What You Can Learn About Water Treatment from the Flint Water Crisis

Flint water crisis

There are many places around the world where people do not have access to safe drinking water. Here in the U.S., we often take safe drinking water for granted. After all, if you are thirsty all you need to do is to turn on a tap and fill up your glass. What was once considered a basic need fulfilled, however, has been called into question ever since the Flint water crisis occurred.

We invited Dynamic Water Technologies to provide some analysis of the Flint water crisis and also explain the solutions it’s developed for safer water treatment. Dynamic Water Technologies is a commercial and industrial water treatment company that is committed to healthier water treatment that eliminates toxic chemical additives and reduces water use by improving resource management. Here is their guest post explaining how the crisis in Flint occurred and the solution they propose.

How Did the Flint Water Crisis Occur?

In 2014, the city of Flint switched to the Flint River as its drinking water source. Previously, the city had been using Detroit River water, which was cleaner and healthier.

The first sign that something was wrong was when residents began to complain about the color and taste of the water. It was later announced that total coliform bacteria and e.coli were being detected in the drinking water. To address this issue, officials simply added chlorine to the water as a disinfectant measure.

There was, however, no anti-corrosive agent added to the water, as well. It was perhaps this considerable amount of chlorine that led to the lead pipes that carried the water corroding even more quickly. Unfortunately, this was not discovered until much later. It was months after the fact that the residents were informed about the dangerous levels of lead in their systems because they’d been drinking the contaminated water.

Prior to the lead being discovered, there was still something for Flint to worry about. This was the presence of total trihalomethanes in the water supply. This dangerous substance occurs when chlorine combines with organic matter present in the supply. TTHM has long been considered a carcinogen. Despite being aware of the TTHM, officials were slow to make adequate changes.

Hundreds of People Suffer

It took a long time for people to get the answers that they wanted. When the dust settled, what became apparent was shocking. Through sheer oversight and the lack of necessary equipment, disaster descended upon Flint. Hundreds of people, including children, suffered because relevant safeguards were not in place.

What happened in Flint was a tragedy, but not completely unheard of. This is because when cities or corporations use outdated methods of water treatment, issues like corrosion and infection always arise. To prevent such problems from occurring in the future, communities, companies, and industries need to find a better way to cleanse and treat the water they drink.

The Solution to Future Water Problems

Flint water crisisThere are many innovators who witnessed the Flint water crisis and decided to create better, cleaner ways of giving people pure, fresh water. Companies like Dynamic Water Technologies have designed systems to ensure that the issues plaguing Flint become a thing of the past.

Essentially, what the company has come up with is an improved way of processed water treatment. This is an automated system that protects and improve water quality in two important and unique ways.

√ First, it balances the pH of the water. This is important because it is an imbalance of the pH that leads to corrosion. In turn, this is what causes metals like lead to leach into the water supply.

√ Second, there will be no more need to put any harmful chemicals into the supply with this system in place. Sanitation will be maintained, but there will be no use for disinfectants that are typically harmful to humans.

What is revolutionary about the methods that Dynamic Water have used is that it does not require external chemicals to kick start reactions.

Flint water crisisInstead, all that is done is that an electrical current is introduced into the water supply.

This is done with the help of electrodes that are made up of either iron or aluminum and situated in the supply.

When the current is passed, partial electrolysis of the water takes place. In turn, this causes the contaminants to approach a more stable state that tends to be more solid in nature.

The hydrophobic tendency of the new state of the contaminants will make them easier to remove from the supply. The contaminants that can be removed with this method include lead, mercury, chromate, and even domestic sewage.

These are easy alterations that water treatment facilities can implement within their current processes. In addition to helping to keep the supply clean, it will also help these facilities save money in the long run.

Of course, just because the solution exists does not mean that municipalities will use it. It is important for more people to be aware of modern water safety technologies that are currently available. With citizens advocating for safer, healthier water treatment, drinking water in every city in America can be protected.

NOTE: We believe it is important to bring additional sources of expertise to you so you can make better choices for yourself, your family and your community. We look forward to your feedback and will be happy to respond to requests for information on the issues you care about most.

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