For many people, it feels like we have an unlimited supply of water on this planet, especially living near the Great Lakes. However, our supply of water is finite. The water that we drink and bathe in today is the same water that the dinosaurs drank. It has been recycled, re-used, frozen and thawed for millions of years. This process of re-use doesn’t really become a problem until you introduce contaminants that nature can’t filter out. I’m talking about pharmaceuticals.
Drugs in our drinking water is a growing concern as our use of drugs continues to increase and our methods of wastewater treatment do not fully remove these drugs from the water (Crowe, 2014). That means your hormone pills and your neighbour’s anti-depressants or blood thinners are running into the sewer and then out into our rivers and lakes. When we need water to drink and wash, where do we get it? Often, it’s from the very same rivers and lakes in which we dump our treated sewage. Since wastewater processes don’t completely remove these contaminants, their concentration gradually increases.
In 2012, male fish in the Grand River were discovered by University of Waterloo researchers to be carrying large, visible eggs in their bodies. Researchers have directly linked this problem to the location of these fish, downstream from a sewage treatment plant (Imrie, 2012).
As governments continue to research the issue and consider possible solutions (that may take decades to implement) it’s up to the informed individual to make their own good choices when it comes to water.
In the summer of 2015, ESIL Water Treatment Limited (that’s us) conducted research on the removal of pharmaceuticals from highly contaminated water using our electrolytic water treatment system. We used a prepared sample with known contaminants. We ran the contaminated water through our single cell, under-counter home system and took a sample immediately after the treatment.
Results were amazing. 10 out of 11 chemicals were no longer detectable by the lab equipment and one chemical that was still detectable had been reduced by 99.5%. This is really great performance with a contaminant, like drugs, that is very difficult to remove. Another benefit: while the drugs are removed in our treatment process, the naturally occurring minerals remain to leave the water naturally balanced.
If you would like to view a copy of our lab results, they’re available online at www.esilwater.com/research.html
We’re cleaning up the world’s water, one glass at a time.
- Jeanette B.
ESIL Water Treatment Limited.
1. Crowe, Kelly. (2014, September 22). Drinking water contaminated by drugs a growing concern. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/drinking-water-contaminated-by-excreted-drugs-a-growing-concern-1.2772289
2. Imrie, David. (2012, October 5). Male fish in Grand River show female traits. CTV Kitchener. Retrieved from http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/male-fish-in-grand-river-show-female-traits-1.985586#
Bryan is the President of ESIL Water Treatment Ltd. and has worked in water treatment for 20 years. He has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and is a designated Professional Engineer.