A persistent drought in the western cape of South Africa since 2015 has Cape Town likely to run out of water in the coming weeks. You can imagine how this is impacting on their businesses including how they pay their staff. The awareness of such events however is not new and it’s discussed in global events like the World Water Forum which is an event focused on issues about water including supply, sanitation, access and the sharing of shared visions and solutions. The first world water forum event was in held in Marrakech, Morocco in 1997 and 500 people attended. Now held every three years in different locations around the world, the event’s popularity attracts 30,000+ people attending the expo and fair.
Water is a big topic for businesses too and it’s discussed a lot online by experts, academia, consultants and the general public. The sharing of news and views is inspiring and with dedicated online discussion forums, and blogs for more niche topics of discussion like those found on fluksaqua.com there are channels for communication on just about anything to do with water.
An online collaborative platform
The main objective of the fluksaqua water forums is to discuss anything related to drinking water and wastewater management. Academic research and expert opinions are shared and adopted which helps spread awareness to a great extent on key issues and challenges. There are many examples where the water-related concerns have been addressed successfully and provided positive motivation for further sharing and collaboration.
Fluksaqua water forums are designed by and for water utility professionals and offer abundant access to the tools & data, and articles which have been published in journals. There is also access to professional lectures, educational resources, e-books, glossaries, calculators, images, graphs, and statistics. The original copyrighted contents, as well as the links that lead to an appropriate resource, can be availed from these forums. For the more nerdy amongst us here are samples of discussion in the water forums:
1. Water Treatment Method. Water treatment mode for the purpose of reaching the best suiting method depending on the organizational need and ability to fund the project. A usual question raised is: What is the intended end-use of the water in your organization? And reply being: If it is drinking water for the staff members, a method that will ensure the removal of suspended solid particles, bacteria, fungi, iron and chemical pollutants from the water will fit best.
2. Piping. Choosing the best piping properties is also vital for an organization. The quality of piped water can at times depend on the piping system, passage and mode of delivery. For instance, drinking water piping cannot be similar to industrial water piping for cooling purposes. A stainless steel pipe is recommended for drinking water passage but cooling purposes can do with iron or copper pipes.
3. Chlorine disinfection technology. Chlorine disinfection technologies are available in many varieties. The preference of any method can be done considering their strengths and drawbacks. It is the organization’s responsibility to know which technology best suits their water treatment plant. The organization needs to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the technology to reach an appropriate method. Some of these technologies include:
- On-site generation chlorine gas
- Ozone (on-site generation)
The basis of choice should be upon examination of complexity of its operation, by-product formation, risks concerned and relative cost to be incurred.
4. Water Breaks. For a complex system of piping, unexpected flooding may occur within the system with unknown exact point of breakage or source. This may go unnoticed for quite a while with regular experience of abnormal flow of water. To avoid this, the organization can install some leakage detection methodologies like hydrostatic testing, infrared or laser technology. Some of this methods are extremely expensive to sustain and there can be applied where the organization is able to fund them.
5. Water Resource Recovery Facility. Wastewater treatment system (WWTS) should be chosen bearing in mind the consequences of not choosing an appropriate system which are more severe than just sustaining one. Poor WWTS can potentially cause harm to the environment and human health which can incur heavy fines and even closure of your business. Factors to consider before choosing a WWTS are:
- Wastewater characterizations of the plant and
- The results of a wastewater treatability study test.
When all these factors are put into consideration, the business will largely benefit because failure to pay attention to them may cause the business additional incurrences that may be worse than what could sustain the whole facility. The benefit of holding a forum will help the organization enjoy variety of benefits:
- Clean and safe water for drinking by staff members hence increasing the level of trust for employees to their employer.
- Consistent flow of water that will ensure no dragging of any process that is dependent to the water flow. and
- Of course save your organization from incurring unnecessary additional cost of fines, for poor environmental conduct.
While this online discussion forum offers channels for communication, collaboration and extensive resources specifically for drinking water and wastewater management specific professionals, it’s just one example of how businesses are keen create a culture within their organisations that motivates their employees to share ideas and solutions for managing this scare resource with everyone, even their competitors.