Living things need clean water to survive. As the world continues to generate waste, there are concerns about having enough water to drink and use for purposes such as farming and cooking. Recently Bill Gates bravely drank water made from burned sewage, raising questions about the possibility of drinking wasterwater in the future.
The founder of Microsoft posted a link on his Facebook page showing him drinking distilled water. The water he sipped was distilled from a Janicki Omniprocessor, a project Gates has invested in. The hope is that it can be used in developing countries.
The unique machine produces steam and ash. The steam is distilled into water that is presumably suitable for human consumption. Grand Forks Herald reports Bill Gates drinks the water and seems to survive the experience.
This project would be a possible solution for areas of the world that do not have developed sanitation systems. The machine eliminates waste while creating a fresh water supply.
Concerns about having enough water to go around are real. Science Daily reported on new research that indicated there will not be enough water to meet demand by 2040 if the power and energy situation does not improve by that time.
Going green is more than a catch phrase as people consider how to save energy, safely eliminate waste and ensure there is enough clean and fresh water to go around.
Wastewater is often treated through the conscientious use of certain chemicals. In many instances, this water is used for purposes such as watering golf courses and turf.
Beyond the effective use of chemicals to treat wastewater, technology exists to treat wastewater including advanced sanitary filters and strainers. Major obstacles are a lack of regulations and the public wariness about turning toilet water into tap water.
Currently there are no regulations in place in the United States to drink wastewater. Regulations would need to be developed to implement the technologies that could transform wastewater into a fresh water supply.
While Gates’ video seems simple, the process of cleaning wasterwater actually requires a series of steps. Solids need to be removed through strainers. Smaller solids would be eliminated in a swirling vortex chamber.
The aerobic reactors would add oxygen to dissolve more solids. The final step would be putting the treated water in tanks where any remains could be taken off the top.
Cities that suffer droughts are getting closer to direct reuse for purposes such as irrigation. The days of drinking toilet water could be closer than we think. After all, Bill Gates already did it and lived to share the experience.