Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day

First Earth Day Facts

First Earth Day  -  April 22, 1970

Original Mission  -  Nationwide Protests  -  Estimated 20 million people staged protests of industrial pollution at different sites around the country

Founder  -  US Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin

Nelson Quote  -  "Earth Day planned itself," which is probably why it has continued uninterrupted for 46 years with its own voice of protest and call to action as well as a life that has become a formidable force for conservation and environmental safety

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cashing in on Water

After a long series of posts on suppliers of water infrastructure, from fire hydrants to filters and from taps to treatments, it is now time to look at the companies selling water.  The majority of water utilities is owned by municipalities and is beyond the reach of investors.  However, there is a clutch of publicly traded companies that peddle water as a business. 

Which water utilities make sense to return hungry and risk wary investors?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Xogen Puts Toxic Genie Back in Bottle

Mining companies and industrial processors have a common fear:  that water seeps away from their environs, stealing away with toxic chemicals and metals used in their businesses.  It is called ‘leachate’ and it threatens both surface and ground water.  In the U.S. mining accounts for about 1% of water usage, while in Canada miners use about 4% of water.  Nonetheless, mine processes often involve highly toxic chemicals, including mercury, ammonium nitrate, cyanide, nitric acid and sulfuric acid.  Leftovers or ‘tailings’ from mining operations are often piled up in the open for years as process water and rainwater filter through, taking some of these chemicals along with metal solids along with it. 

Municipalities and other landfill owners have a similar problem.  Rain falling on the top of landfill begins the process of ‘leaching.’  Dissolved and suspended solids from the partially degraded wastes turn into a stream of black liquid.  The U.S. Geological Survey completed a study of twenty-two landfills in the U.S.  Leachate samples were determined to hold 101 of 190 ‘contaminants of concern’ (CECs) such as pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, household chemicals, and hormones.  CECs were found in EVERY leachate sample at levels ranging from 2.0 nanograms per liter to 17,200 nanograms per liter.

The need to ‘put the toxic genie back in the bottle’ could not be more acute.  The series on water is continued to highly one more company that poised to do just that for a community in upstate New York. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Water Gleaners

There are well over 3,000 companies around the world that are involved in some element of wastewater treatment, providing a broad mix of technology, equipment or engineering services to generators and collectors of fouled water.  A small group in this wide field is gaining visibility  -  the ‘water gleaners.’  Like the peasant women picking up stray grains of wheat left behind in the empty field of Millets famous painting, some see value in effluents, sewage and run-off.  In this post we look at three small-companies with novel technologies to harvest water.