The Latest Water Research Foundation Reports

Below you will find the latest reports published by The Water Research Foundation as of January 2018.

Research Area 
Customer Messaging on Opportunistic Pathogens in Plumbing Systems

The overall goal of this project was to develop and validate a series of messages for OPPPs, with a focus on Legionella, to educate various customer groups on the steps they need to take to better protect themselves from waterborne disease from their own premise plumbing.

Pathogens   4664
Nationwide Meta-omics Survey of Denitrifying Microbial Communities in Wastewater Treatment Systems
This research serves as a pilot for future meta-omics studies on full-scale wastewater processes and addresses some long-standing and high-priority questions associated with wastewater denitrification.

White Paper on Water Reuse in Hydraulic Fracturing
The objective of this research study was to identify and assess the prospects of recycling or beneficial reuse of unconventional oil and gas (O&G) wastewater through review of existing studies.

 Water Reuse  Reuse-14-05/4927
Crediting Water Quality Benefits from Stream Restoration: Implementation Case Studies and Potential for Crediting Guidance Application
This report highlights municipality experiences with the Chesapeake Bay Program stream restoration crediting protocols in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and examines feedback from states outside the Watershed regarding WRF’s stream restoration crediting guidance.

Integrated Water 

Bench and Pilot Studies of the Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR)
This research examines the fundamental behavior of the membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR).

Operations Optimization 


Wildfire Impacts on Drinking Water Treatment Process Performance: Development of Evaluation Protocols and Management Practices
The overarching objective of this project was to expand the knowledge base regarding the effects of wildfire on drinking water quality, treatment, plant performance, and operations. 

Climate Change,
Security & Emergency Response 
Potable Water Pipeline Defect Condition Rating
This research created a framework and contents for a potable water pipeline condition assessment approach, based on a standard defect coding and condition rating system.

 Asset Management 4498 

Validation and Site-Specific Action Spectra Correction Factors for Medium Pressure Ultraviolet Disinfection Systems 
The goal of this project was to develop a set of action spectra correction factors, using specific medium-pressure (MP) UV reactors and their associated validation conditions, that will allow utilities to continue to use these UV systems to confidently achieve regulatory credit for pathogen disinfection.

Pathogens  4478 
Practical Condition Assessment and Failure Probability Analysis of Small Diameter Ductile Iron Pipe
This project developed a manual of practice for condition assessment (CA) and related evaluations of small diameter (12" and smaller) ductile iron pipes in order to help utilities assess their pipe inventories and identify those pipes most in need of renewal.

 Asset Management  4661
A Framework for Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Managing Compounds of Emerging Concern in Surface Water
This project aggregated and evaluated management plans for compounds of emerging concern (CECs) that have been employed or are being considered in North America, Europe, and Australia.

CEC  4494 
Incentives for Green Infrastructure Implementation on Private Property: Lessons Learned
This project identified successes and lessons learned on how green infrastructure, low-impact development, and, where relevant, green building can be incentivized on private property through retrofits or during new development and redevelopment beyond the minimum required by development ordinances.

Stormwater   4684
Considerations for Security and Communications for Intelligent Water Systems
Through this project the different types of information sources currently being used by water utilities were inventoried, along with the associated communication media and protocols.

Intelligent Water Systems,
Security and Emergency Response 

Characterization of the Microbiome of a State-of-the-Art Water Reuse System to Enhance Treatment Performance
This research seeks to identify and compare the microbial community patterns at various stages of advanced treatment in the groundwater replenishment system (GWRS).

 Water Reuse Reuse-16-05/4784 
Blending Requirements for Water from Direct Potable Reuse Treatment Facilities
This project developed recommendations and guidance for the appropriate use of blending as part of a direct potable reuse project, including evaluations of treatment, impact of different water qualities and blending locations, summary of corrosion issues, and the impact on Engineered Storage Buffer (ESB) design.

