Groundwater Contamination Crisis
Groundwater provides one-third of the world’s drinking water, and contamination is a growing issue, with health impacts more widespread than previously realized. More than half of Americans rely on groundwater for their drinking water, but 22% of groundwater wells contain at least one contaminant at levels high enough to jeopardize health, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A recent state audit found that nearly a million Californians lack access to safe water because of their failing local system infrastructure. A UC Riverside study in April 2023 found that over half a million Californians rely on drinking water with levels of manganese exceeding new international safety standards.
Maintaining safe groundwater, in California and around the globe, is an ongoing challenge. Contaminants occur naturally in groundwater due to the minerals and salts in the unique rocks and sediments of many aquifer systems, but increasing reliance on groundwater, runoff of industrial waste and pollution and climate change impacts to groundwater access have increased the threat of groundwater contamination and the need for treatment. Groundwater contamination issues are often more prevalent in rural, disadvantaged communities with limited resources for effective treatment infrastructure.
ATEC: Market Leaders in Iron and Manganese Removal Technology
With an impressive 30-year track record, ATEC stands out as a market leader in pioneering water treatment solutions, primarily targeting iron and manganese removal – comprising approximately 90% of their systems. Historically deemed secondary contaminants, recent studies have found that the implications of elevated levels of manganese could pose more serious health implications, especially for infants and children.
ATEC solutions that remove iron and manganese are adaptable and can be modified to eliminate additional contaminants – including but not limited to arsenic and chromium-6 – with no impact on the existing system footprint. As new technology and testing capabilities continue to reveal threats to public health in water supplies, this level of flexibility will be crucial to maintaining regulatory compliance.
The ATEC Difference
ATEC distinguishes itself through a blend of innovation and performance, providing safe, affordable and effective treatment options at varying volumes. The use of small, vertical tanks is a key differentiator, minimizing backwash and simplifying installation, maintenance and environmental footprint compared to conventional horizontal tanks. Modular tanks enable ATEC to create efficient and cost-effective systems catering to diverse water treatment capacity needs without the need for economies of scale.
Another differentiator is ATEC’s filter media, which pioneered absorptive processes for iron and manganese removal in the 1990s. With a manufacturing facility in Hollister, CA, ATEC’s expert engineers personally customize every system. The filters remove a wide range of contaminants beyond iron and manganese, including arsenic, nitrates, chromium-6, PFAS/PFOS, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide.
ATEC in Action: Providing Clean Water Where It’s Needed
In 2023, Cadiz sponsored the installation of ATEC’s latest arsenic filtration systems at wells on tribal lands in Thermal, California near the Salton Sea for the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe. The filters are successfully removing arsenic and bringing the community wells into compliance with state and federal safe drinking water standards. The ATEC filters and additional infrastructure upgrades have delivered long-term maintainable solutions for securing clean water and mitigating health risks for the Torres Martinez Tribe.