The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) will release research funding totaling $275,000 for the development of a software model that aids wastewater treatment facilities in addressing hazardous events, either natural or intentional.
Called SewerNet, this integrated consequence assessment software will allow wastewater utilities to perform a comprehensive evaluation of wastewater system performance affected by contamination events in the collection system. Used as an emergency preparedness tool to analyze potential hazardous incident scenarios and their consequences, SewerNet will let utility officials make more informed decisions on managing and mitigating the impacts of hazardous releases within the water supply and wastewater collection infrastructure.
Working in tandem with modern geographic information systems (GIS), SewerNet will be applicable to any storm, combined, or sanitary sewer system and capable of routing contaminated stormwater or sanitary flow through the sewer network, from points of collection on to treatment facilities or direct discharge points. It is also hoped that this software model will be able to analyze the consequences of a variety of contamination scenarios such as:
A direct release of a biological or chemical agent into a manhole or other entry point of the sewer system.
The collection of contaminated water flushed from hydrants or other devices directly connected to a drinking water distribution system.
The collection of wastewater generated from the normal activities occurring in homes, businesses, and other facilities that might have received contaminated drinking water.
It is envisioned that at this stage of development, SewerNet will be used primarily in an offline mode as an emergency planning and preparedness tool that analyzes potential hazardous incident scenarios and their consequences. In keeping with WERFs approach to product development, SewerNet will be non-proprietary and not require special licenses for its use or for specific components it might contain.
Researchers interested in submitting a proposal for this project are encouraged to visit the WERF website at http://www.werf.org/funding/avail_funding.cfm  for more information and a complete RFP.
The Water Environment Research Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that addresses water quality issues with a commitment to environmental protection, economic conservancy, and enhanced quality of life. WERF subscribers consist of wastewater utilities representing more than 70 percent of the U.S. sewered population and corporations sharing concerns for water quality issues.