New Mineral Sand Helps Transform Storm Sludge into Clean Water

Storm drains are notorious for carrying harmful pollutants directly into popular water sources. Engineers from the University of California, Berkeley created a solution to remove those pollutants and give stormwater new life. Rainy day problems Even in major cities, finding clean drinking water can prove problematic. Rainwater rushes over roofs, chemically-treated lawns, corroding metals, and animal poop. That water can overwhelm sewer systems, flooding streets, and basements with the harmful waste. Excessive pollution of water sources also forces local governments to spend more money treating water with fluoride and other chemicals before it can be safe for residents. And, most cities often discharge the extra polluted water into nearby rivers and streams to offset flooding, much to the detriment of a community’s flora and fauna, Now, a new creation from UC Berkeley uses a mineral-coated sand to rid water of organic pollutants. The researchers hope it could significantly reduce toxic chemicals in stormwater that percolate into underground aquifers. This would ultimately bring more water into ‘parched’ urban communities. "The way we treat stormwater, especially in California, is broken. We think of it as a pollutant, but we should be thinking about it as a solution," said Joseph Charbonnet, a […]

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