Finding potable water can be a difficult task for rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. South African nongovernmental organization Roundabout Water Solutions (RWSSA) found an innovative method for communities to pump and store clean drinking water: playground equipment that doubles as a pumping apparatus. Raissa Rocha, editorial intern at Water Quality Products, recently checked in with Sandra Hayes, administrative and donor relations manager at RWSSA, to discuss the systems and the organization’s efforts.
Raissa Rocha: How do these systems work?
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a report in August revealing that 20% of untreated water samples from wells across the U.S. contain concentrations of trace elements exceeding human health benchmarks. Raissa Rocha, editorial intern for Water Quality Products, spoke with Joe Ayotte, USGS hydrologist and lead author of the study, about the report and the occurrence of trace elements in groundwater.
Raissa Rocha: What was the purpose of this study?
Hydrofracturing is not a new concept—in fact, it has been utilized by the gas and oil industries in the U.S. since the 1940s. Thanks to increased media attention, however, many are led to believe that this is a new technology developed specifically for the extraction of natural gas.
Evaluating gas drilling’s effects on groundwater and air quality
Gateway Village, a 15-acre mixed-use development complex in North Carolina—designed to bring businesses, retailers, restaurants, new residents and visitors to the area—was developed through a joint venture between Bank of America and Cousins Properties. The complex is home to three office towers totaling more than 1 million sq ft of class A office space. In late 2007, North Carolina and a large portion of the southeastern U.S. endured an exceptional drought that prompted water restrictions across the region.
Water reclamation system saves energy & water costs
In recent days, groundwater has been gaining attention. Increased hydraulic fracturing operations have caused controversy over potential methane gas contamination. Reports indicate that groundwater aquifers, especially in the drought-prone southwestern U.S., are being depleted more quickly than they can be recharged. Surveys, like the one recently released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), reveal that contaminants such as arsenic are widespread in the nation’s water wells.
More than ever, sustainable surface and groundwater supplies are essential to communities across North America and around the world. The strains of industry and agriculture on groundwater are noticeable as pressures on water supplies intensify and supply patterns change. The increase in agriculture over vulnerable aquifers, climate change and hydrocarbon production are impacting water quality. Unregulated use or uncontrolled flow of groundwater can cause water quality degradation and conflict between water users.
Small drinking water systems opt for POE UV treatment
For more than 50 years, the International Bottled Water Assn. (IBWA) has assisted and regulated bottled water production in the U.S. Water Quality Products Associate Editor Leslie Streicher recently talked to IBWA Vice President of Communications Tom Lauria about the benefits, myths and environmental impact of bottled water.
Leslie Streicher: How is bottled water regulated?
Arsenic and its compounds have been known to be toxic for millennia. Arsenic trioxide (As2O3), often referred to as white arsenic, was a favored poison in the Middle Ages because it had little odor or taste, enabling it to be easily incorporated into the food or drink of a victim. As little as 300 mg can be fatal to an average person.
Solutions to an age-old threat
The National Ground Water Assn.’s (NGWA) 2010 Annual Meeting & Expo will take place Dec. 7 to 10 in Las Vegas. NGWA President-Elect Art Becker discussed this year’s event with Water Quality Products (WQP) Associate Editor Elizabeth Lisican
and offered an industry update.