Mar 28, 2011

Water Research Foundation Supports New Chromium Research Projects

Initiatives will investigate detection and treatment technologies

Recognizing the renewed national interest in hexavalent chromium contamination in drinking water, Water Research Foundation (WaterRF) is supporting two initiatives to advance the science surrounding this contaminant found in trace amounts in drinking water.

WaterRF is co-sponsoring the next phase of a pilot program with Glendale, Calif., to explore new technologies and processes to reduce chromium-6 levels in drinking water. In addition, the foundation is supporting a special project that will review detection techniques for chromium-6 and compile information on the occurrence of the contaminant, its sources, treatment options, health effects and the current status of federal and state regulations in the United States.

“There is a great deal of interest in chromium-6 from government agencies, public health advocates, the utility industry and the general public, making it imperative to have solid information to help make sound decisions. These two projects are critically important and will prove invaluable to all parties involved,” said WaterRF Executive Director Robert Renner.

Since 2002, WaterRF, the city of Glendale and other partners have been leading a research effort to treat low-level chromium-6 contamination in drinking water. The ongoing demonstration builds upon bench and pilot studies and will develop a complete understanding of treatment options and consequences. This latest study is scheduled to be completed by March 2012.

Both of the new research projects are in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent announcement that it intends to establish a new maximum contaminant level (MCL) for chromium-6 that could be significantly lower than the existing MCL. Such a standard could have major implications to water utilities across the United States.