Amazing to think that a seeming ubiquitous sand is in fact a finite resource - particularly if it is for building or water filtration. When using sand to make concrete a special grade of silica sand is required. This sand is not taken from deserts or beaches, it is mined and extracted. In fact researchers beleive that the world may be facing a hidden global crisis.
Demand is outstripping supply.
Sand & gravel have becomes one of the most-extracted materials in the world, exceeding fossil fuel
For example, a huge amount of silica sand was required for building in Dubai. This was only available locally from the sea bed. That source was quickly depleted. So ironically a country built in the desert sand, had to import river sand from Australia.
The Australians literally sold sand to the Arabs!
This BBC news article How the demand for sand is killing rivers - explores how in Kenya demand is driving the illegal sand harvesting industry, causing loss of ecosystems and even deaths. While this is extreme it does highlight the fact that sand is indeed a valuable resource.
Water filtration also requires a certain grade of sand. Despite being an island surrounded by beaches, Britain must quarry this sand. Beach sand is simply not the grade required for filtration. Most of this quarried sand comes from a single source in Leighton Buzzard.
Sand filtration can easily be switched to sustainable filtration with recycled glass.
Given that Britain has an excess recycled imported green glass it is imperative that we recycle & reuse this resource.
There is very little difference in price between quarried sand and recycled glass manufactured for filtration. Because glass filters more efficently, less backwashing is required. This means less water, power and chemcials are used. This soon pays back any difference in price.
British restaurants and pubs annually throw over 200,000 tonnes of glass into landfill. So for the pool industry, this is like throwing money away!
Recycle. Reuse. Reduce.