Entry for May 29, 2009

As we have noted in this space in the past, a new range of emerging pollutants in drinking water and wastewater are being recognized by regulatory authorities in the US and other jurisdictions around the world.  It is likely that these compounds will regulated as contaminants and as a result will require new treatment technologies.

A new research study by Lux Research (Boston, MA) has identified 32 such compounds that are likely to be regulated and evaluated the various treatment technologies that are applicable to each.  The primary conclusion is that no one technology can be applied to all of the pollutants.  The technologies fall into three categories chemical oxidation, biological treatment and separation technologies.

Ozone, biological filtration and reverse osmosis appear to have the broadest spectrum of treatment with the capability of treating 10 of the 32 compounds cited in the report.  Other technologies with a narrowing scope of treatment include: ion exchange, activated carbon, MBR, ultra filtration and UV.

It is likely that combinations of these various techniques will be employed depending on the pollutants involved, the conditions of operation and the degree of treatment required.

Ozone water treatment and other advanced oxidation techniques are likely to grow significantly as a result of these developments.