Recent Contract Awards

Bioaugmentation of Activated Sludge with High Activity Nitrifying Granules/Flocs: Population Selection, Survival, Biokinetics (TIRR3C15)
WE&RF, in coordination with NSF, has selected the University of Washington to perform research to advance BNR process technology for wide-scale application by intensifying nitrification and nitrogen removal by bioaugmentation with sidestream granular sludge and sidestream anammox process floc. This research will supplement the original NSF project.

Advancing the Oxygenic Photogranule Process for Energy Positive Wastewater Treatment (TIRR4C15)
As a companion project to the NSF research, WE&RF has awarded the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with funding to conduct research which will investigate the progression of oxygenic photogranules (OPG) granulation under both static batches and in reactor environments, and will investigate the growth kinetics of OPGs in continuous reactor operations. This research builds on Dr. Chul Park’s work, which won the Paul L. Busch Award in 2013.

Characterization of Organic Carbon and Microbial Communities for the Optimization of Biologically-Active Carbon (BAC) Filtration for Potable Reuse (U1R16)
WE&RF has awarded a contract to Virginia Tech to tailor effluent quality to match the intended water reuse application. Ultimately, the research will provide improved understanding of the factors influencing performance of BAC filtration for potable water reuse, not only as a more cost-effective alternative to reverse osmosis, but also potentially as a more appropriate technology for matching the level of treatment to the intended application.

Fate of Sulfonamide Antibiotics Through Biological Treatment in WRRFs Designed to Maximize Reuse Applications (Reuse-16-04)
WE&RF has awarded Black & Veatch with a contract to investigate the fate of sulfonamide antibiotics through biological treatment in WRRFs to designed to maximize reuse applications. The goal of this project is to evaluate the impact of WRRF design on the discharge of pharmaceutically active compounds, with an emphasis on the utility of the future producing multiple fit-for-purposes effluents. This research will complement ongoing efforts to promote widespread reclamation of treated wastewater effluents and potentially impact public health and medical communities.

Evaluating Post Treatment Challenges for Potable Reuse Applications (Reuse-16-01)
WE&RF has awarded a new contract to Trussell Technologies for a unique project to examine corrosion issues for recharge and injection facilities. Stanford University and the Orange County Water District are providing additional research support. The goals of this research have broad significance because post treatment challenges in potable reuse is an under-studied area at present and the challenges are wide ranging, likely to reach all utilities that implement potable reuse solutions in response to increasing water scarcity.

Understanding the Impacts of Low-Energy and Low-Carbon Nitrogen Removal Technologies on Bio-P and Nutrient Recovery Processes (NTRY13R16)

WE&RF has awarded a contract to Northwestern University to study design and operational impacts of incorporating enhanced biological phosphorus removal (Bio-P) or other phosphorus recovery techniques with a low-energy, low-carbon nitrogen removal process at WRRFs. The goal of the research is to develop a multi-pronged approach to facilitate low energy N and P removal and recovery using Bio-P as a central theme. 
Unintended Consequences of Resource Recovery on Overall Plant Performance: Solving the Impacts on Dewaterability Properties (NTRY12R16)
In order to assure the viability of Bio-P, WE&RF has entered into a contract with Bucknell University to determine if this phenomenon is more widespread, and to better understand and address dewaterability performance and its impact on Bio-P and P-recovery. This research is intended to fill the research gap and address the relevant fundamental mechanisms on dewaterability, effective plant operating parameters, and overall performance of different enhanced biological phosphorus removal treatments.
Evaluating Peracetic Acid as Disinfection Alternative in Wastewater Treatment Process (LIFT14T16)
WE&RF has awarded MWH, now part of Stantec, with a contract to advance the science of peracetic acid (PAA) disinfection, as well as to examine design, implementation, and operational considerations. The intent of this research is to provide guidance on the use of PAA, its effects on aquatic life, and its impacts on water and wastewater processes.

Leveraging Other Industries – Big Data Management Phase I (SENG7R16)
WE&RF has selected CH2M to conduct a research effort that will focus on ascertaining the current and future state of the Internet of Things technology and big data management and analytics in the water sector, including determining what evaluations and outcomes have taken place within the water industry. Processes, technologies, and tools for non-water sector firms will be determined in tandem to provide a more complete picture of the current state.

White Paper on Groundwater Replenishment with Recycled Water on Agricultural Lands (Reuse-16-03) 
WE&RF has selected RMC Water and Environment to draft a White Paper that will investigate various aspects of existing regulatory frameworks as they may be applied to groundwater replenishment with recycled water on agricultural lands (Ag-GWR-RW) and consider alternative methods to meet the intent of those regulations. The paper will define operational challenges likely to be faced by farmers and propose ways to resolve or mitigate those challenges and will identify additional research needs to enable project implementation while ensuring protection of public health. 

