It seems that not a week goes by without news stories about the world’s water crisis.
If you have not followed it closely here are some eye-opening facts:
It is estimated that India will run out of water by 2050
Chinese water demand will exceed supply by 25% in 2030, while most of China has less water than the Middle East
The Arab World is depleting non-renewable water supplies
Europe imports hundreds of billions of cubic meters of water per year
Across the world, we are faced with pressing water problems with 3.2 billion people living under severe water distress
Why is this happening? One reason is that wastewater is killing our drinking water.
In fact, nearly 4/5 of all sewage is dumped into our water supply, and untreated water makes up 80% of water pollution.
Even here in the US, we are far from exempt from issues. The US recycles only 1% of its wastewater, and many areas, like California, are facing droughts.
In fact, on Aug 17, 2021, Reuters reported that, “U.S. declares first Western reservoir water shortage, triggering cuts.”
When you consider situations like the Flint water crisis in Michigan, it’s clear we aren’t holding up to the standards that we should be.
Unfortunately, much of the big, centralized water infrastructure we have in the US was built in the 1950s to serve a very different world.
As we’ve grown and expanded as a country, the water industry has fallen behind, with government contribution to water infrastructure dropping from 63% to only 9%.
Unable, and at times unwilling, to take and treat the wastewater from industries and even housing developments, municipalities have left residents on their own. The cities are simply saying, “Sorry, we can’t help you.”
Take mobile home parks. Back in 2020, OriginClear® (our water solution partner) was approached by the owners of a mobile home park in Troy, Alabama. They informed OriginClear that because they were outside city limits and with no municipality to send their sewage to, they were stranded with a wastewater problem they couldn’t solve.
They were allowed to discharge via a runoff into the groundwater, but only if they met certain bacteria reduction levels, yet they no longer could.
OriginClear quickly learned that mobile home parks throughout the south have very crude sanitation. Excrement goes into a wastewater lagoon and essentially just sits there. That’s it.
If you’ve ever driven past a mobile home park in the south and noticed a peculiar green pond, that, unfortunately, is what you were seeing.
This is a classic example of what decentralized wastewater utilities looked like 50 years ago. Not the standard you expect in the 21st century.
If you don’t have access to a public sewer, as is the case for many mobile home parks, you must provide your own onsite wastewater treatment prior to disposing of your wastewater.
Recently, the State of Alabama imposed certain improvements and permit requirements. The Departments of Environmental Protection in Alabama and elsewhere are trying to upgrade everything, and they’re requiring landlords to do something about it.
Unfortunately, there was no solution for the mobile home parks impacted by the changes.
They were going to have to build something themselves—a task they weren’t prepared for. After all, they aren’t in the business of wastewater treatment. They aren’t alone.
More and more businesses are being forced to do their own wastewater treatment. The central infrastructure is overwhelmed in this country and elsewhere, which is creating forced decentralization.
For this mobile home park—and we hope many to come—the genius Chief Engineer from OriginClear, Dan Early, solved the problem. With authority.
The Pondster™ 30K biofilm bioreactor system on location in Alabama.
It’s called the Pondster, short for Pond Monster. It utilizes their Modular Water Systems™ technology that creates on-site, drag-in, drag-out solutions that are exceptionally suitable to decentralized clients.
For the Pondster, OriginClear utilizes a highly porous, low temperature fired ceramic that can hold 80% of its volume in water. Imagine a coral reef in all these surfaces, and the dirty water comes through, and the bacteria eats it away.
If you had a 12” x 12” x 12” cube of this lightweight material, it would have an effective surface area of 900,000 square feet per cubic foot!
The new Pondster is a game changer for commercial and residential businesses that employ waste ponds
It’s an affordable, containerized, “Pond Water Machine in a Box™”
It’s designed and built for roll-in and roll-out deployment
Requires low maintenance
Delivers quick results
It’s a brilliant solution with a wonderfully simple execution that will allow these mobile home parks to take responsibility for their own wastewater treatment. They won’t be faced with issues with the city or find themselves stuck with dangerous wastewater.
Most importantly, it’s good for the environment.
With the next-generation methodology and the treatment capabilities in the Pondster system, OriginClear will be able to deliver much more cost-effective treatment solutions and equipment packages to those decentralized customers who need it.
Moreover, these systems are designed to last as much as a hundred years.
It’s really a cornerstone piece of equipment because we see it being essential for several different real estate-oriented markets:
HOA developments and
Developers that have water features onsite
And then of course, we even have an application for the agricultural industry, for animal farms and similar locations, which account for a lot of environmental pollution.
People that essentially use open pit lagoons and ponds, often to house some form of wastewater.
This creates an opportunity to clean that water and make it appropriate for discharge or for reuse. That is no small impact.
When it comes to wastewater treatment, we believe the decentralized world is the future.
Not just for the many mobile home parks that need it but for the numerous businesses faced with similar issues.
This is only the beginning of a massive, much needed shift, and we are on the frontlines ready to help.
PhilanthroInvestors combines traditional venture capital financing tools with philanthropic principles to achieve social impact. By secure, meaningful, and profitable investments, they bring capital and also change people’s lives.
PhilanthroInvestors are currently working in four sectors – Housing, Water, Health and Environment – and will be adding more investment sectors in the future. PhilanthroInvestors founder Ivan Anz owns companies on three continents and has investors in 14 countries.