Viewpoint: What has changed?
By Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher
For several years, we’ve been reporting on emerging contaminants, improved technology, better treatment methods. So why are we still grappling with the continuing and wide-spread occurrences of water contamination? The industry has risen to every occasion, providing many options and opportunities to ensure that everyone has a safe source of clean water. Still, the news reports on lead, perchlorate, even pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) found in our drinking water supplies just keep coming back to the top of the list of public safety concerns. The crumbling water infrastructure is the biggest problem but the lack of knowledge about water treatment options isn’t far behind. Be the expert, the go-to guy, when you hear of something in your neighborhood. Give people the sense of security that has been squandered by the lack of political will to fix the problems at their most basic levels. You’ll have customers for life if you make the water safer and present options that are of value to any home.
RO hasn’t changed much over the last 50 years, other than better membrane manufacturing that has resulted in better and cheaper systems. As new testing protocols have modified limits from parts per million to parts per trillion, this mainstay treatment technology is one of the better options for many customers in all segments of the water treatment industry. And due to the serious and unrelenting drought that has plagued the western states since 2000, reuse is coming more into vogue, as is water harvesting. But water is not pure and treatment is often a must, especially when consideration for reuse of highly treated wastewater becomes a discussion point. As more municipal players opt for reuse to supplement their finite resources, treatment demands will only increase.
C.F. ‘Chubb’ Michaud tackles these subjects in tandem this month, with the initial installment of a three-part series. The new realities for water purveyors and suppliers is that there isn’t an infinite supply of potable water, something we’ve tried to explain many, many times over the past decade. To make use of what is available will take all of the technologies now in use and whatever else the industry can invent to meet those needs. We present a new article under the Innovations banner about a technology that may be ‘the next big thing’ in water treatment. Written by Ed Knueve and David Thomas, the article details the path to invention for something called quantum disinfection. Rounding out the July coverage is Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds’ article, which revisits the recurring Legionella outbreaks and their consequences.
Conference season is in full swing. New companies, technologies and products, all of which are or could be business opportunities, will greet you at a host of annual conventions and trade shows. Take advantage of the opportunity to see things first-hand, talk to the decision makers and stay on track with the rapidly changing world of water treatment. While some tried-and-true technologies and systems maintain their place as the workhorses of our little corner of the industry, there’s always room for more and better. We can’t be everywhere so if you see something that is innovative, with tangible application benefits, let us know!