How Better WasteWater Management Can Help Cities Like Cape Town Cape Town is set in an amazing location nestled on the coast sitting under Table Mountain. With a population of 4 million, it is a popular tourist destination for those setting off up the Garden Route or looking for a city base before heading off to more rural areas. However, in recent years it is in the news as a result of the water shortages that have hit it. Cape Town has experienced a drought for the past 4 years and the situation is at crisis point. While Day Zero (the point at which the city administration turns off the taps) has been postponed until 2019, the prospects are still bleak with dams at 22% capacity, of which an estimated 10% is not fit for human consumption (the zero-day level is 13.5%).
Why is Aeration Important for Wastewater Treatment? Wastewater aeration is the process of adding air into wastewater to allow aerobic bio-degradation of the pollutant components. It is an integral part of most biological wastewater treatment systems. Unlike chemical treatment which uses chemicals to react and stabilize contaminants in the wastewater stream, biological treatment uses microorganisms that occur naturally in wastewater to degrade wastewater contaminants.
The world needs better wastewater treatment facilities The world needs better wastewater treatment facilities to cope with water shortages caused by climate change and the ongoing population explosion.
Energy-saving UCD technology breathes life into wastewater treatment Chemical engineers at University College Dublin (UCD) have developed new technology to save energy in wastewater treatment. Our approach targets a particularly wasteful step in wastewater treatment. Conventionally, this step involves forcing oxygen bubbles through the wastewater ‘sludge’ in order to support bacterial growth. The bacteria then absorbs contaminants and nutrients from the water, thereby helping to clean it so it can be released back into the environment or recycled for human use. My research group at UCD’s School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering has developed an alternative technology: membranes that diffuse or ‘breathe’ oxygen and thereby directly support biofilms of bacteria. Our studies show that this membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology can save up to 75 per cent of the energy conventionally needed to support bacteria in their wastewater treatment role. In 2014, OxyMem (the UCD spin-out company) delivered the first commercial MABR technology to the market, and it is now reducing energy use for wastewater treatment in numerous countries.
4 Major Operational Challenges Facing Wastewater Treatment Plants OxyMem MABR Can Help WasteWater Treatment Plants Overcome 4 Key Challenges Clean water is an essential resource for people and their environments throughout the world. Those who provide effective solutions for wastewater treatment play a major role in returning clean, safe water back to its source. Operational efficiency is always of utmost importance in treatment facilities and this has driven innovation in the sector for quite some time. Recently, great advances have been made in the development of efficient technologies but challenges still remain.