its booming businesses and industries. Over the past decade though, the country is at the forefront of the consequences of climate change. Flash floods in various regions, extreme drought in California and the recent Hurricane Florence in the regions of North Carolina. The country now deals with ways to effectively manage its water resources and come up with advanced technologies to tackle the ever-growing problem of water shortage.
Among many processes that the country today uses, one very efficient and somewhat famous is the Membrane technology for water purification and wastewater treatment. Not limited to businesses in the country, this procedure has helped diminish water usage from natural reservoirs by reclaiming used water instead. A study notes that in America, awareness and stress are being put on recycling and reusing what they already have.
According to Membrane Technology Market share, Industry Report, 2022 forecast, North America is expected to dominate the market with its flourishing biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in the U.S. Membrane technology mentioned here are pressure driven operations. Some of the technologies that outline this membrane market are as follows:
Microfiltration Membrane (MF membrane)
This separation membrane is used to filter out substances between 0.1 to 1 micrometer and includes a range of contaminants like microorganisms, macromolecules, etc. It is specifically used for semiconductor manufacturing and sterile filtration of beer and wine.
Ultrafiltration Membrane (UF membrane)
This membrane is meant to capture particles that come within the range of 2 nanometers and 0.1 micrometers. Used for industrial purposes majorly, this membrane removes colloid macromolecules useful in the fiber and pulp industries that conduct waste water treatment.
Nanofiltration Membrane (NF membrane)
This one is a liquid separation membrane to capture particles and macromolecules smaller than 2 nanometers. It is extremely effective in removal of water hardness by eliminating sulfate ions and scale components.
Reverse Osmosis Membrane (RO membrane)
The most used filtration technique, Reverse Osmosis Membrane is effective in removing substances, particles, molecules less than 2 nanometers in size. It is especially used for amino acid separation, inorganic salt, filtration of water from any source and seawater desalination.
The RO membranes are majorly used across the world for every filtration purpose, and when integrated with MF and UF membranes, the water quality, as a result, surpasses that of tap water, used especially in the electronics industry. Another method, membrane bioreactor (MBR) is currently under study where the MF and UF membranes are soaked in active sludge tanks of sewage water in urban waste tanks. This method is being used currently in Kuwait, Singapore, and parts of China as a tool to fix the issue of increasing wastewater volumes in urban areas.
By far, the largest desalination plant was set up in Carlsbad, around 35 miles north of San Diego, California. A $1 billion investment, it was set up in 2015 and generates up to 56,000 acre-feet of water per year which is roughly 8 percent of San Diego County’s water supply. The plant operates at 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Like a major number of 18,000 desalination plants around the world, this plant operates on the technology of Reverse Osmosis to convert seawater into consumable freshwater. Desalination plant grade Reverse Osmosis systems are usually tailor-made suit the conditions of the seawater in that particular region and number of membranes thus giving a plant that can meet the daily requirements of the region. In the U.S., there are more than 25 desalination plants across Texas, Arizona, Florida, and California, which alone has 17 desalination plants. RO membrane technology has proved helpful in quenching the thirst of over millions of people each day. However, the technology does not only apply in desalination.
Recycling Sewage Water
The Orange County Water District (OCWD) had a booming business in 2015 amidst the third continuous annual California drought. Using a pioneering wastewater treatment facility, the OCWD in 2015 was able to produce 70 to 100 million gallons of water per day, enough to quench the thirst of 850,000 residents. The facility recycled used water and then mixed it in the water supply which reached up to 70 percent of the population in the County.
The County was using reclaimed water for non-potable uses since the 1970’s but began contributing to the water supply from 2008 when the water crisis struck hard. Using PR and education with awareness, the County has been able to use the wastewater coming in each day successfully. The process uses a portion of the 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater from southern California, which is directed towards the plant. In a three-step filtration process, the water is first treated in microfiltration for oils, solids, bacteria, etc. It is then passed through the RO membrane for the elimination of viruses and chemical molecules. Lastly, the water is treated with UV to reject any organic matter before joining it with the main water supply.
This water meets every quality control tests to meet legal standards before being passed on. The water coming in from OCWD meets every state and federal standard for drinking water. In Singapore, where previously water was imported, they have NEWater that contributes 30% to its reservoirs. Its contribution exceeds the WHO standards so much so that a large amount of water produced is sent for industrial purposes where Ultra-Pure water is a daily requirement.
The water industry is set to grow tremendously in the coming few years. For one, smart water solutions are beginning to gain momentum owing to water leakages, scarcity, and network inefficiency. In such scenario, a heavy portion is considering outsourcing the projects like the San Diego County did with Poseidon. This can create opportunities for the water industry and new entrepreneurs. In the regional game, North and South America along with Europe will see an increased scope as the demand for bottled water seldom diminishes. The rising use of water in the utility sector will also contribute to the scope.
It is a good time to get into the water industry owing to the membrane technology that has seen a gradual interest built over the years.
Ampac USA is a manufacturer of water treatment systems used around the globe for quality drinking water. The company has an experience of over 30 years, uses the latest technology to provide a standard, reliable products and works with experts to give the best possible service.
Source: AMPAC USA