There is much room for improvement in water Treatment, including both technological and philosophical improvements.
Current water treatments run to segregating water streams instead of aggregating them and minimal treatment recycle/reuse, but from a technological view, lower total cost membrane solutions and specific ion removal technologies are desperately needed.
In order to drive automation and control upgrades, sensing technologies should be added and more economical evaporation technologies or methods to change the high-strength waste into beneficial end products are also vital in the high-strength/high-concentration final waste streams. The current cost of doing this is uneconomical.
Minimal liquid discharge (MLD) is an approach which takes a host of factors into consideration when building a multi-technology system and continues to show huge potential. The MLD approach ensures a 95% water recovery rate and costs half as much as a direct-to-zero liquid discharge system.
Most conventionally operated wastewater and water treatment plants require massive Energy expenditure, so this is another area in which technology can be applied in order to reduce water treatment energy use while also providing cleaner water. Water treatment facilities need to be encouraged to decrease consumption, employ alternative energy sources and make use of the most modern and innovative technology to abide by energy saving standards.
There are many alternative energy generation techniques and engineering science available that have already been successfully utilised, such as electricity-producing microbes that treat wastewater and provide a power source as well as a solar-microbial device that uses wastewater and sunlight to generate clean energy.
It is vital for nutrient reduction and recovery that most nitrogen and phosphorus is removed during the wastewater treatment process in order to prevent water contamination. Too much nutrient, nitrogen and phosphorus can result in toxic algal blooms and can negatively impact on aquatic ecosystems as well as on human health.
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