With the start of the 2018 hurricane season right around the corner, many people living in the Caribbean and along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts of North America are holding their collective breath. The 2017 season produced a series of storms that resulted in significant loss of life as well as billions of dollars in property and infrastructure damage.
- In August, Hurricane Harvey caused the deaths of 107 people and destroyed $125 billion worth of property in Southern Texas.
- Category 5 Hurricane Irma battered the Caribbean in early September, killing 134 people and largely destroying several islands like Barbuda and Anguilla.
- Hurricane Maria, another category 5 storm, brought death and destruction to Puerto Rico at a level never before seen on that island. It hit just as life was returning to normal after a brush from Irma a week earlier.
While those three storms garnered the most attention, other hurricanes like Franklin in early August and Nate in October also left a trail of destruction in their wakes. Now forecasters are saying that the 2018 season could be another active year for named storms.
The destruction to public infrastructure is probably the most far-reaching effect of hurricanes. Even people living relatively far away from a storm’s point of landfall can be impacted by damaged roadways and extended power outages. In Puerto Rico, the electrical grid was smashed to the point that portions of the territory still don’t have electricity now. Along with roads and electricity, major storms can also throw water systems into a state of chaos. Drinking water sources can become contaminated and treatment plants can go offline if the electrical supply is interrupted.
However, there are some innovative solutions out there to help communities faced with the prospect of being without a water or wastewater treatment plant for an extended period of time.
Here’s a look at three products we found interesting:
- Texas’s AWG Contracting has developed a mobile generator that can produce up to 2,000 gallons of drinking water per day. The generator, which fits into a standard shipping container, takes in humid air and condenses it to produce the water. Right now, one is at work in an island community off the coast of Puerto Rico.
- At the University of Buffalo, researchers have developed a highly efficient ‘solar still’ to collect clean, drinkable water at record breaking rates.
- Island Water Technologies have developed a solar-powered wastewater plant. The self-contained systems can be rapidly deployed to disaster areas or remote locations to treat sewage and prevent the spread of waterborne illnesses.
At LuminUltra, we work to provide rapid, accurate, easy-to-use testing solutions for a wide range of applications. We’re proud of our technology and the answers we can deliver to our clients. We believe that innovation, like that seen in the emerging technologies listed above, has the potential to help people faced with the task of rebuilding after a natural disaster, like a hurricane.