Current Wastewater News and Events

Current Wastewater News and Events, Wastewater News Articles.
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Graphene Oxide membranes could reduce paper industry energy costs
Paper industry wastewater recycling is among the most energy-intensive chemical processes in the world. Georgia Tech researchers have found a method to engineer membranes made from graphene oxide that allow water to get through it much faster than through conventional membranes and, in the process, can save the paper industry more than 30% in energy costs of water separation. (2021-02-22)

Sewage study shows which countries like to party hard
The Netherlands, United States, Australia and New Zealand are consuming the highest amounts of designer 'party' drugs, according to wastewater samples taken from eight countries over the New Year period. (2021-02-21)

Global study of 48 cities finds nature sanitizes 41.7 million tons of human waste a year
Researchers found that nature provides at least 18% of sanitation services in 48 cities worldwide, according to researchers in the United Kingdom and India. The study, published February 19 in the journal One Earth, estimates that more than 2 million cubic meters of the cities' human waste is processed each year without engineered infrastructure. This includes pit latrine waste that gradually filters through the soil--a natural process that cleans it before it reaches groundwater. (2021-02-19)

Biotechnologists developed an effective technology for nutrient biocapture from wastewater
Biotechnologists from RUDN University in collaboration with Lomonosov MSU and Kurchatov institute made an important contribution to the technology of phosphate and nitrate biocapture from wastewater using Lobosphaera algae fixed on the filters.The biomass obtained in the course of this process can be used as a fertilizer. (2021-02-19)

Researchers have proved that that ozone is effective in disinfecting Coronavirus
It is possible to destroy the virus within minutes by gaseous ozone, which can be produced synthetically indoors. The advantage of gaseous ozone over liquid disinfectants (such as alcohol and bleach) is its ability to treat entire rooms, including all objects found in it and hard-to-reach locations. (2021-02-17)

Hospital wastewater favors multi-resistant bacteria
Scientists from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden presents evidence that hospital wastewater, containing elevated levels of antibiotics, rapidly kills antibiotic-sensitive bacteria, while multi-resistant bacteria continue to grow. Hospital sewers may therefore provide conditions that promote the evolution of new forms of antibiotic resistance. (2021-02-16)

Method for temporal monitoring of microplastic sedimentation
Researchers in Finland have tested the sediment trap method to analyse the annual accumulation rates of microplastics in a body of water, and possible seasonal variation therein. The most important advantage of the method is that it can be used to determine the time it takes from microplastics to enter and accumulate in bodies of water. (2021-02-15)

The role of nanobacteria in the organic matter cycle in freshwater systems
A team of scientists including researchers from Baltic Federal University studied freshwater microorganisms that can pass through biological filters. These microorganisms are understudied but were believed to play an important role in the biosphere. However, experiments showed that they had only a minor impact on the cycle of dissolved organic matter. (2021-02-10)

Half of global wastewater treated, rates in developing countries still lagging
A new study by scientists at Utrecht University and the United Nations University concludes that about half of global wastewater is treated, rather than the previous estimate of 20%. Despite this promising finding, the authors warn that treatment rates in developing countries are still very low. The study and its dataset were published Open Access in the journal Earth System Science Data. (2021-02-08)

Standard water treatment eliminates enveloped viruses -- like the coronavirus
Among the many avenues that viruses can use to infect humans, drinking water may pose only a tiny risk for spreading certain viruses like the coronavirus. However, in cases where there is unauthorized wastewater disposal or other events of inadvertent mixing of wastewater with water sources, the possibility of transmission through drinking water remains unknown. (2021-02-03)

Study finds water quality improvements in Maryland's Choptank River
The Chesapeake Bay has a long history of nutrient pollution resulting in degraded water quality. However, scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are reporting some improvements in the Choptank River on Maryland's Eastern Shore, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay that is often used as a model for progress in restoring the estuary. (2021-01-26)

Targeted coating improves graphene oxide membranes for nanofiltration
A research group led by Prof. WAN Yinhua from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a stable graphene oxide nanofiltration membrane with uniform pore size to remove organic micropollutants. (2021-01-22)

Sequencing of wastewater useful for control of SARS-CoV-2
Viral genome sequencing of wastewater can detect new SARS-CoV-2 variants before they are detected by local clinical sequencing, according to a new study reported in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The ability to track SARS-CoV-2 mutations in wastewater could be particularly useful for tracking new variants, like the B.1.17 strain that is now widespread in the U.K. and has already been introduced in the US. (2021-01-19)

