The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) will receive $10 million in U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funds to evaluate new technologies that will help utilities cope with aging and failing water and wastewater systems. As the recipient of this cooperative agreement, WERF will administer $6.25 million to address wastewater and storm water infrastructure research and will coordinate with the Water Research Foundation to administer $3.75 million to address aging drinking water systems. These funds will be further leveraged by a 33.3% cost share to be provided by the investigators.
Funding for the research is through EPA’s Aging Water Infrastructure Research Program, a research agenda that supports efforts to put the nation’s aging infrastructure on a pathway toward sustainability.
“The success of EPA’s program depends on stakeholder involvement,” said Sally Gutierrez, director of EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory. “Sharing information and tools and working together toward the long-term stewardship of our water infrastructure will put us at the forefront of addressing our nation’s critical need for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure research.” The foundation said research efforts initiated under the cooperative agreement will examine innovative tools and procedures to cost-effectively improve the maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement of the aging sewer lines, water mains and other components that constitute water and wastewater infrastructure.
Research efforts will focus on condition assessment for water and wastewater conveyance systems, system rehabilitation for water and wastewater conveyance systems, advanced design and engineering concepts and innovative treatment technologies for wastewater, storm water, water reuse and drinking water.
“This research agreement comes at a crucial time for water and wastewater utilities,” said Glenn Reinhardt, executive director of the WERF. “For decades, cities and towns across the country have managed the remarkable feat of keeping fees low while facing an aging infrastructure and often significant increases in population. The innovative tools and cost-effective solutions that will be developed through this research should provide some welcomed assistance in their ongoing efforts to serve the public and improve water quality.”
Source: Water Environment Research Foundation