Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:
The water coming out of your faucet is safe to drink, but that doesn't mean it's completely clean. Chlorine has long been the standard for water treatment, but it often contains trace levels of disinfection byproducts and unknown contaminants. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers developed the minus approach to handle these harmful byproducts.
Instead of relying on traditional chemical addition (known as the plus approach), the minus approach avoids disinfectants, chemical coagulants, and advanced oxidation processes typical to water treatment processes. It uses a unique mix of filtration methods to remove byproducts and pathogens, enabling water treatment centers to use ultraviolet light and much smaller doses of chemical disinfectants to minimize future bacterial growth down the distribution system.
"The minus approach is a groundbreaking philosophical concept in water treatment," said Yongsheng Chen, the Bonnie W. and Charles W. Moorman IV Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "Its primary objective is to achieve these outcomes while minimizing the reliance on chemical treatments, which can give rise to various issues in the main water treatment stream."
Chen and his student Elliot Reid, the primary author, presented the minus approach in the paper, "The Minus Approach Can Redefine the Standard of Practice of Drinking Water Treatment," in the Environmental Science & Technology journal.
The minus approach physically separates emerging contaminants and disinfection byproducts from the main water treatment process using these already proven processes:
The minus approach is intended to engage the water community in designing safer, more sustainable, and more intelligent systems. Because its technologies are already available and proven, the minus approach can be implemented immediately.
Journal information: Environmental Science & Technology
More information: Elliot Reid et al, The Minus Approach Can Redefine the Standard of Practice of Drinking Water Treatment, Environmental Science & Technology (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c09389