Based on a report from 2015, around 80 per cent of the surface water found in India contains pollution. The main reason why water is polluted can be attributed to untreated sewage along with industrial pollution. There are textile factories in the country that uses dyes and other toxic chemicals that are then released into the rivers. Fortunately, a group of researchers have developed wall tiles with different design than regular blue kitchen tiles and with functions primarily to clean the water.
Industrial wastewater is not easy to clean especially in rural communities. The end result is that the drinking water and the ones they used for bathing gets contaminated. The researcher tem is comprised of biochemical engineers and designers that are working at the University College London. They have developed a clay tile shaped like a leaf that is designed to clean wastewater by separating the heavy metals component. The particles are then captured using a hydrogel incorporated with algae.
The tile is basically covered with algae and is intended to use for walls of industrial plants and facilities. With the system, a wastewater tank can be installed on top of the facilities with no electrical or other forms of power to operate. The water will just funnel down and pass through the channels which resemble veins.
The tiles have been officially named Indus and it employs a scientific method referred to as bioremediation. This is when biological organisms like algae help in order for the contamination to be broken down thus cleaning the water without harming the environment. This is not a new technique as it was recorded in 1940s where it was used to clean sites with high level of contamination such as fungus, bacteria and algae that are consume plastic as well as oil spills. The same technique was also adapted by household cleaning products that can eat oils that are blocking thesink.
The Indus tiles are manufactured in Khurja, India which is known as the ceramic capital of the world. The designers, the same when designing blue kitchen tiles, make sure to reach out to the locals to have better resources, techniques and materials.