In particular, microbes can help shrink our waste, including plastic and sewage. A massive 80 percent of wastewater resulting from human activities around the world is discharged into rivers or seas without any pollution removal. Considering the 1.8 billion people whose primary source of drinking water is unsafe for consumption, the magnitude of the global challenge of wastewater management is clear — as highlighted in the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.
A needed solution
Safe, sustainable wastewater management solutions are needed to serve populations who are not — and may never be — connected to a sewage network for a host of reasons, including the lack of resources and land availability or accessibility. Fortunately, new tools can boost nature’s processing power by enhancing the activity of microbes already present in the waste stream. “Bioremediation solutions are especially relevant for “off-grid” communities who are disproportionately impacted by poor wastewater infrastructure and need solutions that work fast because they can be remarkably low-capex, low-maintenance and easy-to-use,” stresses Luka Erceg, Drylet CEO.
Here at home
At the same time, high-income countries are not exempt from wastewater treatment challenges, as the residents of Parrish, Alabama, can attest to. Last April, a freight train carrying 10 million pounds of sludge from wastewater treatment plants in New York City and New Jersey brought foul odor and flies to their community. It eventually moved to a landfill 25 miles out of town. Smelly shipments will keep coming through, however, until we can help microbes do their job at the source and disappear as much of the sludge as they are actually able to.
Laetitia Mailhes, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Drylet, [email protected]