Scientists present novel approach for monitoring freshwater health
Researchers have used the world's smallest, smartphone-sized DNA sequencing device to monitor hundreds of different bacteria in a river ecosystem. (2021-01-19)

Eliminating microplastics in wastewater directly at the source
A research team from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has developed a process for the electrolytic treatment of wastewater that degrades microplastics at the source. The results of this research have been published in the Environmental Pollution journal. (2021-01-18)

New tool removes chemotherapy drugs from water systems
'What goes in, must come out' is a familiar refrain. It is especially pertinent to the challenges facing UBC researchers who are investigating methods to remove chemicals and pharmaceuticals from public water systems. Cleaning products, organic dyes and pharmaceuticals are finding their ways into water bodies with wide-ranging negative implications to health and the environment, explains Dr. Mohammad Arjmand, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UBC Okanagan. (2021-01-18)

Electron-producing microbes power sustainable wastewater treatment
WSU researchers have developed a sustainable wastewater treatment system that relies on electron-producing microbial communities to clean the water. The work could someday lead to reduced reliance on the energy-intensive processes that are used to move and treat wastewater, which accounts for as much as two percent of the total electrical energy consumption in the United States. (2020-12-17)

'Peecycling' payoff: Urine diversion shows multiple environmental benefits when used at city scale
Diverting urine away from municipal wastewater treatment plants and recycling the nutrient-rich liquid to make crop fertilizer would result in multiple environmental benefits when used at city scale, according to a new University of Michigan-led study. (2020-12-15)

Salt-tolerant bacteria with an appetite for sludge make biodegradable plastics
The United States generates seven million tons of sewage sludge annually, enough to fill 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools. While a portion of this waste is repurposed for manure and other land applications, a substantial amount is still disposed of in landfills. In a new study, Texas A&M University researchers have uncovered an efficient way to use leftover sludge to make biodegradable plastics. (2020-12-14)

'Sparkling' clean water from nanodiamond-embedded membrane filters
Although most of the planet is covered by water, only a fraction of it is clean enough for humans to use. Therefore, it is important to recycle this resource whenever possible. Current purification techniques cannot adequately handle the very hot wastewater generated by some industries. But now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have embedded amine-enhanced nanodiamond particles into membranes to address this challenge. (2020-12-09)

NUS engineers discover new microbe for simpler, cheaper and greener wastewater treatment
Researchers from NUS have discovered a new strain of bacterium that can remove both nitrogen and phosphorous from sewage wastewater. Their findings offer a simpler, cheaper and greener method of wastewater treatment. (2020-12-08)

SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater solids could help monitor COVID-19 spread
Scientists have analyzed compounds in wastewater to gauge various aspects of public health, including narcotics usage, antibiotic resistance, and, more recently, the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology have discovered that measuring SARS-CoV-2 in settled solids from sewage treatment plants could be a more sensitive approach than measuring the virus in wastewater flowing into the facilities. (2020-12-07)

Wastewater testing for COVID-19
A new wastewater testing approach capable of better detecting viral infection patterns in communities could prove a crucial step toward an informed public health response to diseases like COVID-19. (2020-12-07)

New material 'mines' copper from toxic wastewater
A team of scientists led by Berkeley Lab has designed a new material -- called ZIOS (zinc imidazole salicylaldoxime) -- that targets and traps copper ions from wastewater with unprecedented precision and speed. The technology offers the water industry and the research community the first blueprint for a water-remediation technology that scavenges heavy metal ions with a measure of control that far surpasses the current state of the art. (2020-11-24)

Antibiotic resistance surveillance tools in Puerto Rican watersheds after Hurricane Maria
Virginia Tech researchers and international collaborators have further developed an innovative antibiotic resistance surveillance approach by applying DNA sequencing techniques to detect the spread of disease in watersheds impacted by large-scale storms. (2020-11-18)

Biochar from agricultural waste products can adsorb contaminants in wastewater
Biochar -- a charcoal-like substance made primarily from agricultural waste products -- holds promise for removing emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals from treated wastewater. That's the conclusion of a team of researchers that conducted a novel study that evaluated and compared the ability of biochar derived from two common leftover agricultural materials -- cotton gin waste and guayule bagasse -- to adsorb three common pharmaceutical compounds from an aqueous solution. (2020-11-16)