 Water Reuse  4536

Simultaneous Removal of Multiple Chemical Contaminants Using Biofiltration
The objective of this research is to assist water utilities in achieving maximum simultaneous removal of multiple chemical contaminants using biofiltration without compromising the existing objectives of the filtration process. 

CEC   4559
State Survey of Climate Change Resiliency Efforts 
Through this project, a comprehensive review of laws, regulations, policies, and programs at the state level was conducted to catalog findings and identify trends.

Climate Change   4730
National Research Center for Resource Recovery and Nutrient Management Capstone Summit
This report summarizes the research presented at the Capstone Summit for WRF’s EPA STAR grant, focused on resource recovery and nutrient management.

 Resource Recovery,
Integrated Management of Animal Manure Wastes: Nutrient Recovery, Bio-Fertilizers, Enhanced Biomethane Production and Management Tools
This research uses a life-cycle analysis to determine the water and energy use, and nutrient balance impacts of anaerobic digestion (AD) systems.

Resource Recovery
Technologies for Dairy Nutrient Recovery: Evaluation of Low-impact Ammonia Stripping with Bio-Fertilizer Recovery and Support for Technology Decision Making
This study assessed the use of pilot- and commercial-scale ammonia stripping systems within the context of a proposed sequential manure treatment system of anaerobic digestion, coarse fiber separation, fine solids separation, and ammonia stripping.

Resource Recovery 
Finding and Adding Agricultural BMP Performance Studies to the Agricultural BMP Database
This project examines the AgBMP Database in a number of geographic areas so it can provide federal, state, and local environmental agencies with quantitative information on the effectiveness of individual best management practices for addressing sediment and nutrients.

Integrated Water
Tool for Evaluating Resource Recovery (TERRY) – Nutrient Recovery from Agriculture
This project provides a preliminary evaluation of the potential of nutrient recovery from a given wastestream and can be used by facilities interested in exploring the feasibility of recovering nitrogen and phosphorus onsite.

Resource Recovery,
Sustainable Struvite Control Using Residual Gas from Digester Gas Cleaning Process
The primary purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using CO2 for struvite control and provide recommendations for implementation.

Resource Recovery  NTRY9T15/4825 
Pathogen Risk Evaluation of Treatment and Monitoring System Performance for Potable Reuse 
The objective of this work was to provide a detailed approach to pathogen risk analysis using Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) for potable water reuse.

 Water Reuse Reuse-14-16/4767 

Forest Cover Impacts on Drinking Water Utility Treatment Costs in a Large Watershed  
This project assessed water quality changes near Fairfax Water, Washington Aqueduct, and WSSC’s Potomac intakes by preserving varying degrees of existing forested lands.

 Integrated Water  4651
A Utility Response Plan Outline for Unexpected Emergencies
Based on an APTIM and WE&RF survey, U.S. EPA developed this generic Utility Response Plan outline as a basis for the potential acceptance of wastewater contaminated with high-consequence pathogenic organisms at water resource recovery facilities.

 Pathogens WERF1C17/4939 

Retrofit and Management of Metallic Pipe with Cathodic Protection

This project investigated the technical and economic considerations of retrofitting buried metallic pipelines with cathodic protection (CP).

Drinking Water,
Asset Management,
Conveyance Systems 
Screening Endocrine Activity of DBPs
This project screened a limited number of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) for endocrine activity using bioassays.

 Drinking Water,
Groundwater Replenishment with Recycled Water on Agricultural Lands in California 
This white paper evaluates the potential issues, solutions, and opportunities for groundwater recharge with recycled water on agricultural lands (Ag-GWR-RW) in California.

 Water Reuse Reuse-16-03 
Integrating Water Efficiency into Long-Term Demand Forecasting
The objective of this project was to provide guidance to allow water demand forecasters to increase the reliability of their passive conservation forecasts by more accurately accounting for future sectoral water savings from new overlay building codes and requirements (e.g., green codes, regulations), changes in manufactured product standards and technologies, and third party certification programs.

