Recent Contract Awards

Framework and Tools for Quantifying Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits and Linking with Triple Bottom Line Analysis (SIWM4T13)
 WE&RF recently awarded a contract to Corona Environmental Consulting with Kennedy/Jenks as a team member. The research team will develop a systematic approach to help utilities and municipalities quantify the financial, social, and environmental benefits of GI at the community level.
Molecular Methods for Measuring Pathogen Viability/Infectivity (Reuse-15-07)

WE&RF recently awarded a contract to the University of Michigan to begin research on Molecular Methods for Measuring Pathogen Viability/Infectivity (Reuse-15-07). The project will address key gaps in pathogen monitoring methods by incorporating a number of innovative approaches, particularly focusing on norovirus.

Incorporating Forestry into Stormwater Management Programs: State of the Science and Business Model Evaluation for Nutrient Reduction and Volume Control (SIWM12C15)
WE&RF has awarded a contract to Kansas State University to begin research on Incorporating Forestry into Stormwater Management Programs: State of the Science and Business Model Evaluation for Nutrient Reduction and Volume Control (SIWM12C15). The research will address the needs of the water management community by analyzing empirical evidence regarding the potential effectiveness of urban tree systems to contribute to stormwater quality improvement. The project is co-funded by WE&RF and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc.

Food Waste Co-Digestion at Wastewater Resource Recovery Facilities: Business Case Analysis (ENER19C17)
WE&RF recently awarded a contract to the Environmental Law Institute to begin Food Waste Co-Digestion at Wastewater Resource Recovery Facilities: Business Case Analysis (ENER19C17). The project goal is to develop alternative sustainable business cases for wastewater resource recovery facilities to co-digest food waste, including fats, oil, and grease (FOG), food manufacturing residuals, and source separated organics. The research team will use the “innovation ecosystem” framework to manage risks as clean water utilities deal with increasingly valuable resources.

Modeling Guidance for Developing Site-Specific Nutrient Goals – Demonstration, Screening Level Application (LINK4T17)
WE&RF recently awarded a contract to Brown and Caldwell to create Modeling Guidance for Developing Site-Specific Nutrient Goals – Demonstration, Screening Level Application (LINK4T17). This project builds on previous WE&RF research (LINK1T11) that developed modeling guidance for site-specific nutrient goals and an associated Nutrient Modeling Toolbox. For this project, the research team will develop a process and a tool for applying screening-level models in streams and small river settings.

Standardized BMP Maintenance Tracking and Report Protocols (SIWM22T17)
WE&RF recently awarded a research contract to Wright Water Engineers, Inc., in association with Geosyntec Consultants, for Standardized BMP Maintenance Tracking and Report Protocols (SIWM22T17), in support of the “Data Analysis and Standardization” task of the CLASIC (Community-Enabled Lifecycle Analysis of Stormwater Infrastructure Costs) project. The analysis will support the mutually beneficial objectives of Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) and WE&RF to advance understanding of the whole life cycle costs of green and gray infrastructure, with emphasis on operations and maintenance (O&M).

Estimating the Comammox Contribution to Ammonia Oxidation in Nitrogen Removal Systems (U4R16)
WE&RF recently awarded a contract to Northeastern University to perform a research project on estimating the comammox contribution to ammonia oxidation in nitrogen removal systems. The research team will determine the distribution, activity, and impact of CMX bacteria on nitrogen removal systems.

Concept Development of Chemical Treatment Strategy for Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)-Contaminated Water (U2R16)

WE&RF recently awarded a research contract to The University of Texas at Arlington to develop a practical high-efficiency treatment strategy for challenging perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in water. The project will benefit water and health authorities, water utilities, and industrial companies facing challenges with efficiently treating for per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), and other halogenated organic compounds in water.

Data Analysis and Standardization to Support “Community-Enabled Lifecycle Analysis of Stormwater Infrastructure Costs" (CLASIC) (LCASW7R16)
WE&RF recently awarded a contract to Geosyntec Consultants in association with Wright Water Engineers, Inc. for a research project that will analyze, standardize, and compile data collected by the CLASIC team into a relational cost database that can be linked to the International Stormwater BMP database and used to support CLASIC tool development and implementation. The goal of CLASIC is to develop resources and tools that can be used by communities interested in long-term planning of green and gray infrastructure and integrated stormwater management.

Utility Validation of Alternative Method for NDMA Analysis Requiring Less Time, Cost, and Sample Volume (U3R16)
WE&RF recently awarded a contract to the Orange County Water District in California for research that will assist with analysis of nitrosamines in water. The project seeks to validate a promising high-performance liquid chromatography-photochemical reaction-chemiluminescence method (HPLC-PR-CL) that is faster and less expensive than current methods.

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

WE&RF recently awarded a contract to CH2M for research on designing sensor networks and locations on an urban sewershed scale. The Internet of Things (IoT) is driving a revolution of sensing technologies and communication platforms, spurring the development of advanced sensors that will provide access to new data streams for the wastewater industry. The research will provide a basic roadmap for the application of remote sensor technology to address the challenges facing wastewater utilities.

Establishing Methods for Numeric Nutrient Target-Setting (LINK3R16)
WE&RF recently awarded a contract to LimnoTech to develop scientifically sound nutrient goals. 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.

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

Mapping Climate Information to Utility Business Functions (RFP 4729)
This new WRF project will aim to identify how climate change could affect the full range of water utility business functions.

Evaluating Economic and Environmental Benefits of Water Reuse for Agriculture (Reuse-16-06)
The objective of this effort is to provide documentation and characterization of economic and environmental benefits and obstacles to utilizing nontraditional water sources for agricultural irrigation as determined by an economic analysis using cost benefit analysis or other economic analysis tools.

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule: Opportunities and Impacts on Potential Water Reuse for Agricultural Irrigation (Reuse-16-07)
This research aims to investigate the effects of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule on utilizing recycled water for agricultural irrigation. The objective of the White Paper is to provide an explanation of the Produce Safety Rule, how it will relate to reuse in terms of testing and water quality requirements, and present potential reuse opportunities for states to consider.

2017 Unsolicited Research Program
The Unsolicited Research Program seeks to fund innovative research projects that will significantly advance knowledge and scientific understanding and that could provide fundamentally transformative results. Proposers selected to submit a full proposal (including detailed research plans, budgets, and deliverables) for further review and consideration of funding will have an additional 45 days to submit the required information. WE&RF intends funding award notifications to occur in December 2017, with selected projects starting in the first quarter of 2018.

2017 Subscriber Priority Research Program
The Subscriber Priority Program is designed to encourage collaboration with WE&RF Subscribers on research. Subscriber Priority projects typically address applied research topics that may be local or regional in nature. However, the research topics should be broadly applicable to WE&RF members and should complement WE&RF’s ongoing research and not duplicate current or pending projects. WE&RF is currently reviewing pre-proposals for the 2017 Subscriber Priority Research Program. Please contact Stefani McGregor with any questions.