Water fleas on 'happy pills' have more offspring
Dopamine can trigger feelings of happiness in humans. Water fleas that are exposed to dopamine-regulating substances apparently gain several advantages. (2020-10-29)

Waste not, want not: recycled water proves fruitful for greenhouse tomatoes
In the driest state in the driest continent in the world, South Australian farmers are acutely aware of the impact of water shortages and drought. So, when it comes to irrigation, knowing which method works best is vital for sustainable crop development. (2020-10-29)

Reduction by reduction: Novel approach to mitigating chromium contamination in wastewater
Chromium in its hexavalent state (Cr(VI)) is a major water pollutant. It can be treated, however, by converting it into the less toxic trivalent chromium or Cr(III) via 'reduction.' While several methods to facilitate this reduction exist, they are costly and restrictive. Now, scientists have come up with a technique to achieve efficient Cr(VI) reduction with a photocatalytic system in water. This method not only is cost-effective but also has direct applications in wastewater treatment. (2020-10-28)

Fish exposed to even small amounts of estrogen produce fewer males
UC assistant professor Latonya Jackson conducted experiments with North American freshwater fish called least killifish. She found that fish exposed to estrogen in concentrations of 5 nanograms per liter in controlled lab conditions had fewer males and produced fewer offspring. Scientists have found estrogen at as much as 16 times that concentration in streams adjacent to sewage treatment plants. (2020-10-23)

SwRI researchers evaluate impact of wastewater systems on Edwards Aquifer
Southwest Research Institute developed an integrated hydrologic computer model to evaluate the impact of different types of wastewater disposal facilities on the Edwards Aquifer, the primary water source for San Antonio and its surrounding communities. The research results will guide authorities on what actions to take to protect the quality and quantity of water entering the aquifer. (2020-10-20)

Sludge-powered bacteria generate more electricity, faster
A new electroactive bacterium could help fuel wastewater treatment reactors. (2020-10-19)

CRISPR-induced immune diversification in host-virus populations
Just like humans, microbes have equipped themselves with tools to recognize and defend themselves against viral invaders. In a continual evolutionary battle between virus and host, CRISPR-Cas act as a major driving force of strain diversity in host-virus systems. (2020-10-19)

Just add water: Biodiversity resurgence in effluent-fed desert riverbeds
Innovative new projects using effluent to restore flow in rivers, like the Santa Cruz River Heritage Project, are showing almost immediate positive biodiversity effects, and the return of species (such as dragonflies, mayflies and caddisflies) to these rivers after very long dry spells can be incredibly fast. (2020-09-21)

The persistence of plastic
The amount of synthetic microfiber we shed into our waterways has been of great concern over the last few years, and for good reason: Every laundry cycle releases in its wastewater tens of thousands of tiny, near-invisible plastic fibers whose persistence and accumulation can affect aquatic habitats and food systems, and ultimately our own bodies in ways we have yet to discover. (2020-09-16)

How to harness the power of biosolids to make hydrogen
New technology uses biosolids to drive the chemical reactions needed to produce hydrogen from biogas. The circular economy approach means all the materials needed for hydrogen production could be sourced on-site at a wastewater treatment plant, without the need for expensive catalysts. (2020-09-14)

New process for efficient removal of steroid hormones from water
Micropollutants contaminate the water worldwide. Among them are steroid hormones that cannot be eliminated efficiently by conventional processes. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed an innovative filtration system that combines a polymer membrane with activated carbon. The improved method is reported in Water Research (DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2020.116249). (2020-09-07)

The widespread footprint of blue jean microfibers
With many people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, blue jeans are a more popular wardrobe choice than ever. But most people don't think about microscopic remnants of their comfy jeans and other clothing that are shed during laundering. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology Letters have detected indigo denim microfibers not only in wastewater effluent, but also in lakes and remote Arctic marine sediments. (2020-09-02)

SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected in untreated wastewater from Louisiana
A group of scientists have detected genetic material from SARS-CoV-2 in untreated wastewater samples collected in April 2020 from two wastewater treatment plants in Louisiana, USA. (2020-08-25)

Could COVID-19 in wastewater be infectious?
Bar-Zeev, and his postdoc student, Anne Bogler, together with other renowned researchers, indicate that sewage leaking into natural watercourses might lead to infection via airborne spray. Similarly, treated wastewater used to fill recreational water facilities, like lakes and rivers, could also become sources of contagion. Lastly, fruits and vegetables irrigated with wastewater that were not properly disinfected could also be an indirect infection route. (2020-08-24)

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