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Newsletter #18
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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.
IWA Specialized Conference on Instrumentation, Control and Automation 
June 11-14 | Quebec City, Canada 
This international conference brings together different methodologies and aspects of sensor technology, instrumentation, control and automation for water, wastewater, and transportation systems.  AWWA ACE17
June 11-14 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This conference offers numerous technical sessions on water treatment innovations and small water systems, and the opportunity to network with industry professionals. One Water Summit 2017
June 27-29 | New Orleans, Louisiana
This conference brings together hundreds of leaders from accross the country to share best practices, unique ideas, and innovative solutions to advance sustainable water solutions.

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.
Development of a Sustainability Assessment Framework for Water Treatment

Adib Amini, Jie Zhang, Ph.D., Qiong Zhang, Ph.D., University of South Florida 

Researchers at the University of South Florida have been developing a Sustainability Assessment Framework (SAF) for water treatment technology. The framework allows for multi-dimensional evaluation of water treatment technology. Furthermore, the framework has a semi-quantitative matrix. Therefore, it takes into account both quantitative and qualitative indicators of the overall sustainability of the technology.

The framework includes five dimensions, which are the technological, environmental, economic, societal and managerial dimensions. Within each of these dimensions are included a number of criteria. For example, the technological dimension includes questions related to performance, resiliency, robustness, ability to be implemented, and transferability. The environmental dimension includes questions related to energy use, material use, chemical use, equipment required, and waste generation and treatment. The economic dimension addresses questions related to technology costs and externalities. The societal dimension includes questions related to risk, acceptance, ease of use, and so on. The managerial dimension addresses the questions related to mechanisms for monitoring, information dissemination, and adaptability. The framework currently includes a total of 18 criteria.

The criteria of the framework then include a number of quantitative and qualitative indicators. For example, within technical performance are quantitative indicators such as “percentage removal of targeted contaminants”. There are also qualitative indicators such as, “Can the community/workforce provide sufficient labor and experts?” Furthermore, the framework includes indicators across the life cycle stages of the technology, such as construction, operation & maintenance, and end-of-life.

To be able to assess the qualitative criteria, it is necessary to include the input of water professionals and to take into account their values. To collect this information an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is being used, with a survey of various stakeholders. Figure 1 shows the portion of the survey related to importance of sustainability criteria. An initial round of surveys has already been carried out, with some preliminary results. Over 80 individuals partook in the survey, with the majority being operators and managers of water utilities. The survey results showed that the criteria considered most important to survey participants are the Performance and Reliability of the system. Furthermore, Robustness (the ability to endure shock loads) and Ease of Use were also considered very important. An individual score for each of the 18 criteria of the framework has been calculated from the survey results, using the AHP method, and these scores will be used to further develop the Sustainability Assessment Framework.  
Figure 1. Snapshot of section 3 of the survey, showing the Criteria rating portion.

Recent Publications

Integrated pyrolucite fluidized bed-membrane hybrid process for improved iron and manganese control in drinking water

Kenari, S., Barbeau, B. 2017. Integrated pyrolucite fluidized bed-membrane hybrid process for improved iron and manganese control in drinking water. Water Research, 113, 50-61. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.01.053.

Why it's interesting: Pyrolusite has shown to effectively remove traces of manganese from surface water under different water quality conditions. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a ceramic membrane which integrates pyrolusite fluidized bed (PFB) pretreatment and ceramic MF/UF membranes in removing iron and manganese while reducing membrane fouling. The study showed that under ideal conditions, the PFB-MF/UF hybrid process could continuously operate for several days without any chemical/physical cleaning while removing more than 75% and 95% of iron and manganese. 
Biologically active filters – An advanced water treatment process for contaminants of emerging concern

Zhang, S., Gitungo, S., Axe, L., Raczko, R., Dyksen, J. 2017. Biologically active filters – An advanced water treatment process for contaminants of emerging concern, 114, 31-41. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.02.014.

Why it's interesting:  This study aims to determine whether existing filters can be converted to biological active filters to treat contaminants of emerging concerns while achieving the most cost effective operating onditions.  
Continuous Organic Characterization Using Fluorescence for Biological and Membrane Filter Performance Monitoring

Peleato, N., Legge, R., Andrews, R. 2017. Continuous Organic Characterization Using Fluorescence for Biological and Membrane Filter Performance Monitoring. Journal-American Water Works Association, 109. Doi: 10.5942/jawwa.2017.109.0031.

Why it's interesting:  This study utilizes fluorescence spectroscopy to accurately characterize natural organic compounds present in pretreated water. Knowing organic matter composition before water treatment can optimize operations and reduce ultrafiltration membrane fouling.  

Industry News

SageGuard Solutions buys NASA Glenn technology called 'future of water purification'
A local company from Ohio has bought a water purification technology which utilizes electricity and plasma to treat water from NASA Glenn Research Center.  

Amiad Receives Further NSF Accreditation For Drinking Water Safety
Amiad Water Systems's AMF microfiber filter technology has been evaluated and certified by NSF International for Cryptosporidium removal according to NSF/ANSI 419 standards.

NMSU chemical engineer investigates more efficient, effective water treatment technology
Chemical engineers at New Mexico State University are developing nanofiltration and ultrafiltration membranes using surfactants to decrease costs associated with membranes.

Engineers recommend powder activated carbon to treat algae toxins in Auburn's water
The city of Auburn is implementing a mechanized bulk bag feed system that will supply powder activated carbon to treat harmful algae toxins as a less costly upgrade to the city's water treatment plant.  
 
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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