2012 Progress Report: Improving Drinking Water Quality for Small Rural Communities in Missouri

EPA Grant Number: R835173
Title: Improving Drinking Water Quality for Small Rural Communities in Missouri
Investigators: Yang, John , Hua, Bin , Inniss, Enos , Shi, Honglan
Institution: Lincoln University-MO , Missouri University of Science and Technology , University of Missouri - Columbia
Current Institution: Lincoln University-MO , University of Missouri - Columbia
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Project Period: December 1, 2011 through November 30, 2016
Project Period Covered by this Report: February 1, 2012 through December 31,2012
Project Amount: $499,996
RFA: Research and Demonstration of Innovative Drinking Water Treatment Technologies in Small Systems (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Drinking Water , Water


The overall goal of this project aims to improve drinking water quality for small rural communities in Missouri, with objectives of identifying water quality issues and developing cost-effective treatment technology that addresses the identified water problems. Two major tasks focused this year are to: (1) identify and select three small drinking water treatment systems in rural communities of Missouri as research and demonstration facilities, and (2) characterize source water and drinking water in the selected treatment systems, and Identify water quality issues facing the small rural communities.

Progress Summary:

Three small drinking water treatment systems at Odessa, Vandalia, and Boonville, Missouri, have been selected as the representative water treatment systems according to the selection criteria. According to the MDNR record, the identified systems are all facing some DBP compliance issues/concerns to address. The PI and co-PIs have visited all selected facilities for current treatment procedures used, water quality issues, and historical and environmental information. The site visit involved both treatment plant operators and regulatory agency staff.

Water samples at each treatment stage plus source water have been collected from the three facilities in May, August, and November and analyzed for DOC, DON, total nitrogen (TN), ammonia, UV254, pH, total bromine (total Br), anions (Br-, Cl-, NO2-, NO3-, SO43-), metals (Fe, Mn, Cu), fluorescence EEM spectroscopy as well as THM formation potential and N-nitrosamines and their precursors. Each sampling visit involved conversations about our research efforts and concurrent efforts by the treatment facility to move toward compliance and/or prepare for Stage 2 compliance. The U.S. EPA quality control and assurance guidelines were closely followed for all analytical work. All the analytical methods were validated before being used for sample analysis. All of the instruments used were calibrated before each use. During sample analysis, field blank, reagent blank, duplicate of samples, and spiking recovery check were all performed every 10–15 samples to ensure good data quality.

Preliminary analytical data have identified the major water quality issues facing each water treatment facility: high ammonia, iron, bromide in ground water for Odessa; high DOC in reservoir water and insufficient DOC removal for Vandalia; and high bromide in river water and treatment optimization for Boonville. Based on the water quality problems identified, the major task next year is to develop the novel, cost-effective treatment technology aiming at the identified quality issues, which may include peracetic acid disinfection, magnetic ion exchange (MIEX) resins, enhanced solids contact, and advanced oxidation processes.

Eight graduate students and four undergraduate students majoring in environmental science or engineering have been fully or partially supported through this project and trained for research skills on three universities’ campus, respectively. The students are working on various aspects of proposed research activities, including site sampling, chemical or instrumental analysis, literature review, experimental design and implementation, data processing, reporting, etc.

Future Activities:

  1. We will continue water sample collection and characterization to determine yearly or seasonal variation of source water quality at three selected small systems. Once completed (scheduled in February and May 2013), we will evaluate analytical data to decide the next steps for research and technology development.
  2. We will initiate the experiments to develop the treatment technologies of peracetic acid (PAA) oxidant pre-oxidation and disinfection, MIEX, enhanced solid contact, and advanced oxidation, flocculation/sedimentation, activated carbon removal, in efforts to effectively reduce bromide, DOC, DON, THMs, HAAs, N-nitrosamines, and DBP formation potential.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 20 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Improved solids contact technology, activated carbon baffle walls, peracetic acid, awareness of drinking water quality. onsite water characterization;

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • Final Report