Integrated Water  4495 
Designing Sensor Networks and Locations on an Urban Sewershed Scale

This research examines the current and future state of remote monitoring technology applications in urban sewersheds, including the greatest challenges facing wastewater and combined wastewater and stormwater systems.

Intelligent Water Systems  SENG6R16/4835 

Leveraging Other Industries – Big Data Management Phase II
This project examines the current state of knowledge and application of Big Data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) technology in the water/wastewater industry.

 Intelligent Water Systems  SENG7R16/4836
Recommended Operation and Maintenance Activity and Cost Reporting Parameters for Stormwater Best Management Practices Database
This report provides recommendations for standardized O&M activity and cost tracking protocols for use by local governments and a tool to enable better understanding of types of maintenance activities and frequencies necessary for various BMP types.

 Integrated Water,
A Multi-Platform Approach for Recovering High Value Carbon Products at Water Resource Recovery Facilities
This work provides insight that can help advance the use of high value carbon recovery technologies at WRRFs.

 Resource Recovery  NTRY4R14
Development of Action Spectra Correction Factors for UV Inactivation of Cryptosporidium
The goal of this project was to provide a safe interim solution to the newly identified issues around medium pressure UV validation procedures.

Drinking Water,

Curriculum and Content for Potable Reuse Operator Training
This project features eight Powerpoint training modules that include information essential to the understanding of the unit treatment processes and other issues that are paramount to the safe operation of a potable reuse facility.

 Water Reuse Reuse-15-05 
Framework for Evaluating Alternative Water Supplies: Balancing Cost with Reliability, Resilience, and Sustainability
This project defined the elements of an integrated, reliable, resilient, and sustainable water supply, and integrated these elements into a framework to support water supply planning.

 Integrated Water  4615
SIWM5R13/4853: Joining-Up Urban Water Management with Urban Planning and Design

This project investigates the key inhibiting and enabling factors in coordinating efforts across the urban planning, design, and water management sectors.

Integrated Water   SIWM5R13/4853
Multipurpose Reuse of Reclaimed Water at an Electric Utility and for Wetlands Rehydration in Florida
This research investigates the application of treated municipal wastewater for reuse applications in the power sector, specifically for cooling water and boiler application, and the potential for wetland rehydration purposes.

 Water Reuse Reuse-15-12 

Evaluation of Flushing to Reduce Lead Levels

The project evaluated the impact of high-velocity flushing on the removal of particulate lead from service lines and premise plumbing, and the subsequent impact on "at the tap" lead concentrations.

 Drinking Water,
Asset Management
Influence of Pre-oxidation Prior to GAC Treatment on Controlling DBPs

The objectives of this project were to (1) study the effects of pre-oxidants on TOC in terms of DBP formation potential and adsorption onto GAC; (2) investigate potential for chlorine and organics reaction within GAC adsorption sites under a pre-oxidation strategy, and (3) understand the impact of pre-oxidation on GAC reactivation frequency and the overall economics of including pre-oxidation with GAC.

Drinking Water,
Corrosion of Nonleaded Pump Impeller Alloys in Chlorinated Potable Water
This project collected corrosion performance data for current metal alloys recommended for pump impellers. This project also quantified the performance of several new and emerging lead-free alloys that are attempting to break into the municipal water market. This data will allow water utilities to make better-informed pump design decisions.
Asset Management,
Conveyance Systems,
Drinking Water 
Production of Bioisoprene from Wastewater
This study examined a way to generate high-value products that can help transition wastewater treatment facilities into economically viable resource recovery facilities.

 Resource Recovery  NTRY6R14/

Decision Support System for Reducing EDCs and PPCPs in Drinking Water
The objective of this project was to develop an electronic decision support system (DSS) to guide water and wastewater utilities in determining the most cost effective measures for reducing consumer exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products (EDCs/PPCPs) in drinking water.

