Europe, UK, Asia & RoW: [email protected] +44 (0)1622 859444 | USA & Canada: [email protected] +1 401-583-7846

Optical Components Making Waves in the Water Industry

14th Aug 2021

Water – the single most precious resource for all. Without it, there simply wouldn’t be life. Whether it’s potable or non-potable, every drop of water makes a difference, and each continent faces water scarcity in some shape or form. With water use growing at double the rate of the world’s population1, the dire need for more water-efficient technologies and procedures looms. In this blog, Knight Optical – the leading supplier of on-spec, metrology-tested optical components – looks at a couple of the latest developments in the industry and explores some of the water industry’s divisions in which its optics are used. 

Water Usage 

In the UK, the average person uses about 142 litres of water each day2, and the typical household uses 349 litres each day2. That’s 51,830 litres per person – or 127,385 litres per household – across a single year. What’s more, in November 2020, the University of Manchester examined the change in water consumption following lockdown. The university’s team found that “people adopted water-intensive practices at the start of the lockdown period in a bid to protect themselves from [the] COVID-19 infection, which included the washing of groceries, more frequent cleaning of clothes and more intensive personal hygiene3“. They also discovered that, due to an increase in homeowners and families feeling more comfortable in their back gardens, outdoor water consumption also changed, with more people growing produce in gardens3.

So, with all that in mind, let’s start by looking at a couple of divisions within the water industry to see how we’re tackling the issues the sector encounters.

Drinking Water 

Drinking water is most certainly an essential division within the water industry, and it’s undoubtedly the scarcest. For water to be deemed drinkable, it must be treated to remove disease-causing organisms, such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites. It’s not only drinking water that is treated for an end-use, however. River flow maintenance, industrial water supply and water for recreational applications all require treatment too.

Water Treatment

Water treatment involves processes such as filtration and settling as well as chemical procedures like disinfection and coagulation. These methods are typically carried out by automation in developed countries. Throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us heard about ultraviolet (UV) disinfection. This is also used for water purification and is employed to treat water supplies such as river water, boreholes, or any other form of water that’s likely to suffer from bacterial contamination.

There is an abundance of optical components used for UV disinfection and treatment processes. Some of these include:

And substrates specified include (but are not limited to):

  • Quartz
  • Borosilicate
  • Float Glass
  • Liba 2000.

Click here to view our full range of customisable UV optics. Alternatively, if you require optical components with short lead times, click here to be taken to our UV optics stock page.

Rain- and Stormwater 

Several issues are associated with water and drinking water scarcity isn’t the only challenge we face throughout the world. Often, there’s just too much of it. For example, the flash floods in Germany that have recently hit the headlines. And downpours in the UK’s capital have left Tube stations and famous London streets mostly underwater. Globally, we’re attempting to prevent the chaos these floods present when they sweep through our cities, towns and villages, and artificial intelligence (AI) is one avenue that’s recently been explored

For instance, coupled with real-time CCTV, researchers have recently used a “sensing system” to look for early signs of flooding4. Lately, AI models have also been explored for flood and drought forecasting in tropical regions and areas that experience little-to-no rain5. Another excellent example of how AI is set to assist future floods has been investigated in a study from February 2021. In this paper, researchers explored how AI can be relied upon during the event of floods for essential evacuation plans6.

Here at Knight Optical, we’re accustomed to partnering with customers working on AI applications – in a diverse range of fields.

Optical components we supply for AI applications include (but are not limited to):

What’s more, as well as our range of custom-made and stock optics, our portfolio of optical coatings is particularly beneficial for AI systems. These include:

Click here to view our full range of coatings.

Why Choose Knight Optical for your Application? 

Discerning customers rely on Knight Optical not only for the premium quality of our output and in-house state-of-the-art Metrology Laboratory and QA Department‘s capabilities but because – as well as a range of Stock Optics (available for next-day dispatch) – we also offer our optics as Custom-Made Components.

This year, we’re celebrating 30 years in business. With three decades’ experience under our belt and a whole host of long-standing world-renowned customers on our books, we are proud to have worked on some of the most ground-breaking innovations.

If you are looking for premium-quality, bespoke optical components, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Technical Sales Team today.