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Newsletter #6
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News from the National Centers for
Innovation in Small Drinking Water Systems

Upcoming Events

A listing of webinars, symposia, and conferences relevant to this work.
Water Summit 2016
June 14-15 | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Join water industry professionals, researchers, and agency representatives from across to discuss multi-dimensional approaches to addressing water use and investing in the development of new, innovative products and solutions.  ACE Annual Conference and Exposition
June 19-22 | Chicago, Illinois
Workshops, sessions, and tours at this AWWA annual conference will address developing robust asset management prograsm, implementing potable reuse soulution, addressing water loss in distribution systems, responding to harmful algal blooms, and more. 

Project Update from the DeRISK Center

The Design of Risk-reducing, Innovative-implementable Small-system Knowledge (DeRISK) Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder is led by Dr. Scott Summers.
The DeRISK Center’s overall objectives focus on applying principles of risk reduction, sustainability and new implementation approaches to innovative technologies that will reduce the risk associated with key contaminant groups and increase the chance of adoption and sustainable use in small systems.
Decision Support for Small Drinking Water Treatment Systems 
Pablo K. Cornejo1,2, Bill Hogrewe1,2
1DeRISK Center, University of Colorado-Boulder
2Rural Community Assistance Partnership 
(Emails:  cornejow@colorado.edu, bhogrewe@rcap.org)


Small drinking water treatment systems across the U.S. face major water treatment challenges. Both technical and non-technical challenges span a wide range of financial, environmental, managerial, and health related issues that are often not considered when assessing alternatives for small systems. Consideration of these challenges early in the decision-making process can lead to the improved implementation of economically feasible, environmentally sustainable, and socially acceptable drinking water solutions. Consequently, the DeRISK Center is developing a user-friendly decision support tool appropriate for the evaluation of small alternative treatment processes. The tool accounts for cost (e.g., capital, O&M), environmental impact (e.g., resource usage, climate change, ecosystem quality), health risk (e.g., DBPs, microbial), and community priorities when assessing alternatives (see Figure 1). Community priorities are often overlooked; however, the success of both conventional and innovative small systems is largely dependent on these priorities. Major community priorities identified through communication with regulators, engineers, and technical assistance providers include level of operator expertise, on-site laboratory requirements, frequency of corrective maintenance, availability of parts or consumable supplies, waste stream handling requirements, aesthetics, resilience to changes in influent, controls/automation required, and familiarity with the proposed technologies. Our goal is to provide an accessible multi-criteria decision support framework that will aid the alternatives assessment of small systems, leading to the appropriate selection of drinking water treatment technologies in small communities. 
Figure 1. Criteria used to select appropriate water system based on cost, health risk, environmental impact, and community priorities.

Recent Publications

Coagulation and Oxidation for Controlling Ultrafiltration Membrane Fouling in Drinking Water Treatment: Application of Ozone at Low Dose in Submerged Membrane Tank 

Wenzheng, Y., Graham, N.J.D., and Fowler, G.D. (2016). Coagulation and oxidation for controlling ultrafiltration membrane fouling in drinking water treatment: Application of ozone at low dose in submerged membrane tank. Water Research, 95, 1-10. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2016.02.063. 

Why it's interesting: At a laboratory-scale and employing model raw water, applying low doses of ozone in the membrane tank immediately following coagulation was shown to significantly prevent fouling effects.  
Pilot Testing Strong Base Anion Exchange for Cr(VI) Removal 

Gorman, C., Seidel, C., Henrie, T., Huang, L. and Thompson, R. (2016). Pilot testing strong base anion exchange for CR(VI) removal. Journal of the American Water Works Association (In Press). doi:10.5942/jawwa.2016.108.0028. 

Why it's interesting: Extensive pilot testing in California revealed that selecting the most appropriate resin for a given water can improve Cr(VI) removal performance by as much as 50 percent, substantially influencing overall operational and life cycle costs. 
 
Using Decision Trees to Predict Drinking Water Advisories in Small Water Systems

Murphy, H., Bhatti, M., Harvey, R., and Edward, A. (2016). Journal of the American Water Works Association, 108:2, E109-E118. doi:10.5942/jawwa.2016.108.0008. 

Why it's interesting: This Canadian study demonstrates that a decision-tree methodology can help water managers and regulators predict vulnerabilities in small drinking water systems. 

 

Industry News

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin Introduces Water Technology Legislation 
The proposed Water Technology Acceleration Act would create a grant program to fund public-private partnerships that deploy, test, and improve water technologies and require U.S. EPA to evaluate barriers to technology adoption and provide additional technical assistance. 

NSF International Certifies Water Filters that Reduce Microcystin in Drinking Water
A new NSF protocol certifies a water filter's ability to reduce microsystin to below the U.S. EPA health advisory limit for infants and young children. Products must be retested periodically and re-certified each year. 

Ohio Water Plant Finds Effective Alternative to Chlorine Gas 
Successful pilot studies prompt Ohio EPA to approve the use of a dry calcium hypochlorite system for Huber Heights. 

This New Material Pulls Clean Drinking Water Straight Out of the Air
Researchers at Harvard University have developed a composite system for harvesting and transporting atmospheric H2O. 
The two National Centers for Innovation in Small Drinking Water Systems, based at the University of Colorado - Boulder and the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, are collaborative research groups charged with examining and reducing the barriers of innovative treatment technology implementation at small drinking water systems. The funding for the centers comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program.
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