Nov 24, 2014

WERF Begins New Studies on Trace Organic Compounds, Pathogens

WERF awards the University of Cincinnati, Southern Nevada Water Authority & Iowa State University contracts to support further research on TOrC & pathogens

Water Environment Research Foundation trace organic compounds pathogens

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) has awarded the University of Cincinnati, Southern Nevada Water Authority and Iowa State University with contracts to support further research on trace organic compounds (TOrC) and pathogens. These projects will advance our knowledge of the fate, transport and detection of TOrC (i.e., personal care products and pharmaceuticals) and pathogens.

The first project, Evaluating Fate Mechanisms for Contaminants of Concern in BNR Treatment Systems (WERF project # U2R13), will be led by the University of Cincinnati and Southern Nevada Water Authority. Due to the recent emergence of biological nutrient removal (BNR) treatment, a process used to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater, there is a need to understand the fate and removal mechanisms of TOrC in BNR systems. This research aims to fill in the gaps essential for optimizing current treatment processes for TOrC removal and in using mass balance models for predicting TOrC fate and removal in BNR treatment systems.

Iowa State University will conduct research on the second project entitled Simple and Fast Detection of Bacteria in Recreational Water (WERF project #U4R13). The objective of this study is to develop a simple dip-stick test for the detection of fecal indicator bacteria E.coli in recreational waters in a short period of time. The development of a paper-based device for the detection of waterborne pathogens or pathogen indicators has the potential to transform current recreational water quality monitoring programs. Municipalities, regulatory agencies, local officials, and beach managers would all benefit from the ability to more frequently monitor discharges and recreational waters for pathogens.