EPA’s Homeland Security Research Program (HSRP) aims to increase the United States’ capabilities to prepare for and respond to environmental disasters involving chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear substances (CBRN). As part of this effort, EPA researchers develop scientific data, methods, and tools that can be used by various stakeholders, including laboratories and on-scene coordinators, to increase the effectiveness of response.
Nutrients in the environment from excess nitrogen and phosphorous can result in negative impacts on water quality. EPA is improving nutrient management by incentivizing the development of low-cost technology solutions, such as nutrient sensors, in collaboration with USGS, USDA, NIST, NOAA, and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).
To make informed decisions about how to limit exposure to cyanotoxins, utilities need information to select and implement a comprehensive and technically sound management approach. The Water Research Foundation (WRF) has been actively involved in developing effective innovative solutions to help utilities address this challenge and protect public health.
August and September are peak months for harmful blooms of algae in western Lake Erie. This year’s outbreak covered more than 620 square miles by mid-August. These blooms, which can kill fish and pets and threaten public health, are driven mainly by agricultural pollution and increasingly warm waters due to climate change.
More public and private resources than ever are being directed to protecting and preserving aquatic ecosystems and watersheds. Whether mandated for land development, farming, or in response to the growing severity and number of natural disasters, scientists from Drexel University found evidence that decades of watershed restoration and mitigation projects have taken place, but their impact is mostly perceived.
Denver Water and engineering partners resolve major water quality challenge in crucial South Platte River exchange reservoirs.
University of Miami professors who study water treatment and civil engineering say that water contamination issues point to human error.
Recently, Denver Water’s board approved its proposed “Lead Reduction Program Plan” to fully replace the estimated 75,000 lead service lines (LSLs) in their system within 15 years. The plan is an innovative solution that will remove the primary source of lead within Denver Water’s system, while avoiding the use of orthophosphate that can further exacerbate nutrient pollution problems in rivers, streams, and oceans.
Wildfire is a natural part of many ecosystems, but recently these fires have become more severe, burning more acres and causing destruction in the western parts of the United States. Recently, U.S. EPA researchers have begun to look at the impact of these fires on our water supply, the natural resource we depend on for drinking, irrigation, fishing, and recreation.
Harmful algal blooms are a significant concern for many communities across the U.S. These blooms occur when cyanobacteria grow out of control in fresh and marine waters, often because of excess phosphorus and nitrogen from stormwater runoff and other sources such as fertilizers entering the water.
When a company stakes its reputation on delivering innovative technologies, products, and services, the specter of a changing regulatory landscape is considered more an opportunity than an obstacle. In this Water Talk interview, Mirka Wilderer, CEO of De Nora Water Technologies, discusses varying topics such as pharmaceuticals and nutrients in wastewater, the synergy of the company’s new MIOX and Neptune acquisitions, and how to address the growing concern over chlorate disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in drinking water. For example, De Nora’s new ClorTec Gen III onsite hypochlorite generators generate up to 3,000 lbs./day of chlorine-based disinfectants while reducing chlorate formation and cutting operating costs by 15 percent as compared to previously available models.
The challenges of complying with the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) and other emerging regulations in a post-Flint world are high-priority for a variety of organizations — from government agencies, to public water systems, to individual facilities such as schools. This Water Talk discussion with Megan Glover of 120 Water Audit addresses the scope and execution of those challenges. It covers everything from providing point-of-use testing kits for sampling individual water spigots to managing overall Safe Drinking Water Act and LCR compliance through cloud-based software. Most important, it gives context to practical solutions for the many utilities and facilities coping with some level of lead exceedance.
With ever-growing demand for water resources, the reuse discussion has been building for years. More utilities are considering it, policy is being created around it, and new technologies are making it more efficient. To better understand the evolving landscape, Water Talk sat down with Brown and Caldwell's regional One Water leader, Allegra da Silva.
The U.S. EPA is gearing up to limit perchlorate in public drinking water systems, so municipalities should start preparing to adopt the appropriate testing and treatment technologies. In a recent report, the agency identified several technologies as the best available to address the perchlorate problem.
When I attended the U.S. EPA-hosted PFAS Summit held at the Horsham, PA high school auditorium on July 25, 2018, the education I received from state and municipal leaders focusing on the local problem was more than just a professional briefing. It was ominously personal, due to the fact that the Water Online editorial office where I work and drink water every day is served by a utility sitting smack-dab in the middle of one of the most concentrated PFAS hotspots in the U.S.
Water utilities around the country are trying to get a handle on their PFAS problem. While the presence of legacy PFAS is well known, lesser understood replacements such as short-chain PFAS are emerging as a major issue. The short-chain compounds are particularly important because they can be more difficult to remove. In this Water Talk interview, Adam Redding, technical director for drinking water solutions for Calgon Carbon, discusses the science and economics behind effective solutions for treating water for short-chain PFAS and other contaminants.
