Newsletter #15
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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.
Smart Water: Tapping Technologies for Water Utilities 
January 25 | San Diego, California 
This free, one-day event will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with the integration of data-driven technologies across the water sector.  IUVA 2017 Americas Conference 
February 5-8 | Austin, Texas 
This conference presents the recent advancements in technology and research addressing the environmental, health, and treatment process challenges of today, and the current trends in UV regulations and new applications.  Michigan WEA-AWWA Joint Expo 
February 7-8 | Lansing, Michigan 
This 2-day Joint Expo will offer a large exhibit floor showcasing the latest technologies, products, and services the water industry has to offer. WQA Convention & Exposition 
March 28-31 | Orlando, Florida 
This 4-day conference showcases the drinking water treatment industry’s latest technologies, education, training, networking, and business opportunities with industry professionals. 

Project Update from the WINSSS Center

The Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS) Center at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst is led by Dr. David Reckhow.
The WINSSS Center brings together a national team of experts to transform drinking water treatment for small water systems to meet the urgent need for state-of-the-art innovation, development, demonstration, and implementation of treatment, information, and process technologies in part by leveraging existing relationships with industry.
Removal of NOM and Inorganic Constituents

Desmond Lawler, University of Texas at Austin 

One of the WINSSS projects being done at the University of Texas is to investigate the simultaneous removal of NOM and various inorganic constituents of concern, such as fluoride, mercury, and arsenic, by metal ion coagulation (with aluminum or iron salts). The effect of NOM on removal of these constituents is one focus of the work. Earlier this year, we studied in detail the effects of fluoride and NOM on the resulting particle size distributions of the flocs; measurements were made with a Coulter Counter. A baseline study was performed by precipitating aluminum hydroxide from a synthetic water with controlled alkalinity, pH, and hardness, and then the presence of either fluoride and/or NOM was investigated. Relative to the precipitate formed from alum alone, the volume distribution when fluoride was added indicated substantially smaller particles, suggesting the fluoride was incorporated into the precipitate as it formed and that fluoride limited the size of the flocs. When NOM was added (in the absence of fluoride), a greater total particle volume was created, but the relative size distribution was similar to that of alum alone. When both NOM and F- were present, the results were intermediate between these two trends—the particles were smaller but more voluminous than the alum alone particles, but neither trend was as dramatic as when those two constituents were present alone.

In further work in the same project, we are currently investigating the effects of the presence of NOM on the removal of several inorganic constituents; with rather surprising results in some cases. The presence of NOM reduced the removal of fluoride or arsenic (V) (and their presence reduced the removal of NOM), indicating that NOM and these inorganics compete for sites on the precipitate. On the contrary, the removal of mercury and arsenic (III) was enhanced by the presence of NOM; some constituent(s) of NOM apparently complexed with these inorganics, and the NOM was then adsorbed onto the hydroxide precipitate. While the effects were not dramatic, they might be substantial enough to allow some small water systems to comply, for example, with the MCL for arsenic without requiring pre-oxidation of the As(III) to As(V). Current work is focused on understanding the mechanisms of such removal in detail.


In the November newsletter, a request for proposal from WINSSS to find promising drinking water treatment technologies was mentioned.

WINSSS has elected to remove from the proposal the procurement of "additional cash or external in-kind matching".

RFP deadline extended: Feburuary 1, 2017.

Recent Publications

Preozonation effects on organic foulants in a coagulation-ultrafiltration membrane process

Biscardi, P., S. Duranceau. 2016. Preozonation effects on organic foulants in a coagulation-ultrafiltration membrane process. Journal – American Water Works Association, 109. doi: 10.5942/jawwa.2017.109.0013. 

Why it's interesting: Irreversible membrane fouling caused by organic foulants were absent on ultrafiltration membranes when ozone was applied as pretreatment before coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation. 
The effect if TiO2 nanoparticles removal on drinking water quality produced by conventional treatment C/F/S

Sousa V., C. Corniciuc, M. Teixeria. The effect if TiO2 nanoparticles removal on drinking water quality produced by conventional treatment C/F/S. Water Research, 109, 1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.11.030.

Why it's interesting: This work investigates the efficiency of conventional coagulation/flocculation/sedimentation from drinking water treatment to remove TiO2 nanoparticles from surface waters, and how natural organic matter can affect the removal efficiency of nanoparticles. 
Iron and manganese removal: Recent advances in modelling treatment efficiency by rapid sand filtration

Vries D., C. Bertelkamp, F. Kegel, B. Hofs, J. Dusseldorp, J.H. Bruins, W. de Vet, B. van den Akker. Iron and manganese removal: Recent advances in modelling treatment efficiency by rapid sand filtration. Water Research, 109, 35-45. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.11.032.

Why it's interesting: The objective of this study is to develop a knowledge based model for iron/manganese removal in rapid sand filters to test and validate the assumed removal mechanisms by oxidation. Process optimization and advanced control of filter operation can be supported by model simulations. 

Industry News

Canadian Drinking Water Treatment Plant Upgrades GE Membrane Technology
By utilizing GE’s Water & Process Technologies’ asset performance management solution, a treatment plant in Ontario, Canada was able to optimize its system by upgrading to new membranes. 

Water Treatment Chemicals and Technology – Global Market Outlook (2015-2022)
The global water treatment chemicals and technology market is estimated to increase from $133.5 billion to $176.4 billion by 2022. 

Membranes for Municipal Water and Wastewater Treatment
The current basic four types of membranes are microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis and they are unlikely to be replaced anytime soon.

Water Treatment Pilot Test Hosted by Southern California Utility and Electric Power Research Institute
Sylvan Source has announced the completion of a pilot test of the SSI Core water treatment system, which is capable of treating a wide range of water with significant levels of contamination efficiently. 

EPA Update: Agency Names First Chemicals for Review Under New TSCA Legislations
The EPA announced the first ten chemicals that will be evaluated for potential risks to human health and environment under the Toxic Substances Control Act reform. 
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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