News | October 12, 2018

Membrane Technology Meetings Held In Washington, D.C.

Membrane water treatment technology usage and needs in the United States was highlighted in Washington, D.C. on October 10, 2018 in a roundtable discussion held at the Office of Water of the Environmental Protection Agency. This event was hosted by the American Membrane Technology Association, Water Environment Federation and the WateReuse Association. The sessions were held in conjunction with “Imagine a Day without Water” activities around the United States.

Mr. David Ross, Assistant Administrator, in the EPA Office of Water opened the session and described his early introduction to membranes and how membranes play a critical role in water reuse applications. Harold Fravel of AMTA, Dr. O'Neill of WEF and Ms. Carrie Capuco of WateReuse gave opening remarks. Ben Movahed, AMTA Board member, gave an overview of membrane technologies followed by four talks by the following experts:

  • Robert Yamada, San Diego County Water Authority, Director of Water Resources discussed Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant Public-Private Partnership (P3) utilized for this largest desalination plant in the U.S.
  • Mike Snodgrass, Ovivo Membrane Technology Leader, presented information on Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) and their application in the United States
  • David Sloan, Freese & Nichols, Inc. Senior Process Engineer, reviewed Potable Reuse and the Big Spring, TX direct potable reuse effort
  • John Nichols, Brunswick County, NC Director of Utilities discussed GenX and other emerging contaminants in the Cape Fear and the utility's efforts to reduce them in the public water supplies

National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators. During the question and answer period, key issues and concerns raised during the presentations were discussed such as who should bear the cost of treating water contaminated upriver, advantages of a private public partnership, feasibility of direct potable reuse, financial impact on utilities who are treating unregulated contaminants, and the future use and customers for high quality MBR effluent.

In the afternoon, there was a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill to present the progress made with membranes to meet the water quality and supply needs in the United States. The briefing started with a review of membrane technologies followed by an opportunity for the staffers to view posters from the morning sessions and ask question of the presenters. The Honorable Representative Brian Mast hosted our session in the Congressional Building. The informal atmosphere of the walk around allowed for interested staffers to ask many questions at their own pace and have discussions with the knowledgeable speakers.

Literature including a white paper on membrane technology written by AMTA along with several Technical Fact sheets and other literature by participating organizations were given to all attendees.

SOURCE: American Membrane Technology Association