The small electric motor was probably revolutionary than the electric light bulb; people could get light from gas or candles, but the motor led to the development of fans and home appliances, and changed the way factories were designed and goods were produced. But before there was universal delivery of electricity, there was tap water, and Kris De Decker of Low-Tech Magazine describes how water-powered motors did many of the same tasks.
In Europe, small motors using the public water supply appeared in the 1840s. In the US, they came into extensive use in the 1870s and 1880s. A water motor consisted of a small water turbine that was suspended in a metal casing. The diameter of the turbine runner could be anywhere between from 20 to 90 cm. Read more
From low-tech to high-tech, concepts and solutions for providing clean drinking water are everywhere. Some are simple and portable while others are large and scalable, and we’re going to need all of these varieties of ideas in order to make sure that access to safe clean water is a right, not a privilege.
Using “Super Sand” to clean water:
“Billions of people lack access to clean drinking water and researchers are constantly searching for cost-effective ways to purify water for rural villages and developing areas. Read more
Dealing with water pollution is something that everyone (including governments and local councils) needs to get involved with. Here are a few things you can do to help. Learning about the issue (like you are doing) is the greatest and most important step to take. Here are a few more:
You can help
Never throw rubbish away anyhow. Always look for the correct waste bin. If there is none around, please take it home and put it in your trash can. This includes places like the beach, riverside and water bodies. Learn more about waste disposal here.
Use water wisely. Do not keep the tap running when not in use. Also, you can reduce the amount of water you use in washing and bathing. If we all do this, we can significantly prevent water shortages and reduces the amount of dirty water that needs treatment. Read more
You will notice in the previous pages that water pollution is very harmful to humans, animals and water life. The effects can be catastrophic, depending on the kind of chemicals, concentrations of the pollutants and where there are polluted. Below, we shall see a summary of the effects of water pollution. (Make sure you see the factsheet page for some very unfortunate incidents of water pollution in recent time).
The effects of water pollution are varied and depend on what chemicals are dumped and in what locations.
Many water bodies near urban areas (cities and towns) are highly polluted. This is the result of both garbage dumped by individuals and dangerous chemicals legally or illegally dumped by manufacturing industries, health centers, schools and market places. Read more
Industries cause huge water pollution with their activities. These come mainly from:
Sulphur – This is a non-metallic substance that is harmful for marine life.
Asbestos – This pollutant has cancer-causing properties. When inhaled, it can cause illnesses such as asbestosis and many types of cancer.
Lead and Mecury – These are metallic elements and can cause environmental and health problems for humans and animals. It is even more poisonous. It is usually very hard to clean it up from the environment once it get into it because it in non-biodegradable.
Nitrates & Phosphates – These are found in fertilizers, are often washed from the soils to nearby water bodies. They can cause eutrophication, which can be very problematic to marine environments.
Oils – Oils forms a thick layer on the water surface because they do not dissolve in water. This can stop marine plants receiving enough light for photosynthesis. It is also harmful for fish and marine birds. A classic example is the BP oil spill in 2012 with killed thousands of animal species. Read more