Water poverty – a crisis?

There are several interlinked reasons for water poverty. From Arvia’s point of view, this impending crisis (and we make no bones about it, it really is a crisis) is one of the reasons why we were set up in the first place – to clean and ‘polish’ industrial wastewater and purge it of some of those harmful compounds that other water purification systems struggle to treat.


Climate change


Population growth


Natural disasters such as drought or floods


Increased industrial demand and inefficient use


Diminution of aquifers and slower recharge due to some of the factors above/h2>

The story behind Arvia

Dr Nigel Brown describes his lightbulb moment setting up Arvia thus: ‘Working on systems to remove low and trace levels of aqueous toxic organics it was apparent that current approaches were inherently unfriendly to the environment.’

‘Concentration processes merely transfer the contaminants without making them less toxic, whereas destructive processes require expensive and potential hazardous chemicals, generate toxic sludges or require large amounts of energy.’

‘With a background in water and wastewater treatment, experience in electrochemistry and knowledge of carbon materials, the idea of adsorption coupled with electrochemical regeneration was born!’

The technology behind the Arvia reactors and the unique Nyex™ process has been even more successful than Dr Brown originally envisaged and now Arvia’s systems has been proved to remove many hard-to-treat compounds from water – for the most up to date list see this page.

Arvia water treatment in the pharma industry

A prime example is the pharma industry which can benefit from the new generation of industrial water treatment systems like Arvia’s.

One important issue challenging the whole of medicine is AMR (anti-microbial resistance) where medications like antibiotics lose their efficacy; this is quickly becoming a critical issue in the treatment of several conditions. The reasons for this are well-known; the result is that various harmful compounds may eventually end up in leachate and in time, groundwater. But crucially, millions of people worldwide depend on medications like antibiotics meaning there is a constant demand and the processes that create them can’t be changed overnight.

One compound that we’ve had a lot of success with removing is Triton X-100 – a surfactant, or non-ionic detergent used in some antibiotics as well as medicines and proprietary products – even some cleaning products. The EU effectively banned it in 2012 (part of the REACH list) but as we know, it takes many years to actually stop using a product of this nature as it’s constituent in the making of so many different manufactured goods – even one flu vaccine. The reality is that in the case of medicines, each manufacturing process for each product will need to be proved and tested with a suitable replacement for Triton X-100 before it can be re-certified, which can take some years. The upshot is that Triton X-100 is still currently licensed for manufacturing some legacy products, albeit under very strict regulations in terms of effluent levels – something that pharma companies have to keep a close eye on.

Removal of Triton X-100 from water

The patented Arvia system is extremely efficient at removing organics from water. Its unique Nyex™ technology will remove Triton X-100 down to below the limit of detection – in this case that was 0.1 parts per billion. And it does that efficiently without creating masses of toxic sludge that will need removing and treating off-site. Check out the case study.

Arvia is a water ‘polishing’ system. We get the water after conventional filtration has finished with it, and our systems can be retrofitted to many wastewater reuse systems, or installed as a stand-alone plant. In some conditions, Arvia can produce water so clean that there’s actually no requirement to discharge it – it can be good enough to use again.

Today, Arvia’s technology makes zero liquid discharge technology a possibility for many more industries and manufacturing processes. Long-term, it will save them money and deliver greater water security – increasingly important in the coming times of water stress.