Elisabeth Lisican is editor-in-chief of Water & Wastes Digest. Lisican can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1012.
When most people think of the Olympic Games, they think of awe-inspiring stories of determination, stories of achieving the goal of a lifetime—and the promise the future can hold. They wonder what it must be like to go through such an intense level of preparation for one make-it-or-break-it chance.
As I watched the 2012 Olympics, I also found myself marveling at the level of preparation from an infrastructure standpoint. London’s Thames Water Old Ford Water Recycling Plant (WRP) was set up as a part of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) Sustainable Water Strategy, which had a target of reducing potable water consumption by 40%. The combined effect of all water saving measures achieved a 58% water use reduction, exceeding the target. It is the U.K.’s largest water recycling plant to date, treating 574 cu meters per day of wastewater from London’s northern outfall sewer, using membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology. According to the ODA, it will serve as a benchmark for future WRPs in this increasingly water-scarce region.
The U.K isn’t the only country that foresees increasing use of membrane technologies in its future. According to a study by The Freedonia Group released earlier this year, “Membrane Separation Technologies,” the demand for membranes in the U.S. is expected to increase 7.7% per year, swelling to $5.4 billion in 2016. Environmental regulations regarding water and wastewater streams will drive this growth.
Additionally, the study said, companies will increasingly purchase membrane separation systems either to replace conventional separation systems or to fill new fluid separation needs.
The industry has an exciting future ahead, and we are here to follow it every step of the way. Be sure to contact us at [email protected] to sound off on the trends you're noticing.