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Dr. Sahar Fathordoobadi is a Research and Development Engineer at NORMA Group. As a specialist in water filtration systems, one area of interest in her research is innovative solutions for water treatment and reuse, mainly in the area of stormwater management. In the interview, she reports on the possibilities for water reuse that already exist and the trends she sees for the future.
Sahar, what exactly do you do?
As a Research & Development Engineer, focused on sustainable water management, my role involves providing technical and market direction for innovative solutions and evaluating new technologies to meet emerging water quality and runoff volume requirements to address the water management market needs, optimizing and validating existing solutions to obtain industry accepted verification through standard performance testing.
Asking the right questions, seeking answers and collaboration with technical partners, universities and addressing our external customers’ need through interfacing with our internal customers, Product Managers and Sales team, are enjoyable and rewarding aspects of my career.
Why is water recycling so important?
There is a finite amount of water on the Earth. Population growth, climate change, and global warming are putting a lot of stress on this valuable resource. At the same time, the demand for water consumption is constantly increasing. Recycle & Reuse of water not only prevent aquafer depletion, but it keeps pollutants, which are carried with water, from getting into ocean, rivers, and lakes. Recycling water also helps with closing the gap between water supply and demand, which is only growing larger. It is simply a smart water conservation strategy. Sustainable and efficient water management is therefore becoming increasingly important worldwide.
What are the current possibilities for reusing water?
Water reuse has been a known practice in certain regions for many years now and agricultural irrigation is the oldest practice of water reuse. The impact of water scarcity is the greatest challenge to agricultural production. Also, in regions with severe drought, water reuse in landscape irrigation is becoming more popular.
Another common reuse application is in industrial processes such as utilities, power plants, refineries, and factories to name a few. Of course, the level and extent of water treatment (Filtration) depends on the specific end-use as there are various type of filtration, from mechanical to filtration media and membrane filtration, to achieve different water quality outcome from removing gross debris and particulates to viruses and dissolved ions.
Does NORMA Group already offer water filtration systems?
Within the whole portfolio of NORMA Global we have a range of products and solutions to address filtration needs for irrigation, stormwater, and reuse markets. In the field of irrigation, we have multi-stage, low pressure, particulate and sand filters and screen filters to support high efficiency irrigation.
We offer a range of solutions for residential and commercial stormwater filtration and drip irrigation including catch basin filter for residential stormwater filtration, StormChamber® system which offers a cost-effective, high storage volume water quality solution for commercial retention, detention and reuse applications by capturing runoff and filtering it for pollutant removal such as TSS so that the treated water can either infiltrate into the aquafer for groundwater recharge or be pumped out of chamber for reuse applications such as landscape irrigation, and our low volume, high efficiency irrigation filters.
Stormwater filtration and reuse is a growing market and as NORMA Group is expanding its product portfolio and market share there will be more solution offering to address the market needs.
I believe that our current product breadth and depth at NORMA Group Global, in addition to strategic developmental and innovative efforts, will set a solid foundation to grow and lead in this ever-growing market.
Product examples from the NORMA Group portfolio
What will be possible in the future in terms of water filtration systems?
There has been already significant advancement with filtration technologies in the areas of drinking water and wastewater treatment. However, water scarcity, climate change, and the importance of sustainable water management creates a need for innovative and more cost-effective filtration systems to address current issues and future need of water industry. So, what is expected for the future of water filtration is efficiency improvement of existing technologies as well as expansion and adaption of filtration processes to new application-based technology to address water sustainability emerging market.
Major future trends which will become common practices fall under the following areas: Urban water recycling for landscape irrigation, residential and commercial condensate capture and reuse, rainwater harvesting for potable reuse as well as gray reuse, addressing emerging and trace contaminates, and new filtration materials with higher removal efficiency.