Tag Archives: water pollution


Metro Basin Blues

Water pollution poses a real threat to china’s northern, urban population. Could constructed wetlands help? 

The following excerpts are taken from Water Canada Magazine, September/October publication.

Around the globe, there is concern about the effects of china’s rapid economic development on the air, land, water, and energy resources, as well as the ways that the country’s complex and sometimes less-than-efficient bureaucratic system may impact environmental policy implementation. the most serious of these challenges have been linked to the country’s declining water supply, which not only suffers from considerable pollutants, but also is insufficient for the country’s massive population and rapidly growing economy.  Water pollution is rampant nationwide, while water scarcity has worsened severely in north china. the problem is not only environmental— insufficient water is already limiting industrial and agricultural output in some areas. If solutions are not found and implemented, scarcity threatens to negatively impact china’s high economic growth rate and food production.

Treating China’s wastewater: Centralized wastewater treatment systems are the prevailing solution for water pollution control in many industrialized countries. to a large degree, this approach solves the problems of sanitation very efficiently. However, at the end of 2002, the official rate of municipal wastewater treatment in china was approximately 36.5 per cent, which is far from adequate given China’s serious water pollution.  Constructed wetlands (CWs) for wastewater treatment have great potential for application in china. the biogeochemical cycles of wetland plants can help transform and mineralized organic matter found in wastewater.  over the last 100 years, we’ve learned how these processes work, and recognized that many could be replicated with CWs. they’re now viewed as a viable treatment option for many different waste streams, including municipal, mining, dairy and wine-making. they’re also an attractive and stable alternative due to cost and energy savings. additionally, there are the advantages of multi-purpose reuse of the resulting high quality effluent, as well as self-remediation and self-adaptation to the surrounding conditions and environment.

Case study: Tianjin Airport Economic development Zone:  Two mega cities of china, Beijing and Tianjin, as well as the Hubei Provinces are within the region of the HaiHe river basin. the HaiHe river basin contains 10 per cent of the entire population of china, which is about 118 million people, as well as being the main source for providing fresh water to Beijing and Tianjin (Domagalski et al., 2001). this basin is facing a decrease in water levels during low precipitation leading to drought and water shortage during the dry season. It also faces serious contamination problem—the annual amount of wastewater discharged into the rivers is about four billion megagrams, and is also a major contributor to pollutant loadings in the nearby Bohai sea (Domagalski et al., 2001).

Located southeast of Beijing, Tianjin is the sixth-largest city in China (greater metropolitan population of 13,000,000). considered the economic hub of Tianjin, the Binhai new area is a new zone designated to host a number of key industrial zones, waterfront development areas, and commercial and residential properties, for nearly two million people. the region is a representation of china’s objective to modernize its coastal cities while promoting economic development.

Due to the severe impacts of urban development on water quality in Binhai new area, Tianjin, and the HaiHe river basin, the proposed solution is the implementation of two CWs at TaedZ. In collaboration with Tianjin University (TJU), Lindsay, Ontario’s Centre For Alternative Wastewater treatment at Fleming college (CAWT), Queen’s University in Kingston, and aqua treatment technologies, this location has been selected as a demonstration site for wetlands technology in a rapidly developing urban area, to address the issues of surface water degradation… China’s diverse climate and sources of wastewater allow for unique research conditions and a variety of parameters to be addressed simultaneously that would not be possible in another location.  In addition, China’s economic growth conditions add to the innovative nature of the project, and allow for new developments while taking into consideration social issues. after extensive applications in similar geographic and climatic regions in Canada such as the prairie region and southwestern Ontario, the technology may eventually benefit Canadian communities as well. 

Annie Chouinard is a graduate student in the department of civil engineering at Queen’s University.  She is conducting research in China at TJU.


Thank you for returning to view Part 2 of Rainsoft Ottawa Water Treatment Systems – Benefits.

Rainsoft of Ottawa would like to recommend that you check out the BENEFITS associated with Rainsoft Water Treatment systems – the world’s finest Whole House Water Treatment Systems.



– improves skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and dry skin
– removes over 98% of toxins and chemicals in the water
– prevents gall and kidney stones
– increases energy and endurance
– increases muscular nerve activity
– aids in carrying nutrients and disease fighting antibodies throughout the   body
– aids in regulating body temperature
– aids in elimination and reducing weight
– filters out contaminants such as coliform, giardia lamblia, algae and asbestos fibres

Martin Barrett at Eternally Pure Water Systems (Rainsoft) wonders if you have any water problems and offers to come out and do a free water analysis.

For you reference I have included videos and links for information on our water treatment products in .pdf format. I’ve also added a few of the Google and HomeStars Reviews we’ve received:

REVERSE OSMOSIS SYSTEMS VIDEO – Martin Barrett, Eternally Pure Water Systems, Ottawa


Google Review – Gloucester customer: Our drinking water has always been less than desirable. We’re so happy to have done our ‘homework’ online and are now the proud owners of a Rainsoft Reverse Osmosis system. From the testing of our water to having the system installed we’re so pleased to have the best of both worlds – great product with a LIFETIME WARRANTY! (something we couldn’t find elsewhere) and prompt, professional, helpful and friendly service. Our water, whether used for drinking, making tea,coffee, juice and for cooking, is “Rainsoftalicious”!  AND … no more bottled water and so happy to know we’ll be saving a bundle of $$$! Thank you so much, Martin and David.

ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT SYSTEMS VIDEO – Martin Barrett, Eternally Pure Water Systems, Ottawa


Homestars Review – Navan customer: Eternally pure-Rainsoft product keeps our family safe! We purchased water treatment through Eternally Pure Water Systems in Ottawa a number of years ago and have recently added a UV light to kill bacteria which may be in our well water. We are very pleased with the professional service we received, and are confident in the superior products we have purchased. It is extremely important that our family has safe drinking water.


Homestars Review – Orleans customer: Thanks Martin and Rainsoft Ottawa.  Never realized how awful our water tasted until you installed our system! I now drink water regularly from the tap where before i would always buy water bottles. The whole family has noticed a difference and our skin is softer because of it. I tell everyone I know about your system. Thanks! Full House System with Reverse Osmosis and Iron Filter


Rainsoft Ottawa, Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc. is located in Canotek Park, Ottawa.

Telephone: 613-742-0058 ~~~~ Mon – Fri: 9:00 – 5:30

We’ll be more than happy to answer  your water related questions.



International water scientists recently issued a call for action over the growing threat to the world’s groundwater supplies from over-extraction and pollution.

Water supplies will begin running out in critical regions where they support cities, industries and food production by 2030 unless urgent steps are taken to better manage the resource, they cautioned.


The world has experienced a boom in groundwater use, more than doubling the rate of extraction between 1960 and 2000 — with usage continuing to soar up to the present,” says Professor Craig Simmons, Director of Australia’s National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) and member of the UNESCO’s global groundwater governance program.

A recent satellite study has revealed falling groundwater tables in the United States, North Africa, India, the Middle East and China, where expanding agriculture has increased water demand.

“Groundwater currently makes up about 97 percent of all the available fresh water on the planet and presently accounts for about 40 percent of our total water supply. It provides drinking water to cities, is needed to grow much of our food and sustains many industries — yet almost everywhere, there is clear evidence that water tables are falling,” Professor Simmons says. “This means humanity is extracting groundwater much faster than it is naturally replaced.”

“Not many people think of groundwater as a key driver of the global economy — yet it is. If it becomes depleted, entire industries may be forced to shut down or move. Whole regions could face acute water scarcity.”

The groundwater crisis is driven by a competition for increasingly scarce water supplies between the megacities, the energy sector, manufacturing and farming. It has been hastened by an era of cheap pumps and relatively cheap energy, making it easy to extract.

“Over-extraction also has serious implications for the environment, especially when the climate is warming – as falling water tables can lead to emptying lakes and rivers and dying landscapes as the water they depended on is withdrawn,” Professor Simmons says. “The blunt fact is that most countries and local regions did not know the size of their water resources when then began extracting them, nor how long it took to recharge. In some cases this can take centuries or even millennia. As a result they are now extracting their water unsustainably.”

Water is emerging as potentially one of the main limits to Chinese economic growth: groundwater supplies 40% of China’s food and 70% of its drinking water — yet water levels in aquifers in some regions are sinking by a metre or more a year. 660 Chinese cities have polluted supplies or are water insecure.

In the Middle East, depleted aquifers have been a major driver of the relocation of agriculture to Africa and the so-called ‘land-grab’ by wealthy countries. In India the number of wells grew from less than one million in 1960 to 19 million by 2000. Water tables in the key food bowl are sinking beyond the reach of many farmers’ pumps.

“The crisis in global groundwater is chiefly one of poor governance, exacerbated by a lack of knowledge of the size and condition of the resource, rates of recharge, lack of transparent policy, lack of ownership, lack of price signals to users and a lack of political will to do anything,” says Professor Simmons. “It’s fixable — but it will take a lot of hard work and good science to do so.”

“Until recently this problem was on the world’s back-burner — but it is rapidly moving to the forefront. Groundwater science has improved dramatically in the last decade, giving us the ability to measure and manage the resource — but governance has yet to catch up. Unless it does, we can expect serious problems in the future.”

Even advanced nations such as the United States face a crisis in their use of groundwater, says Law Professor Robert Glennon of the University of Arizona. “Groundwater now comprises one-quarter of the U.S. supply and more than half of all Americans rely on groundwater for drinking. Unconstrained drilling of new wells, as many as 800,000 per year, has put incredible strain on aquifers around the U.S.,” he says.

“Plummeting groundwater tables have caused earth subsidence, fissures, and saltwater intrusion. It took millennia for this water to accumulate in aquifers, but humans are pumping it out in mere decades.”

The environmental costs of unsustainable groundwater pumping are staggering, says Glennon. Rivers and springs have dried up or been reduced to a trickle. In Arizona, pumping turned a healthy river, the Santa Cruz, into a desiccated sandbox. Even in humid regions, water bodies have suffered. In the Midwest, wells dug to produce spring water for the bottled water industry have compromised blue-ribbon trout streams. And in Florida, scores of lakes have dried up from intense well-field pumping.

The lack of sensible regulation has created incentives for unlimited access to a finite resource, according to Glennon. “An aquifer is like a milkshake glass and each well is the equivalent of a straw in the glass. What most countries permit is a limitless number of straws in the glass. This is a recipe for disaster,” he says.

SOURCE: National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT)


The Russian River Watershed Association sponsors a video contest for high school students each spring in celebration of Water Awareness Month. The intent of the contest is to increase awareness of the importance of water. The focus topic for the 2011 contest was “Clean Up Your Pet Waste.” The winner of the contest is “Don’t Be a Fool! Pick Up Your Poo!” by Ryan Yanes, Rancho Cotate High School. More information at http://www.scwa.ca.gov/video-contests


Good thing for Ottawa we don’t have raw sewage going in to our river’s water, no wait oh that’s right we do……….