While the challenges of groundwater pollution remain the same, the technology used to address them is changing. While the targets are still the same, the technologies used to address these challenges are becoming more sophisticated. To start, harder water requires more energy to treat. Furthermore, the technology used to treat it may require additional steps, such as pre-treatment. Similarly, if your community water system does not require a softener, you may not need blending or storage tanks.
The development of localized water treatment networks presents a significant opportunity for innovation. Localized water systems face a number of similar challenges and constraints. As a result, innovation should be tailored to address those unique characteristics. The challenges associated with small water treatment systems are the same as those of large-scale systems. This is because these systems have limited funding and rely on part-time operators.
For example, the NASA water purifier, which was specifically designed for use in space, has a large potential for other applications. It was originally created to be lightweight and low-power consuming and dispensed silver ions into the water supply, killing bacteria and algae in the process. The Electrolytic Silver Ion Cell, or ESIL, was later licensed to the company Carefree Clearwater, Ltd. Its electrolytic silver ion cell passes a small electrical current between two electrodes, which in turn breaks down enzymes and bacteria. The end result is pure water that can be consumed without the worry of contamination.