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Let’s Get Your Water Back On Track

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Let’s Get Your Water Back On Track

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The Growing Market for Water Filtration Companies

water filtration companies

There’s an increasing need to treat and manage more water. This is as a result of tightening environmental regulations and growing human populations across the globe. Not only do we need more drinking for consumption, but it also takes a lot of water to handle all of the crops and livestock needed to feed us all. In addition to these problems, mining takes huge amounts of water and results in wastewater that requires filtration to become useful and less harmful.

What do the water filtration companies need to do to grow in this kind of market? A report published by Global Water Intelligence reviewed the existing trends and explored in detail the technology gaps that are opening up opportunities for new solutions in all water filtration markets.

Industrial Water

The market for industrial water is the fastest growing area of the global water market, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. The market for industrial water treatment technology alone is set to expand by more than 50% over the course of the next few years. It’s estimated to grow from around $7 billion in 2015 to over $11 billion in the year 2020.

This industrial sector is seen as a more dynamic group than the conservative utility market. The water technology companies will find major opportunities in the market if they can solve the problems of industrial water users. They can accomplish this by coming up with more cost-effective, innovative solutions that will improve efficiency.

Food and Oil Industries

The report also found that the upstream oil/gas and food/beverage industries will lead the way when it comes to capital spending on water, as well as wastewater treatment technologies. These three major industries will account for more than half of the total water treatment spending.

The market for the oil industry is set to double to $4.5 billion in 2020, dependent upon the recovery of oil prices. This will help create opportunities for desalination technologies because of the need for enhanced oil recovery methods. It will also help deal with challenging wastewater streams for zero liquid discharge.

In the food and beverage industry, researchers are developing anaerobic treatment technologies that are more efficient and easier to operate. This technology is something that industrial facility operators can use to take advantage of gas productions as well as reduce energy costs.

Innovations in Water Treatment Technologies

Much of the innovation in these treatment technologies is occurring in the area of dissolved solids removal. This is in an attempt to improve the efficiency of the reverse osmosis process. These technologies will attempt to reduce energy use and deal with the high TDS (total dissolved solids) water of RO waste from unconventional oil and gas wells.

There will also be strong growth in technologies that allow industrial users to make use of marginal sources of water like reused wastewater. This will benefit companies facing tough discharge regulations, such as miners.

With all of the technological advancements, there will be increased investment in biological processes for the removal of non-organic substances such as selenium compounds, mostly from FGD (flue gas desulfurization) wastewater in the power and mining industries.

UV radiation and ozonation will also see a strong growth, while advanced oxidation processes will occupy a niche market. Particular applications will be created for supercritical water oxidation in refining as well as catalytic oxidation in upstream oil and gas.

While some of these technological advancements may take longer than others, they are all sure to make the water that flows into your home and business the cleanest that it can be all while making the process more energy efficient overall. It will also help reduce water pollution that comes from industrialized runoff.

Here, Advanced Water Solutions has gone over some of the more technologically advanced water filtration methods on the horizon. If you’re also interest in learning about some of the oldest water systems in history, check out AWS’s blog here!

Types of Water Filtration

Types of Water Filtration 

There are many ways that the water flowing through our homes gets filtered before it arrives. These types of filtration can be done at your local water treatment plant or from a water filtration system you have installed in your house. Below, Advanced Water Solutions will discuss the different types of common water filtration and give you a brief look at how it’s filtered before flowing through your faucets.

Distillation

Distillation is one of the oldest methods of water purification. The first step to distillation is heating the water to boiling. The water vapor then rises up to a condenser, where the lower temperature cools the water. This allows the vapor to be condensed, collected, and stored in another container. When this process is complete, most of the contaminants are left behind in the original liquid phase vessel.

However, sometimes carryovers can be found in distilled water. Some organics cannot be removed efficiently and can become concentrated in the product water, leaving it acidic. The distilled water can lack oxygen and minerals as well, leaving you with a flat taste. This is why distillation is mostly used in industrial processes rather than for plain drinking water. The other disadvantage to this process is cost, as it requires larger amounts of energy and is relatively slow to produce large amounts of clean water.

Ion Exchange

With this type of water filtration, ions are exchanged for other ions. An ion is a positively or negatively charged particle. The two most common ion-exchange methods are softening and deionization.

A water softener usually replaces calcium and magnesium ions from the water with sodium ions contained in filtration beads. The softening of water is used mostly as a pretreatment to help reduce the water hardness prior to other filtration methods. It’s also used in the home to create more palatable water that’s easier to use for cleaning. Check out AWS’s blog on hard vs soft water here for more information.

In deionization, the beads exchange either hydrogen ions (consisting of single hydrogen atoms) or hydroxyl ions (negatively charged units containing an oxygen atom and a hydrogen atom). This process swaps out a hydrogen ion for any cations (positively charged particles) they encounter. The hydrogen ion from the cation exchanger unites with the hydroxyl ion to form pure water (H + OH = H2O).

