More than half of Americans rely on groundwater for drinking, but 22% of groundwater wells contain at least one contaminant at levels high enough to jeopardize health, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Groundwater provides one-third of the world’s drinking water, and contamination is a growing issue, with health impacts more widespread than previously realized. Effective water treatment is key for ensuring public health.
ATEC, a Cadiz solution, offers a low-cost, low-maintenance filtration solution scalable to each community’s needs. With 450 systems installed with ATEC filters and other equipment, in ten states and in other countries, ATEC has shown that it can meet the needs of both small and large communities. ATEC has the potential to unlock clean water access for 70,000 high-risk community wells in California alone.
Groundwater Contamination Crisis
Maintaining safe groundwater, in California and elsewhere, is an ongoing challenge. In some water sources with heavy withdrawals, contaminants are concentrating in the remaining water. Contaminants are increasing from pollution and industrial waste, but can also occur naturally, from the unique rocks and salts in the sediments above.
A recent study suggested that 370,000 Californians relied on drinking water that risked high levels of arsenic and other contaminants. Even worse, a recent state audit found that nearly a million Californians lacked access to safe water because of their failing local systems. Groundwater contamination is now a public health emergency – especially for disadvantaged communities with fewer resources for effective treatment.
What Distinguishes ATEC’s Filtration Systems
The first differentiator in ATEC’s approach is the use of small, vertical tanks. Designed as a fully contained, packaged filter system, the tanks minimize backwash and are easier to install and maintain than conventional horizonal tanks. The modular tanks enable ATEC to create systems that serve a wide range of water treatment capacity needs while maintaining efficiency and low cost.
The second advantage is ATEC’s filter media, which in the 1990s pioneered absorptive processes for removing iron and manganese. Not only does ATEC have the longest track record in this area, but it manufactures these filters in-house in Hollister, CA to enable customization. The filters remove a wide range of contaminants, including arsenic, nitrates, chromium 6, PFAs/PFOS, ammonium and bromide.
ATEC in Action: Providing Clean Water Where It’s Needed
ATEC filtration systems have been installed as part of an agreement with Cadiz to provide 5,000 acre-feet of water per year to the Salton Sea Authority and Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians in California. The installed systems are designed to address the dangerous levels of arsenic in the communities drinking water. ATEC filters and additional infrastructure upgrades have provided long-term maintainable solutions for securing clean water and mitigating health risks.