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Newsletter #14
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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.
EPA Approaches to Technology Approval Webinar 
December 13 | 2:00-3:00 pm ET, Online 
The WINSSS Center for Innovation in Small Drinking Water Systems will present the results of a survey, “Developing A Better Understanding of Drinking Water Technology Approval”.   ESRI Water Conference 
February 7-9 | Orlando Florida 
A 2-day workshop on using ArcGIS for water utility for workflows will also be available after the conference.  AWWA/AMTA Membrane Technology Conference 
February 13-17 | Long Beach, California 
Early bird registration for this joint conference hosted by the American Membrane Technology Association and American Water Works Association ends January 13. 

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 sunlight-mediated pretreatment for small water treatment systems

Fernando L. Rosario-Ortiz, University of Colorado, Boulder 
Roberto Rodriguez, University of Texas-Health Sciences Center at Houston 

Access to safe and inexpensive water sources is a fundamental need for communities around the world. In the case of rural and/or isolated communities, water treatment systems that make use of natural processes to improve water quality while minimizing chemical and energy inputs could serve as adequate solutions. These natural processes include sunlight-driven reactions that occur in surface waters. These reactions include inactivation of pathogens and also modifications of the chemical matrix which could improve water quality, such as potential decrease in disinfection byproduct formation upon chlorination of distributed water.

It is well known that upon irradiation of natural waters containing dissolved organic matter (DOM), a series of photochemical reactions occur which result in the formation of reactive intermediates (RI, see Fig. 1). These RI include excited state DOM moieties and reactive oxygen species (ROS), including singlet oxygen (1O2) and hydroxyl radical (HO•). The formation of these RI can impact different processes in natural systems, including photomineralization and degradation of organic pollutants (P). These RI can also aid in the inactivation of pathogens. Pathogens overall can be inactivated via both direct sunlight or indirectly by reactions with these RI.

In this project, we have conducted an evaluation of the efficacy of sunlight-driven processes for pathogen inactivation and DBP precursor modification. We have studied different pathogens and surrogates, including E. Coli, adenovirus, and MS2, using water samples collected from sites in Colorado and Puerto Rico. The results so far indicate that sunlight processes can result in up to 6.5 log inactivation for pathogens such as E. Coli, with lower inactivation for others. The differences are the result of the fundamental pathways by which the inactivation occurs. Overall, we have demonstrated that the utilization of retention ponds, where sunlight-driven processes could improve water quality, is an alternative for small systems. The process does not depend on any chemical usage making it a sustainable option. We are now examining more in detail the implementation of this process.
 
Figure 1. Sunlight mediated DOM photo chemical reactions in natural waters.

WINSSS Emerging Technologies Program

Request for Proposals (Due: January 5, 2017) 

WINSSS is looking for promising technologies that have the potential to be transformational in overcoming barriers faced in small drinking water systems. Four awards at $50,000 each will be awarded to accepted proposals.

Proposals should be emailed to Dr. Celina Dozier at cdozier@umass.edu. Please address any questions about proposal submittal to Dr. Dozier as well.  

Recent Publications

Treatment of groundwater containing Mn(II), Fe(II), As(III) and Sb(III) by bioaugmented quartz-sand filters

Bai, Y., Y. Chang, J. Liang, C. Chen, and J. Qu. 2016. Treatment of groundwater containing Mn(II), Fe(II), As(III) and Sb(III) by bioaugmented quartz-sand filters. Water Research, 106, 126-134. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2016.09.040. 

Why it's interesting: This study reveals an alternative method for groundwater treatment. By combining quartz-sand columns and bioaugmented columns, this filter was able to increase the rate of microbial degradation to remove pollutants. 
Effect of water chemistry and operational conditions on μGAF process performance

Liu, J., and M.M. Benjamin. 2016. Effect of water chemistry and operational conditions on μGAF process performance. Water Research, 105, 76-84. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2016.08.048.

Why it's interesting: This study investigates the effects of water quality and operational conditions in microgranular adsorptive filtration(μGAF) as a method of pretreatment for membrane filtration. 
Chloramines in a pilot-scale water distribution system: Transformation of 17β-estradiol and formation of disinfection byproducts

He, G., C. Li, F. Dong, T. Zhang, L. Chen, L. Cizmas, and K.S. Virender. 2016. Chloramines in a pilot-scale water distribution system: Transformation of 17β-estradiol and formation of disinfection byproducts. Water Research, 106, 41-50. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2016.09.047.

Why it's interesting: This study investigates the effect of chloramines on the removal of 17 β-estradiol, and emerging contaminant, and production of disinfection byproducts in a water distribution system. 

Industry News

Southern California Water District Transforms Perchlorate-laden Groundwater into Drinking Water
Rialto, California celebrated the grand opening of a new treatment system, which removes perchlorate and nitrate from the groundwater. 

Cleanup Method for Stubborn Contaminants
Colorado State University environmental engineers are testing a promising new way to clean up perfluorinated compounds from groundwater by utilizing tin oxide-based mesh barriers. 

Conventional Water Treatment Can Be a Disaster for Small Communities
Smaller communities are prescribed conventional treatment technologies with little or no source water testing or assessment, which has resulted in non-working water processes.

Reclamation Awards Nearly $300,000 For Three Innovative Water Treatment Research Projects
The Bureau of Reclamation has selected three projects to receive $299,685 under an innovative pilot-scale water treatment technologies and process for inland desalination. 

SUEZ Dedicates Advanced Water Treatment Plant in Bloomsburg, PA
SUEZ is utilizing its own pressurized membrane racks in the new $32 million Irondale Water Treatment Plant, making it one of the most sophisticated and modern surface water treatment plants in the US. 
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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