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Arsenic Disaster Mitigation

Arsenic disaster mitigation depends on the source and cause of the arsenic poisoning of surface and groundwater. In some countries, the cause of contamination may be related to the natural process and in other countries it may be related to man-made processes. In order to solve the arsenic disaster scientist must know source and cause of the problem. In order to solve the arsenic crisis in developing nations the Academy of Healthy Water, Ecosystem and Environment has developed the Mukti Water Treatment Technology that removes arsenic from arsenic contaminated water. The system is very efficient that can remove high level of arsenic to <5 ppb to non-detect level. The flow rate varies from 6 to 10 liter/minute. It is important to note that in developing countries the maximum contaminant level of arsenic for drinking water is 50 ppb.

The arsenic waste disposal in developing nations is very critical because improper disposal of arsenic waste creates air pollution, contamination of soil and sediments, surface and groundwater resources, poultry products, agricultural products. Theses processes further recontaminate the entire public health, ecosystem and environment.

The Mukti Water Treatment Technology generates small amount of waste. The filter media is recycled and reused. The system will last 25 to 30 years. The waste from the non-electricity based system is collected and stored into a protected container and the waste will be solidified with cement and it will be finally disposed in a concrete vault. In USA arsenic waste is mainly disposed of in sanitary landfills or hazardous landfills depending on the level of toxicity of the waste. In developing nations, construction, operation and management of landfills for arsenic waste disposal is very expensive and most of the countries are not capable of operating arsenic waste disposal landfill mainly due to socioeconomic as well as geological and climatological conditions.

The electricity based Mukti water treatment system provides more water than the non-electricity based system. Most of the waste is collected in reaction tanks and the waste is disposed into subsurface. Arsenic waste disposal is a serious issue and the waste must be disposed of properly. The US EPA is pioneer of arsenic waste disposal regulation and the AHWEE is following the US EPA regulations for proper disposal of arsenic waste from Mukti Water Treatment systems in under developing nations. If the waste is not properly disposed from any arsenic removal system, then the improper disposal of arsenic waste will do more harm than good to the public health, ecosystem and environment of future generations.

The AHWEE has developed three different types of arsenic removal systems based on:

  1. Iron oxides

  2. Manganese dioxide

  3. Activated Alumina

Currently, our systems operating mainly based on iron oxides and activated carbon media. The AHWEE is also conducting research for developing inexpensive arsenic removal system based on manganese dioxide and activated alumina.

Arsenic Disaster Mitigation in Bangladesh

The bar diagrams show the Division, District and number of Upazila in each district and less than 40 percent contaminated tube wells(yellow) and more that 40 percent contaminated tube wells(red). This information is based on the National Screening Survey conducted in 2004. The current contaminated status may be different than the previous survey because of geochemical changes in the groundwater aquifers.

Currently, more than 50,000 patients are suffering from numerous chronic arsenic-related diseases including several types of cancer. Many have already died and more than 85 millions of people are consuming arsenic poison water through drinking water and food prepared with arsenic poison water on a daily basis. There is no remedy to these problems and the only solution to the problem is to use arsenic-free water. In 2009, AHWEE’s V.P., visited several districts of Bangladesh and discovered various level of arsenic patients, presence of arsenic in Coconut juice, Date plum juice and cow milk.