Scientists are using bacteria to remove harmful contaminants from our water. Here's how.

It turns out that bacteria can do a lot more than contaminate water--some species break down toxic chemicals and remove heavy metals. Active sites already clean water in states like Kansas, Utah, Texas, and California; for example, one Californian groundwater treatment plant can clean 2,000 gallons of perchlorate-contaminated water per minute. Though some logistical and technical hurdles remain, these bacterial allies in the fight against water pollution are very promising.

Related Stories