Every year, March 22 marks World Water Day. Founded by the United Nations in 1993, World Water Day is intended to build awareness of the global water crisis. The theme of this year’s World Water Day is wastewater with the intent of highlighting how it can not only be reduced but also reused.
That is a major shift in thinking that needs to be accelerated globally. Wastewater should not be viewed as waste to be discarded but as a resource. Wastewater can contain various contaminants, including human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps, and a variety of other chemicals. But approximately 80% of wastewater flows right back into lakes and ponds, streams and rivers, and even seas and oceans, without having been treated. So instead of harnessing its potential, it ends up simply polluting the environment and contaminating local water resources that serve as drinking water supplies.
One of the biggest risks is microbial contamination. Did you know that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with feces? This puts them at great risk of contracting one or more of a wide range of dangerous diseases, including cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and even polio. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene cause around 842,000 deaths each year. As a result, UN-Water strongly believes that the costs of wastewater management are greatly outweighed by the benefits to human health, economic development, and environmental sustainability – providing new business opportunities and creating more ‘green’ jobs.
VIQUA’s parent company, Trojan Technologies, is becoming increasingly involved in wastewater treatment, from small rural communities to large municipalities like New York City. Trojan’s success is evident with almost 10,000 municipal UV disinfection facilities treating over 41 billion gallons of water per day. TrojanUV disinfection systems have been installed in reuse applications around the world. The treated runoffs are being reused for recreational and agricultural irrigation, aquifer recharge, and to reduce discharge to already-stressed waterways.