Water Treatment

A Few Good Reads

Hey everyone, I’m having a busy week and don’t have time to write anything, but I wanted to get something posted so here are a few of my favorite WASH related books. Book titles occasionally include the term field guide in a euphemistic sense, and such works very rarely are actually used in the trenches. With Field Guide to Environmental Engineering for Development Workers, however, a more literal take is in order. Indeed, on the inside front cover the readercontinue reading

The Water Situation in Colombia: Both Good and Bad?

The Water Situation in Colombia: Both Good and Bad?

Colombia is a beautiful country.  I went there a few weeks ago for vacation and was amazed at the natural beauty throughout the country.  I experienced everything from lush mountains to beautiful beaches and tropical (but very humid) forests along the way, and was never disappointed.  However, Colombia has, and does, have its share of problems.  The most known is its issues with drugs, but I’m not really interested in that.  I’d like to talk about their issues with water.continue reading

Battling Waterborne Diseases: Where They Come From, What They Do, and How to Beat Them

Waterborne diseases affect millions of people around the world every year.  However, it doesn’t need to be this way.  Clean water, proper sanitation facilities and good hygiene can eliminate the risk of these diseases.  Below you’ll find several brief overviews of the most common diseases, how they are treated, and how they can be prevented.  The links at the bottom of the article can be used to help your community stay safe and healthy.  Let’s start with what is maybecontinue reading

Moringa – The Tree of Life

I’m always on the lookout for sustainable and appropriate solutions to water quality problems, especially those that would help rural communities.   A couple of weeks ago I was meandering through the internet and came upon one such solution; the moringa tree.  Depending on where you are in the world you could hear the moringa referred to as “Mother’s best friend” or “never die”.  These names are appropriate considering the number of benefits that this beautiful tree can bring, including watercontinue reading

Saving Lives with Community-Led Total Sanitation

Without water people cannot survive, but without good sanitation and hygiene practices the water available could become contaminated and lead to disease and death.  Every year 1.5 million people, most of them children, die from complications associated with diarrhea that they picked up from dirty water.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 88% of diarrhea cases worldwide are linked to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.  Diarrhea is caused by bacteria that get into the water system, andcontinue reading

The SFPUC’s New Headquarters: The Greenest Building in the US?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to tour the new headquarters for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC); a building which they say is one of, if not the, greenest building in the nation.  We will know for sure after they go through the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification, after which they plan to receive a LEED Platinum rating, the highest rating available. First, let me say that the building is beautiful inside and out, but that’s not reallycontinue reading

Protecting our Waterways Naturally: Riparian Buffers

You’re standing on a farm looking out over a huge group of cows to your left.  The smell is pretty bad, and you’re disgusted by the cows walking around in their waste without a care in the world.  You glance over to your right and notice a beautiful stream that runs along the farm and then continues on.  All of the sudden the clouds open up and a downpour hits. As the rain comes down the ground is getting saturatedcontinue reading

Are Nanoparticles the Water Detox Solution We’ve Been Looking For?

Do you ever drive by a gas station that’s fenced off and there are workers digging a huge hole in the ground?  That’s because tanks that hold the gas have leaked and contaminated the ground under the station.  Around the world there are thousands of sites where toxic chemicals have been spilt accidentally or dumped in the past and left.  Up until the 1970s it was widely believed that the soil would act like a natural filter and clean thecontinue reading

A Different way to Treat your Wastewater

In the never ending quest to clean up wastewater there are thousands of different products that have been invented.  One of these products is called the Living Machine.  It’s less of a product though, and more of a wastewater treatment system.  The Living Machine uses the knowledge that natural wetlands are great filters for wastewater and applies that knowledge to provide an ecological, cost effective, and sustainable solution. The original concept for the Living Machine was thought up during thecontinue reading

Wastewater Solutions: Artificial Wetlands

 A problem that is common for cities around the world is what to do with their wastewater.  In western societies the most common way to treat wastewater is through a wastewater treatment plant where chemicals and biological elements are added to treat the water.  However, for a lot of the world these plants are too expensive and they lack the expertise required to run the plant.  A cheaper and more ecofriendly way to treat wastewater is by using the environment,continue reading

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