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.
The Water Expo
August 31-September 1 | Miami, Florida
This international expo includes a "Innovations and New Technology" track.  2017 Membrane Technolgoy Conference & Exposition 
February 13-17 | Long Beach, California
Submissions for technical sessions, workshops, and special topic sessions at this AWWA annual conference will be accepted until Thursday, June 23, 2016. 

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.
Natural Filtration Impacts on Post Disinfection Water Quality in Small Systems
Matteo D'Alessio, Chittaranjan Ray, and Bruce Dvorak
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Often groundwater sources provide a consistent, high quality source water that requires limited treatment for small communities. For some communities, groundwater is not available in sufficient quantity or quality, thus the need to utilize surface waters. Surface water systems often experience fluctuating quality of water in the distribution system after disinfection. Dissolved organic carbon in surface water contributes to the formation of several disinfection byproducts (DBPs) when chlorine is used as the disinfectant. Systems that use chloramine also experience the depletion of chlorine residuals due to nitrification in summer months. Natural filtration is a treatment technology that has been used for communities of various sizes to fully treat or pre-treat the surface water before supply. Natural filtration includes two primary treatment technologies: riverbank filtration (RBF) and slow sand filtration (SSF). Both of these types of treatment technologies have been shown to produce water of consistent quality and remove significant amount of organic carbon and microorganisms. Particularly, RBF is ideal for small communities that are located on riverbanks. There is scarcity of research in these communities about how RBF or SSF affect the formation and subsequent fate of DBPs when chlorine or chloramines are used as disinfectants. Increased understanding of the formation and dispersal of DBPs in the disinfection system and other contaminants of concern will provide greater protection of public health.

This project involves extensive monitoring of wells at a community in Nebraska and the nearby surface water sources. The town of Auburn draws its drinking water from a series of wells located on the bank of the Little Nemaha River (Figure 1). The monitoring started in March of 2016 and will continue until summer 2017. Water samples from these communities will be collected once a month. During April 2016 and April 2017, water samples will be collected at higher frequency. Temperature, turbidity, pH, and DO will be monitored at the two field locations, while UVA, TOC/DOC, THMs, major anions, and bacteria will be measured at the Nebraska Water Science Laboratory. This data will help illustrate the potential benefits of RBF and, when combined with capital and operating cost data, will provide an additional set of case studies.
Figure 1. RBF facility at Auburn, NE. A series of wells, intermittently operated, located on the bank of the Little Nemaha River.

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.
Application of Photochemical Processes for the Design and Implementation of Sustainable Treatment for Small Systems
Karl G. Linden, Sara E. Beck, and Natalie Hull 
University of Colorado–Boulder

Bench-scale inactivation studies of pathogen indicator microorganisms were performed using UV LEDs with peak emissions at 260 nm and 280 nm, illuminated separately and simultaneously to evaluate possible synergy from dual illumination. Inactivation results were compared to conventional mercury vapor lamps emitting either monochromatic (LP, at 254 nm) or polychromatic (MP, 200-300 nm) UV irradiation in terms of the electrical energy required to achieve each log of inactivation. LP UV was the most energy efficient overall. The 280 nm LED outperformed the 260 nm LED and the LEDs illuminated together for E. coli and MS2 inactivation due to higher intensity output per energy consumed and lower light absorbance of water at higher wavelengths. MP UV outperformed the LEDs for adenovirus 2 and B. pumilus, presumably due to the contribution of wavelengths below 240 nm to inactivation. No explicit synergy was observed from illuminating the LEDs simultaneously. Next, we will expose the UV LEDs in sequence to check for possible synergy including decreased power consumption and heat production compared to simultaneous illumination.
Due to the known contribution of low wavelengths to inactivation of UV-resistant organisms like adenovirus, protein damage was assessed across the germicidal spectrum. In addition to the 260 nm and 280 nm LEDs, a deuterium lamp was equipped with bandpass filters to attenuate light with peak wavelengths ranging from 210 to 270 nm. Protein damage was quantified by using a gel electrophoresis technique (SDS-PAGE). Wavelengths below 254 nm and at 268 were observed to be effective at protein damage, as indicated by decreased amount of proteins essential for the adenovirus infectious cycle and increased amount of de-activated cross-linked proteins that remained in the injection well of the gels after UV exposure. These results will be compared to other studies using different microorganisms. 

Recent Publications

Evaluation of a Hybrid Ion Exchange-Catalyst Treatment Technology for Nitrate Removal From Drinking Water

Bergquist, A.M., Choe, J.K., Strathmann, T.J., and Werth, C.J. Evaluation of a hybrid ion exchange-catalyst treatment technology for nitrate removal from drinking water. Water Research, 96, 177-187. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2016.03.054  

Why it's interesting: The results of this study suggest that a hybrid ion exchange-catalyst process that leverages brine reuse could address some of the economic and environmental disadvantages of more conventional nitrate treatment processes. 
Water Quality in Selected Small Drinking Water Systems of Missouri Rural Communities

Hua, B., Mu, R., Shi, H., Inniss, E. and Yang, J. (2016). Water quality in selected small drinking water systems of Missouri rural communities. Beverages, 2:2, 10. doi:10.3390/beverages2020010

Why it's interesting: An analysis of treatment effectiveness at three small systems in Missouri resulted in the implementation of new strategies that improved water quality and compliance with DBP regulations. 
Impact of Raw Water Quality and Climate Factors on the Variability of Drinking Water Quality in Small Systems

Scheili, A., Delpla, I., Sadiq, R., Rodriguez, M.J. (2016). Impact of raw water quality and climate factors on the variability of drinking water quality in small systems. Water Resources Management, 1-16. doi:10.1007/s11269-016-1312-z. 

Why it's interesting: A stepwise regression analysis revealed that the level of UV254 of raw water and average maximal air temperature of 15 days before measurement are two simple parameters systems can use to identify the risks of deterioration of drinking water quality. The study resulted in a visual management tool based on these parameters. 


Industry News

New Water Treatment Plant on Vancouver Island Provides Safer Drinking Water
The City of Nanaimo's new drinking water plant uses fine screening, a two-stage siphon membrane system, and chlorine disinfection to remove bacteria and stop boil water advisories caused by elevated turbidity. 

Will the White House Moonshot on Water Affect Lead Levels?
This Huffington Post blogger suggests that heightened public attention on water quality following Flint could catalyze action to develop innovative water funding and technologies. 

Video: Filtering Drinking Water with Nanofibers
A California-based startup has developed a water bottle filter that could reduce water-born diseases. 

Arsenic Removal from Some Local Groundwater Proves Challenging
High levels of arsenic in Monterey County California have proven too expensive for some small non-community systems to treat. 

Vermont EPSCoR Wins $20 Million NSF Award to Promote Resiliency in Lake Champlain Basin
A five-year project conducted in collaboration with universities across Vermont will create a computer model to identify strategies for maintaining drinking water quality during intense storms. 
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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