As U.S. water infrastructure continues to age, it is beginning to impact water quality. Jeff Zagoudis, contributing editor for Water Quality Products, spoke with Allan Connolly, vice president of operations and engineering at Culligan, about the problem and what is being done to solve it.
Jeff Zagoudis: How would you describe the current state of water infrastructure in the U.S.?
Rain barrels are one way the Think About Personal Pollution (TAPP) program in Tallahassee works to improve water quality in northwest Florida. Program Director John Cox spoke with Water Quality Products Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis to explain how these devices can turn a potent source of pollution into a boon for local consumers.
Literature and popular press are full of articles about the coming water shortage. While there are a myriad of options and technologies available to conserve, collect and recycle water, there is one source that has been available for as long as water itself: rainwater.
Rainwater harvesting and reuse is developing into a good market for water treatment professionals. Depending on the end use of the captured water, different levels of treatment will be required, creating a good place for water specialists to offer their expertise in treatment system design and installation.
Political and economic barriers impede growth of rainwater harvesting
Harvesting and reusing rainwater is not only a way to supplement water supplies, it also helps protect vital water resources from pollutants that storm water runoff carries into them. As concerns about water pollution and the impending global water shortage grow, it is increasingly important for everyone to take part in conserving and protecting drinking water supplies.
Rainwater harvesting and storm water recycling are similar processes, but rainwater harvesting usually involves collecting water from cleaner surfaces, such as roofs, while storm water typically is ground-level runoff. Both require collecting, storing and conserving rain for later use.
Rainwater harvesting system provides alternative to well water
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 the words of Alexandra Cousteau, “Water will be the defining crisis of our century.” Essentially, water is running out. Population is constantly growing, and water and storm water management costs are skyrocketing across the U.S., increasing by up to 8% per year. Without a sustainable water management plan that includes rainwater harvesting, both people and businesses will suffer.
System helps school become South Carolina's first LEED-certified educational facility
When McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, set about constructing its new Engineering Technology Building, it used the latest state-of-the-art technology not only to achieve U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, but also to create a living laboratory to train students on the building systems of the future. One of the components is a rainwater harvesting system that collects, filters and disinfects rainwater for non-potable and potable use in the building.
First-of-its-kind system treats rainwater for potable reuse
The Equaris Enfinity Plus greywater recycling system filters, disinfects with ozone and supplies reverse osmosis water to every plumbing fixture, including drinking water. Milking as much permeate water as possible out of the concentrate and using the high-TDS water to flush the toilets has documented a 99% reduction in the need for water by totally recycling the greywater.
As water resources become scarcer, municipalities across the country are looking for ways to conserve water and reduce pollution. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) got the community involved by introducing rain barrels, an inexpensive method that manages pollution by reusing rainwater.
Rain barrels are a cost-effective way to help the environment