menu

Clams, Mussels May Offer Cheaper Way to Clean Up Streams

Clams, Mussels May Offer Cheaper Way to Clean Up Streams
Innovation

Bivalves can remove up to 80% of chemicals from two liters of water every day

Ross Brooks
  • 18 august 2014

As poisonous chemicals continue to pour into our water supply, some scientists have put forward the idea of using clams and mussels as a way to clean up the country’s streams, rivers, and lakes. Also known as bivalves, the organisms can remove “contaminants of emerging concern” (CECs) in a matter of days. Some were shown to remove as much as 80 percent of some chemicals within 72 hours.

Wastewater, agricultural runoff, and animal wastes are all considered CECs, and while not much is known about their long-term effects, it’s fairly certain that their impact is unlikely to be a positive one. Not only would using clams and mussels as a filtration system help humans, it would help them. With 70 percent of native US freshwater mussels at risk from extinction, they could become another casualty in man’s quest for never-ending advancement.

mussels-and-clams-clean-water-2.jpg

Richard Luthy, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, and coauthor of the paper published in Environmental Science and Technology, explains that, “Each native mussel filters about two liters of water a day, so it doesn’t take a whole lot to improve water quality.” As for their protection, the study’s lead author, Niveen Ismail, outlines a plan: “We are considering using a raft carrying caged native bivalves which will allow us to monitor the health of the bivalves and also protect them from predators.”

The irony of the study is that clams and mussels have been cleaning our waterways for as long as they have existed, but it’s only now that we realize the value they hold. Once upon a time they were able to handle by-products of human existence, but excessive production and consumption have slowly overwhelmed them to the point where they might even go extinct. If that were to happen, it’s easy to imagine that the water issues we face can only get exponentially worse.

[h/t] Futurity

Images by Conifer, USFWS

 

 

Trending

Turn Food Scraps Into Fertilizer In 24 Hours

Food
Technology Today

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Travel Today

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Food Today

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

The Coffee Drop Printer uses a large canvas to design these unique images

Travel Today

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture Today

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport Today

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Communications Officer: What This Holiday Season Means For Millennial Shoppers

Dallas Lawrence of the Rubicon Project shares why holiday cheer is all about likes, views and retweets

PSFK Labs Yesterday

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated Today

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail Today

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion Today

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work Today

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing Today

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Advertising Today

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive Today

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.