Blades, Delaware, a small town in Sussex County, provides drinking water to more than 1,300 residential and business locations throughout the community. In 1981, the citizens of Blades voted to improve their water and sewage facilities by establishing a central water supply and tying all properties into the nearby Seaford Sewer System. By February of 1982, the project was complete and since then the town has had a clean and safe municipal water supply.
The City of Paramount conducted a pilot study for arsenic, manganese and iron treatment system at their Well 15 site. The onsite pilot test was designed to demonstrate the performance of the Loprest Water Treatment Company treatment process proposed for the new treatment plant.
A large municipal water utility in the southwest operates multiple facilities that provide more than 170 MGD of drinking water to residents and businesses. The utility, which spans 100 square miles, is prone to leaky pipes because parts of its distribution system have been in place for nearly a century. Also known as non-revenue water, or NRW, these leaks significantly drive up the cost of production.
Iron, manganese, arsenic and hydrogen sulfide are indigenous to numerous groundwater aquifers. With the exception of arsenic, these constituents are more prevalent in deeper aquifers that are devoid of dissolved oxygen. This report summarizes the results and conclusions of a groundwater treatment pilot test program. This pilot test program was undertaken to determine the removal performance for arsenic, manganese and iron at the City of Merced’s Well 20 site. Chemical treatment processes required were also studied.
Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a published Contingency Plan in anticipation of the current government shutdown? I guess in hindsight, you would have expected it for an agency with 134 facilities dotted across the country. And in fact, it’s required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Circular A-11, Section 124 that all government agencies have plans for an orderly shutdown “in the event of an absence of appropriations.”
With a growing effort to ‘go digital’ in the global water industry, distribution and wastewater managers risk data inundation. But data sources from SCADA systems, pressure loggers, and stand-alone sensors can unlock valuable insights for more efficient operations and maintenance. Learn how to structure your system to avoid data flooding.
Effective control of the microbiological environment in water distribution systems is one of the biggest keys to providing a healthy product. When it comes to processes for achieving this, the U.S. can some take lessons from Europe, where utilities are more likely to monitor temperature. Advanced flow metering technology that incorporates temperature monitoring provides a significant tool for utilities without the need for additional instruments.
Large-scale water-reuse treatment plants have had sustainable impact in populated areas where the volume of water to be treated and reused in a concentrated area makes them practical. Today, the flat-sheet membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology that is delivering high-quality wastewater treatment to remote locations is poised to realize the promise of sustainable water reuse in those same locations.
In water testing, readings that we believe to be reliable indicators are not always what they seem. Water that exhibits certain chemical or electrical characteristics at laboratory temperatures can provide entirely different readings in the field. Here is a quick review of what to look for in common water tests and why to consider automatic temperature compensation in the instruments used to collect them.
Evidence indicates that manganese (Mn) is more than a nuisance: it's a threat to health. It's time to get serious about removing it from drinking water.
With the proliferation of new sensors and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) initiatives now feeding SCADA systems, water industry managers lament how they are drowning in a sea of data yet starving for insights that really matter. With concepts like data democratization starting to bear fruit, advanced analytical capabilities are creating new opportunities for water insights without requiring a degree in computer science.
For most water utilities, maintaining existing infrastructure — whether planned or in response to emergencies — is a large part of physical plant costs. Being prepared to respond is half the battle. Here are several guidelines and options to consider for maintaining the most cost-efficient solutions to everyday pipeline problems. As with most good plans, they start with proper organization.
When sizing a compressed air dryer, it’s important to understand how temperature and pressure affect humidity. This article provides guidance for selecting an air dryer for conditions and factors of your facility.
When you think about areas of the world where people have limited access to clean water, I’m guessing hot, sunny, arid climates come to mind. In an interesting twist, a couple of innovations are using those exact conditions to create potable water.
Are “ghost forests” a sign of things to come? Rising sea levels and superstorm tidal surges are already impacting coastal areas, with rising salinity levels affecting some drinking water sources. Coastal water utilities are not the only ones that have to worry about salinity, however, as high concentrations of winter storm road treatments, gas drilling, and mining can also generate elevated salinity levels in surface water sources.
Potable reuse of wastewater has gone by many different names, some of them unflattering, like “toilet to tap.” Despite the clear benefits of water reuse, this so-called “ick factor” has slowed the adoption of technology that can transform wastewater into drinking water.
Following these five rules will ensure that OOE investigations are conducted in a scientific and meaningful manner, with each instance providing a genuine opportunity for improvement.