Carbon Absorption

Carbon absorption is most widely used in home water filter treatment. This is because of its ability to improve the water by removing unsavory tastes and odors. It uses highly porous activated carbon to effectively remove many chemicals and gases. However, only a few carbon filter systems have been certified for the removal of lead, asbestos, and coliform, so do your research if you need to remove such harmful substances.

There are two types of carbon filter systems: granular activated carbon and solid block carbon. The use of a carbon filtration system is usually combined with other treatment processes, such as reverse osmosis. The placement of carbon in relation to any other filtration components is important when you consider the design of a water purification system, since you don’t want to be left with extra carbon in your drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is the most economical method for removing 90 to 99 percent of all contaminants. Reverse osmosis technology is used by most water bottling plants. Natural osmosis occurs when solutions with two different concentrations are separated by a semi-permeable membrane. Osmotic pressure then drives the water through the membrane so that the water dilutes the more concentrated solution.

To use this is method in water filtration systems, hydraulic pressure is applied to the solution to counteract the osmotic pressure. The pure water is driven out from the concentrated solution and collected separately. If you’re interested in learning more about how reverse osmosis works, check out AWS’s blog here.

Water Purification Systems

With each water filtration system working in a different way, you can’t always rely on just one method to remove all the contaminants to the levels required to make it safe. If you’re using a well-designed water purification system, it’s most likely using a combination of technologies to achieve the best water quality before it gets to you.

Each technology has a job to do and must be used in the correct sequence to gain the best removal capabilities. Creating the correct combination of water filtration systems and setting up proper pretreatment will help produce water that is almost completely free of ionic, organic, and microbial contamination and tastes and smells great.

Your local water treatment plant has most of this in place for you, so you can rest assured that you are getting some great water coming from your faucets. However, if you want to take that extra step to ensure the most purified water possible for your home, you can look into getting a whole home water filtration system or water softener.

The Oldest Plumbing and Water Systems 

The Oldest Plumbing and Water Systems 

When we think of our plumbing system today, it seems like no big deal. Most of us have functioning plumbing systems in our cities and homes that bring in a constant stream of fresh water and remove waste water. But for most of human history, plumbing either didn’t exist at all or was something of a rare commodity and not so common for everyone to have.

Let’s take a look at some of the oldest plumbing and water systems to see how our ancestors handled their water situation:

The First Water Systems in Egypt and India

One of the oldest known plumbing systems was created by the ancient Egyptians around 4000 – 2500 B.C. Since their lives depended on the ebb and flow of the Nile River, Egyptian engineers created and used a very intricate piping system to keep the water flowing where it needed to go.

These pipes were initially made from clay and were later upgraded to copper. They created this sophisticated system to help move water from the Nile to help people water their crops and even provide their homes with running water.

These systems were discovered in the excavations of ancient tombs, as the Pharaohs’ burial chambers were built complete with draining bathtubs and other lifestyle necessities for the afterlife.

Plumbing wasn’t unique to Egypt at this point in history, however, since some of the first water pipes were discovered from around 4000 B.C. in the Indus River Valley in India.

Old Plumbing Systems in Crete

Another old plumbing system that has been found was located on the Isle of Crete in The Minoan Palace of Knossos, dating to around 1500 B.C. Four separate draining systems were found that led to a mass sewer system constructed out of stone.

A terra cotta piping system was laid down beneath the floor of the palace that delivered water to fountains and faucets. This palace also had the first flushing toilets, also known as ‘water closets.’ These water closets held a wooden seat with a small water reservoir. These now common modern conveniences were lost for thousands of years and these examples deteriorated from years of decay, but you can still see the evidence of the plumbing system today!

Ancient Roman Aqueducts

The most impressive of old plumbing systems can be found in ancient Rome. The Roman Empire has been admired for hundreds of years due to its engineering ability, and you can see that in its sewer system. The first Roman sewer system was called the Cloaca Maxima and was built in sixth century B.C. What started as an open channel was eventually closed and vaulted. The Cloaca Maxima is the oldest plumbing system that’s still in use today, and amazingly some of the original masonry work is still holding together!

The Romans also created aqueducts, adding a new level of ingenuity to the oldest known plumbing systems. Relying on gravity, aqueducts transported water from the mountains above the cities to public bath houses and fountains. The water used there was then drained to the Cloaca Maxima. This created a constant supply of running water that helped to clear waste and other obstacles from the sewer.

What we learned from the oldest plumbing systems, especially from the Romans, has helped us shape our modern-day plumbing systems. The remnants of these ancient plumbing systems can still be seen today and have made for some popular tourist attractions.

As you flush your toilet or run your bath water and easily drain it, just remember that the use of such a water system used to be hard to come by and was not as commonplace as it is now. If you want to learn some more history, check out Advanced Water Solution’s blog on the history of water treatment here!