Today is World Water Day. On this day we reflect on the importance of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all. It is a day to celebrate water and raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water around the world. This year’s focus is groundwater, an invisible but extremely important resource that is vital for life.
Groundwater is found right below our feet, underground in aquifers – geological formations comprised of rocks, sand and gravel – that contain vast amounts of water, feeding streams, rivers and lakes before finally entering our oceans.
Most of our liquid freshwater comes from groundwater, and in the more arid parts of the world, life would simply not be possible without it.
The ghost of “forever chemicals”
One of the most pressing issues facing groundwater today is the prevalence of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These are “forever chemicals” that take thousands of years to degrade, being virtually indestructible. We use them every day in industrial activities and in consumables to ensure stain resistance, lubrication as well as water, oil and fat repulsion. We then dispose of these chemicals in waste that eventually finds its way into our groundwater and oceans.
Today, most people in industrialized nations have some amount of PFAS in their bodies. In the US it is estimated that 95% of the population have measurable concentrations in their blood. The longevity of these chemicals means that they will haunt us for generations to come.
The good news is that many nations have stopped the use of PFAS entirely, and the European Union, the European Chemicals Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency are pursuing action and regulations to combat the issues of PFAS.
Combating PFAS with NORWAFLOC®
At M Vest Water, we are tackling the issue directly with our newly developed environmentally friendly bioflocculant NORWAFLOC® which is an innovative combined flocculant and coagulant. Special NORWAFLOC® editions under development can capture dissolved components, low molecular toxins and colloids, catching particles smaller than any other known flocculant/coagulant (down to below 1nm). These special editions of NORWAFLOC® have been proven to remove a large number of the most common PFAS products. Removal can be achieved in most cases using existing water treatment installations in combination with the special edition of NORWAFLOC®, and we are now aiming to bring forth methods to cost-effectively remove PFAS from drinking water and wastewater.
Protecting our future
Today, groundwaters are increasingly being exposed to harmful pollutants and contaminants. If we are to ensure access to safe water for all in the future, we need potent solutions for effective water treatment.
Protecting this valuable resource from pollution and contaminants is essential to ensure access to safe water for all. At M Vest Water, we are dedicated to ensuring that our groundwaters remain pristine and free of pollutants for future generations. Today we work to ensure a safe tomorrow.