In the famous poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, there is a line that goes "Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink." When a person looks at the earth and sees that 70 percent of the surface is made of water, it is mind-boggling to think that there could possibly be a shortage of water anywhere.
But the other statistic that makes this threat of water shortage a reality is that 97 percent of the earth's water is salt water contained in the oceans and seas. In addition to this already low percentage of water that is potable or usable for irrigation purposes, the world has seen a significant portion of the remaining water become contaminated. The bi-products of many industries as well as household cleaners and other chemicals find their way into the water and render it unusable.
Because water is the one compound on the planet that we cannot live without, there is a constant need for research and development of new technologies and to keep our water supply both available and pure. Recent developments are aimed at removing contaminants, both organic and inorganic, from polluted water, particularly in municipal water systems.
- Reverse Osmosis and Nanofiltration - although these processes, in which water is forced through a porous membrane to filter out contaminants has been around for a long time, advances in the quality of and efficiency of the membranes are making great strides. The membranes are now being coated with graphenes, which is a layer of carbon only one atom thick. This has helped in that the membranes better withstand water pressure and exposure to chlorine because of these coatings. The membranes can be used to filter out not only chemical contaminants but also fungi, bacteria, and other organic contamination.
- Water Capsules - recent developments in water capsules have created units that are efficient enough at capturing and retaining waterborne contaminants that the FDA has approved them for use as medical devices used to purify water for use in various medical procedures. Although this level of purification is not as critical in drinking water applications, the use of the capsules is also helping to treat water supplies that may be at risk for contamination.
As the substance that not only makes up the majority of the earth, water also makes up the majority of our bodies, As such it is critical that we keep it available, keep it abundant and most of all keep it clean. For more information, contact your local water treatment service.