Aquatiere have filtered through the news to bring you a roundup of the headlines for June. Read on for the latest developments in water filtration, conservation and treatment.
A total of five toxic chemicals have been detected in the River Gipping in Suffolk recently. These chemicals do not occur naturally and are recent man-made concoctions as they were not manufactured earlier than 75 years ago. What’s more, one of the chemicals has been linked to certain cancers such as kidney and testicular cancer. Perfluorooctanoic Acid is also associated with the onset of diseases such as ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease and hypertension during pregnancy.
Calls have been made for stricter regulation of the disposal of chemicals used for everyday products. More efficient monitoring system pertaining to the health of our rivers and water systems is needed. These chemicals can last for years in the human body and the natural environment.
Science & Technology
It’s not all doom and gloom in the headlines. Even though pollution remains a problem, there are innovative thinkers out there trying to help us to avoid ecological disasters. One such pilot project is taking place in Devon, helping to improve the water quality of seaside resort Combe Martin.
Using sensors located in rivers and fields a proper assessment can be made about the state of local rivers, rainfall and soil. AI will then incorporate that data with satellite imagery describing how the land is used in that locality. Artificial Intelligence will then make predictions as to when local river systems are most vulnerable to pollution events. Requests will then be made asking farms to not use fertiliser during these times, to avoid incidents due to fertiliser run-off.
The project has already been rolled out in Devon, but the aim is to scale up and apply this technology across the country.
It may be long overdue but, there is a cultural shift towards reusable water bottles growing in the UK. Councils and companies are all for this change in attitude and are working alongside reusable bottle campaigners Refill. The Refill app points users towards their nearest refill stations and encourages people to reuse and reduce their plastic usage.
According to market research, back in 2015, just 20% of UK residents used a refillable water bottle, now that figure is almost at 60%. Councils in Sunderland, Norfolk, Cardiff and Hounslow are urging their residents to make the switch. Primary schools have been encouraging students to bring in reusable water bottles. The movement has even inspired high street favourites such as, Greggs, Costa Coffee and Neal’s Yard Remedies to take part and make the change to reusable containers.
As well as combatting plastic pollution and littering, carry a water bottle around promotes good hydration. Research shows that younger generations are much more knowledgeable about the importance of hydration whereas older people are more likely to be in a state of dehydration more often. Hopefully, the percentage of water bottle carriers increases, as we turn to reusable bottles, topping them up with fresh filtered water before we leave the house.
A hosepipe ban has been put in place due to water supply issues in Kent and Suffolk. South East Water stated that there was an extremely high demand for drinking water this month. Similar levels were recorded during last year’s drought. Approximately 4,000 customers have been left without water or have been experienced low pressure due to supply issues. Such was the demand for water that it had broken previous records, including during periods of lockdown and heatwaves.
UK residents supplied with water from South East Water are urged to restrict their water usage by only using water for essential purposes. Using water to wash cars, fill swimming pools and water gardens is prohibited during this time and will result in a fine. The hosepipe ban is still in place until further notice.
Free Water Butt
To help you save water and use it sustainably, you could get yourself a water storage tank. The good news is that some UK residents could be eligible for a free water butt. Check out the site Save Water Save Money and put in your postcode for a freebie or at least subsidised water saving products.
More on the subject of water conservation. Visitors to the St Kilda’s in Scotland are now urged to bring their own drinking water with them. As the remote archipelago has been experiencing some record-breaking dry weather, the island’s supply is under threat. The water on St Kilda, which is a protected UNESCO heritage site, comes from natural springs. National Trust for Scotland (NTS) helps manage the island. They have stated that the water supply was at its lowest level in 15 years. Indeed, Scotland as a whole has been experiencing unprecedented hot weather this month and many areas have been issued with a water scarcity alert.
That’s all for this month’s round-up. Check back in July, for drought alerts, conservation news and new technology updates…