American Water has signed a contract with The WateReuse Foundation to conduct a joint research project on the biostability of reclaimed water.
The project, titled “Microbiological Quality and Biostability of Reclaimed Water Following Storage and Distribution,” will study the biological components of water in reclaimed water systems, or those where wastewater is treated and reused for a number of environmental purposes, such as irrigation and grounds maintenance.
“Water is a precious natural resource, and one that is essential to life,” said Mark LeChevallier, director of innovation and environmental stewardship at American Water. “Reclaimed water systems prevent pollution, enhance the environment and promote sustainability.” The American Water-WateReuse Foundation project will provide practical data for understanding how microbial regrowth in reclaimed distribution systems alters effluent microbial water quality, and how to control this regrowth.
Total budget for the 30-month project is $500,335, with $300,000 in funds contributed by The WateReuse Foundation, and $200,335 of in-kind support from American Water and other participating organizations.
“This is a very significant research project,” LeChevallier said. “The impact of treatment process, disinfection, storage and system operation will be modeled in a way than can be applied to a wide range of reclaimed water systems.” The end report will document cost-effective strategies to reduce the risks of regrowth in reclaimed water systems throughout the country.