Across the globe, access to clean, safe drinking water is becoming more and more of an issue. With a likely increase of 20-30% in global water demand over the next thirty years, cities and countries need to turn to unconventional sources for their water. Reused water, or highly treated wastewater, has become one such option for places that face a dwindling freshwater supply.
Reused water, however, can be quite controversial. With concerns about the presence of harmful chemicals or pathogens in used water, as well as disgust at the thought of drinking water that has passed through toilets, many people have opposed the development of reused water practices in their communities.
Typically, wastewater from homes and businesses is treated by sewage plants then discharged into local rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. Water from these bodies is later collected and treated again before being used for drinking and other purposes. Reused water, on the other hand, is the product of wastewater being cleaned by a second (and sometimes a third) plant after its initial treatment. After rigorous chemical, physical, and biological cleaning processes, the water can be returned directly to the drinking supply. In both systems, water is being reused.
A major hurdle to a lot of recycled drinking water projects is public perception of reused water. In many communities around the world, including Los Angeles, California and Queensland, Australia, the public’s unsubstantiated fears and disgust over drinking reused water have put a halt to water recycling projects. Despite these concerns, reused water continues to be safer than standard drinking water given that it is more strictly and regularly tested and regulated.
Changing the public’s perception of reused water is an important step to making sure that necessary water recycling projects can move forward. In San Diego, for example, water utility companies used surveys, focus groups, city staff engagement with community groups, and an information website to increase the community’s approval of water reuse from 26% to 73%. With the community’s support, San Diego was able to approve the ‘Pure Water San Diego’ project which aims to provide one-third of the city’s water needs by 2035.
For any community that is struggling to provide access to drinking water for its residents, reused water offers a safe and effective solution. By working to change public perception of reused water, and making sure that various community groups and stakeholders are on board with recycling projects, communities can drastically improve access to clean, safe drinking water while reducing the demand on dwindling freshwater supplies.
About Aqua Bio Technologies, LLC
Founded in 2010, Darien, Illinois-based Aqua Bio Technologies is a leading provider of innovative biologic restoration, water reclaim, rain harvest, odor control and reverse osmosis (RO) systems. None of its solutions use ozone, UV, or chemicals of any kind to control odor – only nature. As the manufacturer of the first vehicle wash industry closed-loop water treatment system, the company is able to deliver a substantial savings in time and money to its customers with dramatic reductions is water and sewer costs.
For more information about Aqua Bio and how our systems are designed to save you and your car wash a ton of money by reusing 100% of the water collected contact us today.