News Items

New method for water filtration (Posted 16/01/2020)
Workers in the USA have developed networks of artificial membranes which could prove useful for separating salt from water, a filtration process that is currently inefficient and costly. The new membrane has shown impressive desalination properties, exhibiting far more selective salt and presumably other contaminant removal when compared with existing processes. The method is a thousand times more efficient than current desalination processes in terms of its selectivity and permeability.

Identification of sources of faecal pollution (Posted 09/01/2020)
106 samples from 4 sources were collected in 5 European regions and 30 faecal indicators and source tracking markers were evaluated, including E. coli, enterococci, clostridia, bifidobacteria, somatic coliphages, host-specific bacteria, human viruses, host mitochondrial DNA, host-specific bacteriophages and artificial sweeteners. Models based on linear discriminant analysis (LDA) able to distinguish between human and non-human faecal pollution and identify faecal pollution of several origins were developed and tested with 36 additional laboratory-made samples. With 5 variables the model correctly classified all the fresh faecal samples from 4 different sources.

Novel water purification process - the first example of magnetic polyoxometalate‐supported ionic liquid phases (magPOM‐SILPs) and their use in water purification. (Posted 09/01/2020)
The magPOM‐SILP composite is composed of a superparamagnetic iron oxide (Fe2O3, hematite) core encased in a porous silica shell and is capable of removing organic, inorganic, microbial, and microplastic pollutants from water using a range of target‐specific removal modes. High removal efficiencies are reported.

Strengthening drinking-water surveillance using risk-based approaches (Posted 09/01/2020)
WHO has released a publication which provides a rationale for decision-makers to promote and support uptake of risk-based approaches in regulations and surveillance practice. It has been designed around six key messages that underlie the concept of risk-based approaches in drinking-water surveillance and is supported by practical examples for illustration purposes.

Impacts of water quality on the corrosion of cast iron pipes (Posted 09/01/2020)
Switch of source water in iron mains may induce “red water” episodes. This study investigated the impacts of water quality on iron release, dissolved oxygen consumption (ΔDO), corrosion scale evolution and bacterial community succession in cast iron pipes. The paper proposes a water switch strategy to minimse risk of discolouration.

Antimicrobial resistance in groundwater (Posted 09/01/2020)
A review of 70 peer-reviewed studies found that 80.2% ± 29.0 and 57.2% ± 36.8 of aggregated groundwater isolates were resistant to ≥1 and ≥3 antimicrobials, respectively. Where bacteria were present, antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) were identified in 76.9% ± 33.7 of individual wells and springs. The reviewers consider that their results leave little doubt that groundwater represents a major global reservoir for ARB.

Formation and removal of disinfection byproducts (Posted 03/01/2020)
Having developed high sensitivity simple methods for the analysis of trihalomethanes (THM4), iodinated-trihalomethanes (I-THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs), bromide, iodide and iodate,these workers showed that in a full-scale treatment plant I-THMs were constantly formed independently of iodine concentration. They also showed that bromoacetic acid accounts for 60% of the relative toxicity of 17 DBPs.

Reluctance to accept recycled water. (Posted 03/01/2020)
An interesting Californian study has shown that consumers may accept the safety of, and need for, recycling of water, but are still reluctant to accept it because of “disgust” at the reality.