Quality of drinking water resources at risk in many places​

Groundwater is the central drinking water resource in Germany: about 70 percent of drinking water is obtained from groundwater sources. Groundwater also plays a crucial role in many other countries around the world, feeding the wells of the many domestic water suppliers in the U.S. and elsewhere. It is therefore essential to protect groundwater as an ecosystem in its purification and filtration function.

However, steadily increasing water consumption is causing available water supplies to become scarcer, and the quality of groundwater is already at risk in many places. Urbanization is increasing worldwide and conflicts over the use of available water resources between agriculture, industry, the energy sector, drinking water supply and nature conservation are intensifying.

The consequences of the climate crisis can be observed worldwide in the form of extreme weather events, which are compounding the problems. Lack of rainfall, droughts and heat waves such as those in southern Europe or the southern United States are causing groundwater levels to drop and wells to dry up. Even here in Germany, the capacity limits of water supply have already been reached in some places during the dry summers of recent years.
Heavy rainfall and flooding on the other hand have a negative impact on groundwater quantity and quality. Even in previously safe source watersheds, turbidity and contamination with pathogens and pollutants can occur.

In order to ensure that water of sufficient quality and quantity is available at all times, both in shortage situations and during heavy rainfall, the water supply must be designed to be sustainable and climate resilient. In order to meet the demand for drinking water, previously unusable or near-surface water resources may have to be tapped.

Obtaining safe drinking water from such often surface-affected new deposits requires innovative treatment technologies for quality assurance. Since surface water contains many microorganisms, water disinfection is required. Ultrafiltration is the ideal treatment solution for public water utilities in small and medium-sized communities as well as for private water suppliers, especially for surface-affected water. The filtration membrane of a Seccua ultrafiltration system from Mann+Hummel is based on developments from the medical technology of dialysis and can ensure the effective sterilization of water. It not only reduces particles such as sediment, turbidity, microplastics and rust, but also 99.99999% of all bacteria, parasites and up to 99.99% of all viruses in one treatment step.

In combination with a UV system for disinfection, ultrafiltration in the public water supply fulfills the multi-barrier principle according to the generally accepted German rules of technology against any turbidity and pathogens (§ 39 para. 2 no. 1 IfSG, § 20 para. 1 no. 5 TrinkwV). Well owners do not need a multi-barrier system, ultrafiltration alone is sufficient.

With Seccua, Mann+Hummel is the innovation and technology leader for standardized ultrafiltration systems for the treatment of drinking water. Well owners can use the UrSpring BeWell filtration solution for individual buildings, which is installed at the water inlet (PoE) in the house. With the modularly scalable Seccua Phoenix systems, the company is targeting water suppliers with up to 20,000 consumers. Seccua Phoenix has already been used successfully in many communities for years.