Sustainability

UBC invention uses bacteria to purify water

A University of British Columbia-developed system that uses bacteria to turn non-potable water into drinking water will be tested next week in West Vancouver prior to being installed in remote communities in Canada and beyond.

The system consists of tanks of fibre membranes that catch and hold contaminants—dirt, organic particles, bacteria and viruses—while letting water filter through. A community of beneficial bacteria, or biofilm, functions as the second line of defence, working in concert to break down pollutants.

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