Research Area: Compounds of Emerging Concern

Our Objective

WE&RF will provide the tools and data that facility and industry managers need to evaluate public health and environmental impacts, to determine treatment effectiveness, and to support optimization decisions and risk communications with their constituents for trace organic compounds in treated effluents, receiving waters, and in water for reuse. 


Trace Organics Bundle Update


Latest News

Researchers Seek Treatment Strategy for Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) in Water
The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation 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.
Emerging Contaminant Research Prioritization Decision Making Frameworks Survey
The objective of this project is to develop a transparent and efficient decision making framework to be used in making and communicating decisions around the prioritization of research efforts on emerging water contaminants. This survey has been developed as an initial means of gathering information regarding current practice and further industry needs.
Survey on Treatment Practices for Mitigating CECs in Hospital Wastewater
Water Research Foundation (WRF) is conducting research to identify the current status of wastewater treatment practices for mitigating CECs in hospital wastewater and communications workflow between hospitals and wastewater and water treatment plants.
EPA Releases Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS
The EPA recentley released drinking water health advisories to provide the most up-to-date information on the health risks of these chemicals.
From the Field: Trash Trawl Hauls Microplastics from Bay Waters
The Chesapeake Bay Program investigates how microplastics get washed into streams, rivers, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean.

Products & Tools

White Paper – Microplastics in Aquatic Systems: An Assessment of Risk (CEC7R17)
White Paper consists of a critical literature review with an identification of key knowledge gaps that surround understanding the significance of the presence of microplastics in aquatic ecosystems.
Testing and Refinement of the Trace Organics Screening Tool (CEC6R12)
This project provides a useful and usable screening framework for utility managers to assess the potential risk to aquatic life from discharges that may contain TOrCs.
Identification of the ‘Active’ Fraction and Metabolic Pathways in Trace Organic Compounds Removal Using Stable Isotope Probing (U2R12)
Examines the fate of TOrCs that can guide research and implementation efforts through identification of microbial communities involved in TOrC assimilation and elucidation of metabolic pathways contributing to TOrC biodegradation.
Demonstrating Advanced Oxidation/Biofiltration for Pharmaceutical Removal in Wastewater (U2R11)
Evaluates the efficacy of UV-based advanced oxidation processes (UV/AOPs) and UV/AOPs followed by bio-filtration, as an integrated treatment solution to remove trace organic compounds from wastewater.