Drinking Water,

Collaborative Water Utility Benchmarking in North America
This project vetted a tool developed for the WSAA 2016 Asset Management Customer Value (AMCV) Project for use by North American water utilities. The tool allows water utilities that are participating in the 2016 AMCV project in North America to align leading practices in asset management activities with AWWA Benchmarking Survey performance metrics, effective utility management attributes, and ISO 55000.

 Drinking Water,
Asset Management

Renewing the Water Workforce: Improving Water Infrastructure and Creating a Pipeline to Opportunity
This project clarifies the range of water jobs available at a regional level, identifies the potential pools of labor to fill these positions, and explores new development strategies to equip workers with the skills they need are all critical considerations.

Drinking Water,
Asset Management 

Evaluating Fate Mechanisms of Selected Compounds of Concern in Biological Nutrient Removal Treatment Systems 
This study provides additional insight into the fate behavior of the target trace organic compounds in BNR treatment systems.

 CEC U2R13 

Demonstrating Redundancy and Monitoring to Achieve Reliable Potable Reuse

This report presents the results of a reliability analysis and challenge tests, and shows how a combination of redundancy, robustness, and resilience can ensure that direct potable reuse is protective of human health.

 Water Reuse Reuse-14-12 
Multi-Mode Filtration System for Wastewater Recovery and Desalination
The goal of this project was to build and test a multi-mode water filter that uses electronic, magnetic, and membrane filtering as opposed to conventional filters.

Water Reuse,

From Collection Systems to Tap: Resilience of Treatment Processes for Direct Potable Reuse
This project established resilience guidelines for DPR process trains from wastewater source through wastewater treatment and advanced water treatment.
Water Reuse,
Climate Change,
 Emergency Response 
Soil Aquifer Treatment Characterization with Soil Columns for Groundwater Recharge in the San Fernando Valley

In June 2014, the California Division of Drinking Water adopted the Groundwater Replenishment Recharge Regulations, allowing for spreading of recycled water treated to Title 22 standards supplemented by adequate dilution water. Facing this regulatory change, LADWP wanted to understand the soil aquifer treatment (SAT) process and how it may impact potable reuse in the coming years. Soil columns were demonstrated and operated to mimic a potential full-scale groundwater recharge practice to characterize the effectiveness of SAT by loading the soil columns with local aquifer media, feeding the soil columns with recycled water proposed for the project, and operating the soil columns in a cyclic mode to simulate regional groundwater recharge practices.

 Drinking Water,
Water Reuse
An Evaluation of the Value of Structurally Enhanced PVC Pipe, Installation Guide for iPVC Pipe

This research highlights the performance characteristics and the installation requirements for a new structurally enhanced PVC pipe. Destructive and non-destructive tests were conducted on the pipe, and as well as real world installation.
Asset Management,
Conveyance Systems

Alternative Water Source Requirements for Conventional Drinking Water Treatment
Through literature review, workshop(s), and expert insight, this project will establish ranges for alternative source water quality parameters that would meet or exceed the threshold for “acceptability” in conventional drinking water treatment for potable reuse applications.

Integrated Water
Evaluation of cVOC Removal Efficiencies by Various Technologies
The objective of this project was to evaluate effectiveness and reliability of various technologies (air-stripping, GAC, and advance oxidation process) to remove cVOCs at low concentration of interest.

Advanced Condition Assessment and Failure Prediction Technologies for Optimal Management of Critical Water Supply Pipes
This research encompasses a five-year program to enhance understanding of pipe condition and deterioration mechanisms to better predict when and where a pipe might fail, and the best method to intervene in order to extend the longevity of a pipe.

 Drinking Water,
Asset Management
Advancing Anaerobic Digestion of Wastewater Solids and Food Waste for Energy and Resource Recovery: Science and Solutions – A Framework for the Practice of Co-Digestion
This report describes co-digestion at municipal water resource recovery facilities that use domestic wastewater residuals as one of its feed materials.

