One common measure of water quality is turbidity, which essentially serves as a test of the clarity of the water. Sites looking to measure turbidity with a trouble-free, reliable automatic system should consider the ATI turbidity monitor. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.
Gorman-Rupp has announced plans to acquire the National Pump Company later this fall. If approved by regulators, the addition should be very helpful to rounding out Gorman-Rupp's offerings for pumps in the drinking-water market, complementing the many offerings of their other subsidiary, the Patterson Pump Co. As representatives for both Gorman-Rupp and Patterson, we are excited to receive word of this acquisition and look forward to having access to an even broader range of pump offerings.
Usually when people talk about needing validation, they're talking about emotions -- but when water quality is involved, the use of multiple monitors for measuring water quality can be integrated with a control system to provide better validation of the water's safety. ATI has developed a "triple-validation" system, using three parallel monitors for parameters like pH and residual chlorine along with an integrating control system to overlook temporary fluctuations with individual monitors that may not reflect a real change in the system as a whole.
When disasters like the recent flooding in Pakistan strike, one of the main concerns is how to deliver fresh water to large numbers of people, especially when the regular systems for water delivery are damaged or destroyed. People can survive for a long time on limited food rations, but we simply can't go for more than a couple of days without drinking water. And as we witnessed in Haiti, water is easily contaminated after a disaster, since debris, bodily waste, and human and animal remains all get washed into streams and rivers. And in Pakistan, bad information and superstition are spreading by word of mouth and putting the health (and lives) of many people at risk. Unfortunately, water purification is challenging to achieve without boiling, chlorination, or ultraviolet disinfection units. That's why so much interest has been shown in technologies like the LifeStraw, which is a portable disinfection filter for personal use. Until everyone has routine access to
safe municipal drinking-water supplies, tools like the LifeStraw ought to be in pretty strong demand. For people in the US looking to enhance their own water security plans, we suggest taking a close look at UV disinfection systems and portable electric generators.
The latest newsletter of the Iowa Pork Producers focuses on safe manure pumping, which is of obvious interest to lots of Iowans and Nebraskans. Safety is essential when working with manure, which generates lots of methane -- an explosive gas, which can of course result in injury or death if mishandled.
Depending upon the consistency of the manure being pumped, and the environmental conditions in effect, pumps ranging from diaphragm pumps to centrifugal pumps with explosion-proof motors may be used for these kinds of applications. An informed user will carefully evaluate the conditions at hand before making any decisions about which to operate.
When products raised in water-rich places are created with that water, then shipped to water-poor places, it creates an exchange in "virtual water." Perhaps the most obvious example, aside from the bottled-water industry, is in agriculture, where water-thirsty crops are routinely exported around the world. Corn, for instance, is a water-thirsty crop, which is why Iowa (with a relatively abundant natural water supply and good precipitation characteristics) is a massive exporter of "virtual water" to the rest of the world. But in Peru, water supplies are reportedly being drained at a stunning rate in order to irrigate asparagus for export to places like the UK. According to a report from a British charity, the water use to raise asparagus in Peru is enough to threaten the drinking-water supplies for 300,000 people.
Water supplies will only become more important as a political issue in the future, both domestically and internationally. That's why we take such a great interest in ways to re-use water in place.
We often tell people that most "pump problems" aren't really problems with the pump, but rather with the system. Air entrainment is an excellent example of a system problem. When water from an elevated outfall (like a gravity sewer line several feet above the water line) splashes into the wetwell, it captures lots of air bubbles and mixes them, often to several feet of depth inside the wetwell. Mechanical aerators depend on exactly this kind of entrainment action to help aerate lagoons -- but in a wetwell, it's a common cause of headaches.
Air entrainment looks like this in action:
While some people might think that submersible pumps would be immune to the problem of air entrainment, they're quite wrong -- submersible pumps can become air-bound just like self-priming pumps. Air entrainment can be solved in a number of ways, including by the use of baffles or plates, and by raising the surface water elevation so that the water has less distance to fall -- and has greater distance from the pump's suction inlet. Air entrainment can also be addressed by the use of directional flanges on the suction line.
Septic systems obviously have their advantages -- they're good for places where homes are spaced too far apart to make centralized treatment economical, and they're far better than dumping untreated wastewater into creeks, rivers, and streams. Properly maintained, they're reasonably safe and environmentally friendly. But the wastewater passing through septic systems has to be disinfected -- either by chlorination or by ultraviolet light systems, to ensure that bacteria and pathogens aren't sent directly into the water that people use for drinking (and, near Malibu, for surfing). The California state ruling is interesting in that it's likely to impose a pretty significant expense on the residents of Malibu -- their willingness to pay, perhaps, revealing just how serious they are about truly doing something good for the environment.
The majority of Iowans are served by public water systems, and according to the CDC, almost 92% of Iowans served by those systems are receiving an optimal dose of fluoride, which helps to protect teeth and improve public health. That percentage places Iowa among the top ten states in the nation for those serving their communities with fluoridated water. Maryland takes the top position, with 99.8% of all residents on community water systems receiving fluoridated water. Nebraska falls in at #30, with 69.9% of residents on public water systems receiving the right dose of fluoride, though the state of Hawaii is far behind, at just 10.8%.
Though there are some very loud opponents to fluoridation, the American Water Works Association (America's largest trade group devoted to safe drinking water) has affirmed its support for the recommendations of the CDC, American Dental Association, and American Medical Association in support of fluoridation. Both too much and too little fluoride in the water can have detrimental effects, so fluoride monitors should be used to help ensure the optimal dose.