Integrated Water Strategies (IWS) has developed a design to recycle water to make it reusable. The website http://waterrecycling.com/ is a front-end of their company showing various services that the company offers in the field of water recycling. A basic theme that the company promotes is the education of the need for clean and pure water, while their methodology to recycle water is to use multiple filtration systems to treat the water.
IWS is an organization that uses stormwater, wastewater, greywater, and rainwater to re-use for irrigational or greening purposes. The company creates landscapes, wetlands, etc. to filter the water naturally or through filtering stations for repeated usage. The company builds a Designed Ecosystem that can do most processes naturally on-site by mechanically filtering and by biologically and chemically exterminating pollutants in the wastewater stream. For stormwater, the company develops channels through which the ground runoff water gets either irrigated or stored in ponds or reservoirs for future use.
Natural Wetlands have been filtering and purifying water since olden times. Our ecology is such that it has its own cycle that works itself without human interference. For example, the natural wetlands soak runoff water from rains, ice melts before it can enter the streams. During its soaking process, nutrients are absorbed, contaminants are extracted through the extensive roots and microbe system in plants. Upland areas, low marshes, and high marshes perform filtration and treatment of nitrogen after which the water goes into the stream and rivers are effectively cleaned.
Conventional water treatment is a process involving three steps. The primary step is to separate the solids from the liquids. Solids like sediment or metals increase the turbidity of water making it slower to flow while even higher levels of total suspended solids can cloud the water and thus prevent light and oxygen from reaching aquatic life. Filtration makes it easier to remove such solids from liquids while the solids remain in the system till they break down. The secondary step is to use aerobic bacteria to help the organic matter and contaminants break down. The last step is most cost-intensive since here the removal of nutrients from the water takes place. This is an important step to protect the water from algae or eutrophication which tends to bloom as the water goes downstream. Nitrogen treatment requires a two-step nitrification-denitrification process.
Vegetation from treated water is an important part of water treatment and reuse. Treated water is even better as compared to normal water for trees, shrubs, flowers, etc. The most important part of this vegetation is the production of tiny microbes that eat pollutants and convert them into harmless gases. The diversity of plant type also plays a major role in efficient treatment where extensive colonies of microbes can foster.
Specifically Integrated Water Strategies mimic the natural cleaning process by creating their own ecosystem to clean wastewater just like it is done naturally. This design ‘for the nature by nature’ is effective in providing an environmentally sensitive alternative to conventional wastewater management.
IWS (2009). . Web.