Resource Recovery 

Comprehensive Analysis of Alternative Water Supply Projects Compared to Direct Potable Reuse and Water Supply Evaluation Tool (WaterSET)
This project provides utilities a means to determine if, and by how much, different weighting factors may impact the ranking of a specific water supply option or treatment approach.

 Water Reuse  Reuse-14-03
User’s Guide for Integrated Stormwater and Wastewater Planning
This research provides information that communities should consider in determining if an integrated plan is right for their community.

Integrated Water,

Assessing Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Emissions from Biofilm Systems
This research addresses the formation of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas that’s formed in wastewater treatment biofilm processes.

Resource Recovery 
Flushing Guidance for Premise Plumbing and Service Lines to Avoid or Address a Drinking Water Advisory
This study identified situations when flushing is advisable and explored the best practices for flushing premise plumbing and service lines.

Drinking Water  4572 
Development of a Risk Management Strategy for Legionella in Reclaimed Water Systems
This study examined how frequently Legionella occur in reclaimed water systems and what impacts reclaimed water storage and distribution systems afford for Legionella regrowth or persistence.

Water Reuse Reuse-12-05 
Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change on Reservoir Water Quality
This project produced a comprehensive assessment of the impacts of climate change on reservoir water quality under a range of climatic scenarios. 

Drinking Water,
Climate Change 

Cyanobacterial Blooms and Cyanotoxins: Knowledge Synthesis, Utility Workshop and Research Gaps

This project consolidated and synthesized the existing literature on cyanotoxins into a summary document, which was reviewed during a facilitated workshop held in Boulder, CO, in June 2016.

 Drinking Water 4657 

Unintended Consequences of Implementing Nitrosamine Control Strategies
The objectives of this project were to (1) provide an assessment of unintended consequences resulting from nitrosamine control strategies and identify potential solutions, and (2) translate those findings into clear guidelines for water systems that are either already evaluating changes and/or will need to implement control strategies to reduce nitrosamine concentrations in response to a regulatory determination.

Drinking Water   4491

Occurrence, Proliferation, and Persistence of Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance during Wastewater Treatment
This project provides an overview of the state of the science of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in wastewater.

Water Reuse

Chemical Management of Hydrilla For Drinking Water Utilities
The primary purpose of this project was to explore best management approaches to the control of the aquatic invasive plant Hydrilla verticillate (hydrilla) in drinking water sources.

Drinking Water   4747

Developing Tools for Surface Water Nutrient Loading Attributable to Reclaimed Water
This project sought to identify a marker unique to municipal reuse water and to investigate additional markers indicative of nutrient attenuation during reclaimed water transport in the environment.

 Water Reuse Reuse-13-11 
Optimizing Biofiltration for Various Source Water Quality Conditions

The overall objective of this project was to identify biofilter enhancement strategies that yield reliable, sustained, and robust achievement of treatment and operational goals across multiple source water qualities, and to provide clear and concise guidance for utilities on when and how to implement each strategy.

Drinking Water  4555 

Transformation of EDCs/PPCPs and Resulting Toxicity Following Drinking Water Disinfection

This project used novel concepts in computational chemistry and toxicology to predict the likely transformation products (TP) of relevant EDCs/PPCPs with a range of disinfection and oxidation options (such as chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and chloramines) commonly used in the production of drinking water, and then applied comprehensive in vitro toxicity testing to determine their likely toxicity profile.

Drinking Water   4396

University-Utility Collaborative Partnerships
This report highlights nine case studies of university-utility collaborations and includes information on conducting university-utility collaborations, sample contract language, and master agreement templates.

Leveraging Data from Non-Destructive Examinations to Help Select Ferrous Water Mains for Renewal
The objective of this project was to demonstrate whether NDE can be used cost effectively on some mains, and the results used to infer the condition of similar mains
Drinking Water,
Asset Management 

White Paper: Management of Water Sector Utilities: Summary of Industry Initiatives and Research
This White Paper provides an overview of several key ongoing industry initiatives and research related to management of water resource utilities.