2014 Progress Report: Center for Reinventing Aging Infrastructure for Nutrient Management (RAINmgt)

EPA Grant Number: RD835569
Center: Center for Reinventing Aging Infrastructure for Nutrient Management
Center Director: Mihelcic, James R.
Title: Center for Reinventing Aging Infrastructure for Nutrient Management (RAINmgt)
Investigators: Mihelcic, James R. , Cunningham, Jeffrey A. , Zimmerman, Julie B. , Yeh, Daniel H , Boyer, Treavor H. , Davis, Allen , Coney, Earnest , Shih, Jhih-Shyang , Trotz, Maya , Richardson, Nathan , Zhang, Qiong , Ergas, Sarina , Olmstead, Sheila , Kuwayama, Yusuke
Institution: University of South Florida , University of Florida , Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa , Yale University , Resources for the Future , University of Maryland - College Park
Current Institution: University of South Florida , Resources for the Future , University of Florida , University of Maryland - College Park , Yale University
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2018
Project Period Covered by this Report: September 1, 2013 through August 31,2014
Project Amount: $3,123,375
RFA: Centers for Water Research on National Priorities Related to a Systems View of Nutrient Management (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Watersheds , Water

Objective:

The mission of RAINmgt is to achieve sustainable and cost-effective health and environmental outcomes by re-imagining aging coastal urban infrastructure systems for nutrient recovery and management contributing to sustainable and healthy communities. The overall goal is to develop the science behind new technology and management innovations and a deep understanding of the integrated system while demonstrating and assessing these innovations to provide new knowledge for students, community members, and other stakeholders. The three research thrusts and associated demonstration projects: (1) address point and diffuse sources of nutrients, (2) consider different scales (i.e., household, building, community, city), (3) develop and assess management options that have different technological time frames for implementation (short- and long-term), and (4) focus on innovative technologies and strategies that prioritize source reduction and reuse/recycling and seek to minimize nutrient fluxes and greenhouse gas emissions.

The objectives of research Thrust Area 1 are to: (1a) develop and demonstrate solutions for building-level nutrient recovery through innovative sorption-precipitation technologies; (1b) develop and demonstrate a decentralized wastewater resource recovery solution, based on the anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) technology, which can generate and sustain high quality product water containing nutrients suitable for irrigation; and (1c) develop and demonstrate innovative nutrient recovery solutions at a large wastewater treatment plant through sidestream nutrient recovery using sorption-precipitation technologies.

The objectives of research Thrust Area 2 are to: (2a) develop LID systems that maximize overall nutrient removal rates under varying hydraulic and pollutant loading conditions and antecedent dry conditions; (2b) develop onsite wastewater treatment systems that consider nutrient management and can withstand highly transient loading conditions and long idle periods; and (2c) quantify the release of nutrients from residential yards in a socioeconomic context.

The objectives of research Thrust Area 3 are to: (3a) estimate life cycle environmental impacts and costs associated with Thrust Areas 1 & 2 nutrient recovery systems; (3b) develop an analytical model that provides a framework for quantifying the economic benefits of nutrient recovery and water reuse from nutrient management approaches and apply this model to recover aggregate estimates of the market value of recovered N and P; (3c) evaluate the private incentive structure suggested by benefit-cost analysis of point-source nutrient management technologies, considering likelihood of adoption by homeowners, businesses, as well as likely participation in any resulting markets for recovered nutrients and water by agricultural entities; and (3d) develop a nested water quality modeling framework that combines catchment-scale modeling of impacts of nutrient management technologies with a watershed-scale model.

Progress Summary:

Thrust 1a. The major effort during the reporting period has been the design and implementation of the urinal experiments. The demonstration project is still in the planning phase.

Thrust 1b. A high performance AnMBR system was designed; a simplified anaerobic digestion model based on The IWA Anaerobic Digestion Model 1 was created and programmed, along with a geometric/hydraulic model designed to address questions related to the unique architecture of the system; and a Modified Fouling Index (MFI) device was built to quantify filtration resistance for different membrane materials and feed characterizations.

Thrust 1c. Work commences in January 2015.

Thrust 2a. Bioretention cell construction, maintenance, and monitoring have occurred at local schools and the Corporation to Develop Communities (CDC) of Tampa, Inc. Youth and Family Center. We developed and delivered a 10-week Urban Stormwater Management Curricular Unit activity to 20 Youth Leadership Movement students at the CDC Youth and Family Center, developed and delivered a 2014 Young Middle Magnet Science Summer Camp to 30 students, and trained 7 in-service Hillsborough County teachers on Low Impact Development technologies. We also developed and calibrated the stormwater management model (SWMM 5) for nitrogen-removing bioretention systems and applied the model to a study site in Tampa.

Thrust 2b. We have tested candidate media materials for bench-scale onsite wastewater treatment system studies and developed research protocols for column testing, and completed preliminary development of a mathematical model for hybrid ion exchange–biological process for onsite wastewater treatment. The demonstration project will consist of expanding the Florida Onsite Sewage Nitrogen Reduction Strategies Project to several residential homes in Florida.

