Marc Edwards, Ph.D., notes that reduced-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and other well-intentioned water conservation efforts are allowing water to remain in household pipes longer. As water stagnates in pipes, it may develop undesirable characteristics and have unwanted effects on household plumbing, Edwards indicates.
He discusses the topic in “The Crisis in Clean Water: Water Purification,” the inaugural episode of Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions. That series of podcasts focuses on daunting global problems and how new discoveries from the labs of chemists and other scientists offer solutions. The topics include coping with climate change, combating disease, providing safe food, developing new fuels, preserving the environment, assuring personal safety and national security, and promoting public health.
Each podcast will be available without charge for listening on computers and downloading to portable audio devices at iTunes (requires iTunes software) and other podcasting sites. They also can be accessed on ACS’s Global Challenges web site. The site provides audio links and full transcripts of each podcast. Additional resources on each Global Challenges topic also are available, on the site, including information for consumers, students, and educators.
Debut of the first podcast coincides with publication of a special edition of Environmental Science & Technology, one of ACS’ 36 peer-reviewed scientific journals. It is devoted to global water issues. Key articles from the journal can be viewed without charge at [http://pubs3.acs.org/acs/journals/toc.page?incoden=esthag].
The podcast describes an increasingly serious global shortage of clean drinking water, which claims a huge toll in illness and death in developing countries. It presents examples of scientific research that are reducing that toll today, and promise to have further impact in the future. Global Challenges describes one, for instance, as “The Miracle Packet.” These pennies-a-piece packets work like a municipal water purification facility to kill germs, remove harmful substances, and make dirty water fit to drink.
Edwards emphasizes that people in the United States generally enjoy tap water of “very good” overall quality. One exception involves relatively small numbers of children exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water, he said.
Edwards describes newly emerging concerns, including tap water safety for individuals with weakened immune systems, home plumbing corrosion caused by water purification plants switching to chloramine disinfectant, and water stagnating in household pipes.
With consumers using less for flushing of toilets and showering, water sits in household pipes for longer periods, said Edwards, who is with Virginia Tech. Substances formed as chloramine breaks down can corrode plumbing, and have more time to do so when water stagnates.
Edwards indicated that stale water also can loose the disinfectant added at municipal water purification facilities, allowing bacteria to multiply. “So just like milk can go bad if it stays around too long, so too can potable water go bad, and we are discovering this is a downside of water conservation,” he said.
The next Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast, due in July, deals with advances in water desalination technology that promise to provide a drought-proof supply of fresh water from the sea.
The American Chemical Society — the world’s largest scientific society — is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
Charmayne Marsh | newswise
Tracing the evolution of vision
23.08.2019 | University of Göttingen
Caffeine does not influence stingless bees
23.08.2019 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Since their experimental discovery, magnetic skyrmions - tiny magnetic knots - have moved into the focus of research. Scientists from Hamburg and Kiel have now been able to show that individual magnetic skyrmions with a diameter of only a few nanometres can be stabilised in magnetic metal films even without an external magnetic field. They report on their discovery in the journal Nature Communications.
The existence of magnetic skyrmions as particle-like objects was predicted 30 years ago by theoretical physicists, but could only be proven experimentally in...
Theoretical physicists at Trinity College Dublin are among an international collaboration that has built the world's smallest engine - which, as a single calcium ion, is approximately ten billion times smaller than a car engine.
Work performed by Professor John Goold's QuSys group in Trinity's School of Physics describes the science behind this tiny motor.
Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.
Ion traps have proven to be a very successful technology for the control and manipulation of quantum particles. Today, they form the heart of the first...
Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics
The interaction between fields and matter is a recurring theme throughout physics. Classical cases such as the trajectories of one celestial body moving in the...
Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.
Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...
16.08.2019 | Event News
14.08.2019 | Event News
12.08.2019 | Event News
23.08.2019 | Medical Engineering
23.08.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.08.2019 | Life Sciences