Characterization and Treatability of TOC from DPR Processes Compared to Surface Water Supplies (Reuse-15-04)
WE&RF has awarded CH2M with a contract to develop a site-specific, feasible, and scientifically defensible framework for utilities pursuing direct potable reuse to demonstrate to stakeholders that DPR water is “safe” from an organics perspective. Because of the inability for TOC and COD, alone, to properly reflect exposures to organics contaminants, the framework is intended to demonstrate whether potable reuse water is comparable in safety to conventional drinking water associated with the same sewershed based on the concept of Chemical-Associated Toxicity (CAT).
Improving Water Reuse for a Much Healthier Potomac Watershed, to Assess the Impact and Outcomes of Reuse and Conservation Measures on Ecological and Human Health on the Potomac River Watershed
WE&RF has awarded a contract to Virginia Tech for work to evaluate the health of the Potomac Watershed. The research aims to actively identify “hot spots” and quantify the impact of reuse and management solutions on these endpoints. 

Developing Exposure and Toxicity Data for Priority Trace Organics in Biosolids (TOBI2R15)
WERF has selected McAvoy Consulting, with collaborators from the University of Cincinnati and the University of Florida, to gather and generate data for priority trace organics in biosolids. The goal of this research is to obtain needed information for conducting biosolids amended-soil risk assessments for three high-priority trace organic compounds: polybromiated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), azithromycin, and ciprofloxacin.

High Quality Biosolids from Wastewater (NTRY7R15)
WERF has selected Material Matters, Inc. to develop a guidance tool for identifying and assessing markets for high-quality biosolids based on case studies of successful programs, and eventually test the guidance in the Washington, D.C. area. WERF is also partnering with a number of water utilities affiliated with the Water Services Association of Australia and Water New Zealand to further expand this research to include Australia and New Zealand.

Plasmids and Rare Earth Elements from Wastewater (NTRY8R15)
WERF has selected Bucknell University to conduct a feasibility study on the recovery of plasmids and rare earth elements from wastewater and help define the standards and specifications needed for water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) to produce these commodities.

Sustainable Struvite Control Using Residual Gas from Digester Gas Cleaning Process (NTRY9T15)
WERF has awarded Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department with a contract to establish the feasibility of using residual gas (primarily CO2) following methane recovery to control struvite formation in WRRFs. The project team will also develop a protocol for implementation of similar struvite control methods at other WRRFs. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and CH2M are also collaborating with WERF on this research.

WaterWatts: A Modern Look at Wastewater Power-Metering Data (ENER15C15)
WERF has awarded Brown and Caldwell with a contract to explore electric power required by processes, particularly those involving aeration. The research team will evaluate disaggregated power-metering data from over 40 water resource recovery facilities.

Design and Validation Protocol for UV Disinfection Systems Used in Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Applications (ENER16C15)
WERF has selected Purdue University to conduct research to develop advanced design and validation protocols for UV disinfection. The goal of this research is to improve the predictive capabilities of reactor design to properly size units and quantify power requirements. 

Contracts Under Review

Incorporating Forestry into Stormwater Management Programs: State of the Science and Business Model Evaluation for Nutrient Reduction and Volume Control (SIWM12C15)
The project is intended to expand the sector’s understanding of how forests can help meet stormwater management program objectives, with particular attention to nutrient reduction and volume control. The project should include a review of the current state of the science, and a discussion of economic considerations in using forestry systems.

Establishing Methods for Numeric Nutrient Target-Setting (LINK3R16)
The goal of this research is to build on WE&RF’s completed research on Modeling Guidance for Developing Site-Specific Nutrient Goals (LINK1T11) by establishing methods for numeric nutrient target-setting that overcome the modeling limitations previously identified, leading to more effective criteria development.

Designing Sensor Networks and Locations on an Urban Sewershed Scale (Phase I) (SENG6R16)

Phase I of this research will involve a desktop review of current sewershed management practices based on continuous system monitoring. This phase will also identify key sewershed management issues that maybe addressed through continuous data collection and analytics.

Methods for Measurement of Infectivity and Concentration of Pathogens (WRRF-15-07)
The objective of project WRRF-15-07 is to develop a new or improved method for measuring infectious/viable pathogens in sewage, treated wastewater, and reuse water, including that from indirect potable reuse (IPR) and direct potable reuse (DPR).

WE&RF is currently reviewing Pre-Proposals for its 2016 Unsolicted Research Progam. Proposers were invited to submit on topics consistent with WE&RF’s mission, that is, to advance science and technology addressing water quality issues as they impact water resources, the atmosphere, the land, and quality of life.