Apr 30, 2015

WERF Awards New Contracts

The three new contracts explore innovative processes

Water Environment Research Foundation WERF contracts

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) has awarded three new contracts that explore innovative processes.

The University of California, Irvine, will conduct the first project, Carbon Capture and Management Strategies for Energy Harvest from Wastewater (U3R14). The overall goal of this project is to develop the tools necessary to use carbon capture technologies, whether existing or retrofitted into existing infrastructure, to maximize energy recovery while still maintaining permit compliance. The intent is to develop process controllers and models that can be applied to all carbon capture technologies regardless of influent conditions and effluent requirements. Two pilot sites at DC Water and Hampton Roads Sanitation District will be used for this research.

The University of Kansas has also been awarded a contract to move forward with research on Balancing Flocs and Granules for Activated Sludge Process Intensification in Plug Flow Configurations (U1R14). This study will provide strategies and design criteria to stimulate granulation in existing activated sludge processes to improve overall settleability and allow for simultaneous nutrient removal. The research team includes eight municipal utilities in three countries, eight engineering firms and three universities to perform pilot-scale and full-scale trials, process modeling and more.

The final contract has been awarded to Virginia Tech to develop a wastewater pipe deterioration model. Phase I and II of this project were previously completed under WERF’s Strategic Asset Management Challenge. In Phase I, the research team identified wastewater pipe, failure modes and mechanisms, consequences of failure, and developed data structures and data collection protocols and methodologies. Phase II developed a standard procedure for rating the performance/condition of wastewater pipes. The final task, titled Phase-3 Development of Wastewater Pipeline Deterioration Model (U4R14), will explore mathematical modeling methodologies including advanced artificial intelligence techniques to provide utility managers with a practical and efficient technique for predicting wastewater pipeline performance and estimating end of remaining life using deterioration curves to assist in decision making.