2013 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, 2013 through December 31,2013
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 in three selected small drinking water systems and developing cost-effective treatment technology that addresses the identified water problems. The major tasks this year are to: 1) complete the characterization of source water and drinking water in the selected treatment systems and identify water quality issues facing the small rural communities; and 2) develop technologies to solve the water quality problems for each small water system based on the conditions of each facility.

Progress Summary:

The chemical characterizations of the water samples collected quarterly from the three selected small drinking water treatment systems at Odessa, Vandalia, and Boonville in Missouri have been completed, and the major problems causing poor water quality have been identified for each facility. Water samples from each treatment stage plus source water of the three facilities were collected in May 2012, August 2012, November 2012, and March 2013 and characterized for the selected chemical properties. The samples were analyzed for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), total nitrogen (TN), ammonia, UV254, pH, total bromine (total Br), anions (Br-, Cl-, NO2-, NO3-, SO43-), metals (Fe, Mn, Cu), THM formation potential, N-nitrosamines and their precursors, as well as fluorescence EEM spectroscopy. For all analytical work, the US EPA quality control and assurance guidelines were closely followed to ensure good data quality.

The comprehensive water characterization results have revealed the major water quality issues facing each water treatment facility: high ammonia, iron, and bromide in groundwater for Odessa; high DOC in reservoir water and insufficient DOC removal for Vandalia; and variation of source water quality in river water for Boonville. The research team including the PI, Co-PIs, graduate students, and undergraduate students, visited each of the selected water treatment sites in September 2013, and met with the system managers and/or operators to disseminate the detailed research findings, report the laboratory studies conducted to address the identified water quality issues, and discuss further research plans for their facility.

The research team including the PI and all Co-PIs attended the 3rd International Conference on Sustainability Science and Engineering (ICOSSE) in Cincinnati, OH, August 11-15, 2013, and presented a poster entitled “Improving Drinking Water Quality for Small Rural Communities in Missouri."  During the conference, the team was invited to visit the USEPA National Risk Management Research Laboratory, and the PI made an oral presentation of the project progress on the National Webinar on Research and Demonstration of Innovative Drinking Water Treatment Technologies in Small Systems.

Based on the water quality problems identified, the research team initiated several laboratory experiments in 2013 to develop the novel, cost-effective treatment technologies aimed at the identified quality issues. The studies included feasibility tests of peracetic acid as an alternative disinfectant; magnetic ion exchange (MIEX) resins and zeolite to remove/minimize bromide/ammonia from source water; various activated carbon and enhanced solids contact time for DOC reduction; and advanced oxidation processes for DOC removal. 

Future Activities:

  • We will continue the laboratory experiments to develop the treatment technologies of peracetic acid (PAA) oxidant pre-oxidation and disinfection; MIEX, zeolite, enhanced solid contact, and advanced oxidation, flocculation/sedimentation, and activated carbon for DOC, bromide or ammonia removal to effectively reduce bromide, DOC, DON, THMs, HAAs, N-nitrosamines, and DBP formation potential.
  • We also will construct a pilot unit in selected water systems and test and evaluate on-site effectiveness of fabric screen technology. The carbon baffle walls will be designed, fabricated, and tested.
  • Another focus will be data analysis, reporting, and manuscript preparation.

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
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • Final Report