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Monthly News Round Up: April

Aquatiere have filtered through the news to bring you a monthly roundup of the latest headlines and developments in water filtration, treatment, and conservation.

Conservation

Spring kicked off with World Water Day on 22nd March. The theme this year was connected to changing how we use, consume and manage water. Not only as individuals in society, but also on a grander scale, urging businesses to think about their water use. Indeed, this is what the Water Action Agenda is all about. The World Water Day conference called for water saving commitments to be made both across industry and on a smaller scale in our own homes. Many industry giants have already subscribed to this and aim to be ‘water positive’ by 2030.

A month later and the theme of conservation continued with World Earth Day. The global awareness day took place on 22nd April, as it does every year. “Invest in our planet” was the theme for this year’s World Earth Day 2023. The aim is to raise awareness that everyone is accountable for the actions they take and subsequently, how they affect the planet. EarthDay.org has partnered with many organisations to help bring about opportunities to engage in eco-activism and to allow everyone to voice their opinions.

Sewage and pollution

Coinciding with these conservation awareness days was a whole host of news regarding water safety issues in the UK.

The Environment Agency has reported that, raw sewage was dumped into rivers and coastal areas more than 300,000 times in 2022. The overall number has fallen since 2020 official data has revealed. Sewage pollution from storm overflows has reduced by a fifth from the year before. However, spills reached an appalling 300,953, an equivalent to 824 spills a day. Improvements are continuing to be made by water firms to resolve the issues, but much more needs to be done.

A suspected incidence of pollution has caused hundreds of fish to die in a stretch of water near Richmond, North Yorkshire. Although the water has now started running clear, the cause of pollution still remains a mystery. Ecologists have taken samples to better understand how this incident will affect local wildlife.

Errors made by Cambridge Water led to toxic water affecting more than 1,000 homes in the Great Shelford and Stapleford areas. Fortunately the water containing high levels of PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances) did not the customers. Cambridge Water have since apologised and have “already taken steps to improve our processes.”

A UK ban on plastic-based wet wipes is hoped to go ahead in the next year. Wet wipes flushed down toilets contribute to 93% of sewer blockages and are costly to clear up. In 2021, 90% of wet wipes on the market contained plastic, which does not break down and blocks sewerage pipes. Although now there are biodegradable wet wipe alternatives, a total ban would help with reach the wider target of eliminating plastic waste.

Technology

The UK’s water system relies on efficient use of technology. Thousands of sensors are depended upon to alert water companies of pipe blockages and flooding risk. There are also complex data collection mechanisms in place to keep tabs on water quality. However, the antiquated sewerage pipelines are an issue and systems are in need of further improvement and investment.

To encourage forward thinking in the sector, Ofwat (the Water Services Regulation Authority) have set up a series of competitions. These will reward innovators in the field of water systems technology for coming up with new solutions to existing and future problems.

Aquatiere are also in the business of constant innovation and creation. Currently in the pipeline, we are developing floor standing versions of the Pureau units to make them easier to fit in kitchen units and tight spaces. We recognise that customers have different needs and are always looking for ways in which to better accommodate them. Watch this space for further news on this!

See you next month for May’s news round-up, for all things water conservation and innovation related…