According to the United Nations, over two billion people around the globe do not have access to potable water, with such conditions resulting in higher rates of disease, lower life expectancy and social and political strife.
Scientists from Russia's Tomsk Polytechnic University have created a new, compact, economical water treatment system which can help provide remote settlements with clean drinking water, the University's press service has announced.
According to researchers, the novelty of its water treatment system lies in its compact nature, which allows for purified water to be supplied directly into the water supply network, bypassing the need to pass through a large water treatment plant, which may require significant financial resources for operations and regular maintenance. Furthermore, the system is said not to use chemicals, nor expensive ozonation facilities.
"The unique nature [of our system] lies in its high resource efficiency, which considerably reduces the use of electricity and water, its compactness (the system is situated in an all-weather, vandalism-resistant and mobile box measuring 24 square meters), and its adaptiveness to varying water sources and various pollutants," Andrei Matveev, chief engineer at the university's ‘Clean Water' programme, explained.
"Moreover, the technology is fitted with a remote control and automation system on the basis of [similar] modern complexes," Matveev added.
Each treatment station is said to be designed for use based on the specific needs of the settlement where it is located. The complexes can be unified by a single dispatch system, which provides information to be received daily at a central location on the equipment's condition as well as its water and electricity consumption.
The stations are already said to be in use in areas of Russia, including northern areas where climactic conditions are severe. The Tomsk Polytechnic University-designed stations are said to have provided clean drinking water to thousands of rural residents, including in Tyumen region's Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Territory, and engineers believe their hardware is suitable for use in any country, under any climactic conditions.
Tomsk Polytechnic University launched the ‘Clean Water' programme in 2017, working to create resource-efficient technologies for freshwater purification and conservation. The university boasts many decades of experience in earth sciences and engineering, including hydro-engineering, geology, chemistry, the biologic of water, water treatment, and the management and protection of water resources.