Most people across the U.S. expect to turn on their faucets and have immediate access to clean drinking water. The truth is, it wasn’t until 1974 that Congress passed the Safe Water Drinking Act with the goal of regulating the nation’s public water supply. Over the years, the SWDA has been amended to include water sources as well, such as rivers, lakes, springs and groundwater wells that serve 25 individuals or more.
Americans depend on more than 170,000 public water systems around the country to provide safe drinking water, and each of those entities, from large utility companies to small community systems, depends on some type of water treatment system that ensures the water provided is safe for public consumption.
Because there are so many manmade and natural substances that threaten our drinking water supplies, it is necessary not only to continually test and treat it, but also monitor the systems that distribute this water to the public. Several entities must work together to ensure our water is safe for consumption, and the responsibility falls not only upon city, state, and federal governments, but the public as well. Private industry creates the systems that test, monitor, and treat public drinking water supplies, which, over the years, have improved systems to become more energy efficient and cost-effective. Technological advances in biological water filtration systems provide savings in both energy use and overall treatment costs.
Challenges for Water Systems
The challenge for utilities to comply with safe water mandates has become more difficult over the years, especially with aging infrastructure and water systems in many of the larger metropolitan areas. Water entities have tighter budgets, but the compliance requirements do not become less stringent. Smaller and larger water systems alike seek more affordable options to adequately ensure the safety of their drinking water not only for governmental compliance, but for increased scrutiny by the public as well.
Biological Water Treatment
Biological water system filtration has been key to addressing a demand for higher quality drinking water. One of its primary benefits is that it produces water that does not support growth of microorganisms in its distribution system, and accomplishes this through the use of non-pathogenic bacteria to reduce drinking water contaminants. This biological filtration water treatment is frequently combined with other filtration and ozonation processes. These treatments, such as slow sand filtration, have been used since the 1800s, but a widespread knowledge of biological filtration has been limited until the last 5-8 years.
Differences Between Conventional and Biological Treatments
One of the primary distinctions between conventional water treatments and biological methods is that in biological treatments, there is no disinfectant used upstream of the filter to prevent bacteria. Because of this, a biofilm—a thin, slimy film of bacteria—adheres to the filter, or parts of it. These bacteria are nonpathogenic, and enhance the filter’s performance.
Benefits of Biological Water Filtration and Treatments
As the nation’s population grows, so does the demand for safe drinking water, as do the challenges to prevent contamination of our drinking water supply. Toxic pollutants from the agricultural, industrial, and mining industries, in addition to community wastewater issues, have the potential to devastate our drinking supply. Biological treatment of water pollution offers solutions that are cost-effective for even smaller independent potable water systems, such as those for manufacturing facilities, housing developments, and schools.
As a company that has developed a variety of biological water treatment solutions, AdEdge Water Technologies welcomes any questions regarding the infrastructure and system requirements or technical features of this innovative method of water filtration.