The theme of Earth Day, ‘Invest in Our Planet,’ matches our ongoing efforts to bring wastewater treatment to where it’s needed around the world
Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the event has been observed internationally every year on April 22 to promote environmental awareness and action. The theme of Earth Day 2023 is “Invest in Our Planet,” and the public is encouraged to participate in a number of ways, including planting trees, mobilizing the environmental vote, and promoting sustainable fashion.
At Fluence, we’re contributing to global cleanup with an effort to extend water and wastewater treatment to wherever they’re needed around the world. It’s in our mission statement:
We make the world a better place by delivering sustainable water treatment solutions that produce high quality water, while saving energy and improving resilience.
Properly treating wastewater helps prevent contamination of groundwater and surface water, as well as the spread of disease. It also helps prevent algal blooms that create fish-killing dead zones and destroy the natural beauty of waterfront communities. It’s the right thing to do.
Obstacles to Wastewater Treatment
In a perfect world, everyone would have access to safe, efficient wastewater treatment. However, remote communities can have a hard time accessing large, centralized treatment plants, and it’s expensive and time-consuming to build the pipeline infrastructure needed to make the connection.
Another obstacle is paying for treatment. For many governments and local authorities, covering the initial capital expense (CAPEX) of wastewater infrastructure is difficult or even impossible. It may be a challenge to cover operating expenses (OPEX) and to keep the plants properly maintained. If a plant eventually slips beyond repair through neglect, the investment is completely lost and it’s back to square one.
Responding With Decentralized Treatment
Fluence’s emphasis on decentralization, that is, placing small plants at the point of need, eliminates the expense of long pipelines and allows for water reuse in the community where the wastewater is treated.
For remote areas that are beyond the reach of traditional treatment scenarios, decentralized solutions can bring water and wastewater treatment on-site. Fluence’s Aspiral™ modular wastewater treatment plants are packaged in standard shipping containers, making them easy to transport and deploy. The plants are scalable. They can be used in tandem to meet increased need, and they can be redeployed if they’re no longer necessary.
When wastewater is treated with the MABR technology in Aspiral™ modular wastewater plants, it can provide recycled water for irrigation. And, MABR makes the plants so energy-efficient that they can be operated off the grid with alternative energy sources.
Water Management Services Eliminate Need for Upfront Capital
Another way Fluence has responded to the obstacles of wastewater treatment is with its Water Management Services. WMS eliminates CAPEX and OPEX burdens for clients through the use of specialized contracts, including public-private partnership (PPP), build-own-operate (BOO), and build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) structures.
These structures harness the expertise of a specialized water and wastewater treatment company in all aspects of establishing infrastructure, from securing financing and handling licensing to operating the plant and performing maintenance tasks throughout the life of the plant.
The client simply pays for water services under performance-based contracts and leaves the rest to Fluence. In this way, even clients with little access to capital and operational resources can reap the benefits of a modern water utility.
Stepping up to Infrastructure Challenges
As people around the world strive to follow Earth Day’s guidance, as well as the United Nations’ sustainability goals, a new way of thinking about water and wastewater infrastructure will be necessary.
We see communities everywhere, even remote locations, that want to protect their waters from contamination and provide for sustainable growth. That’s why nations and states have been rolling out legal frameworks to encourage the use of PPPs to deliver infrastructure.
This Earth Day, Fluence is celebrating ways to overcome obstacles to accessing wastewater treatment. Contact Fluence to learn how our decentralized solutions and Water Management Services can make wastewater infrastructure happen.