Thrust 2c. A research thesis was completed that provides a critical literature review of research that has addressed nutrients in stormwater runoff from residential and urban areas. Literature suggests that nutrient concentrations measured from runoff collected from residential and urban catchments in the United States ranged from 0.33 to 6.67 mg TN/L for nitrogen releases and 0.02 to 0.92 mg TP/L for phosphorus releases. Average reported values in typical U.S. urban stormwater were 2.0 mg N/L for total nitrogen and 0.26 mg P/L for total phosphorus. Overall, the research revealed that correlation between residential lawn nutrient loss to the environment and social factors, demographic characteristics, local fertilizer ordinances, or nutrient management education programs has not been substantiated.

Thrust 3a A literature review was conducted of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) of aerobic and anaerobic membrane bioreactors, and a life cycle inventory is in progress for both systems. The life cycle inventory has been collected for various on-site systems, and is near completion for multiple onsite wastewater treatment system designs. A preliminary LCA of an on-site wastewater treatment system was completed that compared alternative on-site system materials for a conventional system, and another assessment is underway to compare decentralized wastewater treatment systems to centralized facilities.

Thrust 3b. We developed several preliminary analytical integrated hydroeconomic models with removal and recovery of nutrients generated from point sources that will allow us to derive optimal conditions and characterize the tradeoffs that arise when nutrient recovery and removal technologies are incorporated into water management problems.

Thrust 3c. We are calibrating a new SPARROW watershed-scale model, which will include onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (septic systems) as a source. We have obtained some septic tank inventory data from a Statewide Inventory of Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems in Florida report and obtained and set up the U.S. Geological Survey southeast total phosphorus SPARROW model and are working to obtaining the total nitrogen model.

Future Activities:

We are continuing progress on research and demonstration projects according to our original schedule. There are no updates to the schedule to report at this time.


Journal Articles: 15 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other center views: All 87 publications 16 publications in selected types All 15 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Cornejo PK, Zhang Q, Mihelcic JR. How does scale of implementation impact the environmental sustainability of wastewater treatment integrated with resource recovery? Environmental Science & Technology 2016;50(13):6680-6689.
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RD835569 (2016)
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  • Journal Article Diaz-Elsayed N, Xu X, Balaguer-Barbosa M, Zhang Q. An evaluation of the sustainability of onsite wastewater treatment systems for nutrient management. Water Research 2017;121:186-196.
    abstract available   full text available
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  • Journal Article Ishii SK, Boyer TH. Life cycle comparison of centralized wastewater treatment and urine source separation with struvite precipitation: focus on urine nutrient management. Water Research 2015;79:88-103.
    abstract available   full text available
    RD835569 (2017)
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  • Journal Article Kuwayama Y, Kamen H. What drives the reuse of municipal wastewater? A county-level analysis of Florida. Land Economics 2016;92(4):679-702.
    abstract available  
    RD835569 (2015)
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  • Journal Article Lopez-Ponnada EV, Lynn TJ, Peterson M, Ergas SJ, Mihelcic JR. Application of denitrifying wood chip bioreactors for management of residential non-point sources of nitrogen. Journal of Biological Engineering 2017;11:16 (14 pp).
    abstract available   full text available
    RD835569 (2017)
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  • Journal Article Lynn TJ, Yeh DH, Ergas SJ. Performance of denitrifying stormwater biofilters under intermittent conditions. Environmental Engineering Science 2015;32(9):796-805.
    abstract available  
    RD835569 (2016)
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  • Journal Article Lynn TJ, Ergas SJ, Nachabe MH. Effect of hydrodynamic dispersion in denitrifying wood-chip stormwater biofilters. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment 2016;2(4).
    abstract available  
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  • Journal Article Lynn TJ, Nachabe MH, Ergas SJ. Modeling denitrifying stormwater biofilters using SWMM5. Journal of Environmental Engineering 2017;143(7):04017017.
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  • Journal Article Ray H, Saetta D, Boyer TH. Characterization of urea hydrolysis in fresh human urine and inhibition by chemical addition. Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology 2018;4(1):87-98.
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  • Journal Article Saetta D, Boyer TH. Mimicking and inhibiting urea hydrolysis in nonwater urinals. Environmental Science & Technology 2017;51(23):13850-13858.
    abstract available   full text available
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  • Journal Article Tong S, Rodriguez-Gonzalez LC, Feng C, Ergas SJ. Comparison of particulate pyrite autotrophic denitrification (PPAD) and sulfur oxidizing denitrification (SOD) for treatment of nitrified wastewater. Water Science and Technology 2017;75(1-2):239-246.
    abstract available   full text available
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  • Journal Article Tong S, Stocks JL, Rodriguez-Gonzalez LC, Feng C, Ergas SJ. Effect of oyster shell medium and organic substrate on the performance of a particulate pyrite autotrophic denitrification (PPAD) process. Bioresource Technology 2017;244(Pt 1):296-303.
    abstract available   full text available
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  • Journal Article Tong S, Rodriguez-Gonzalez LC, Payne KA, Stocks JL, Feng C, Ergas SJ. Effect of pyrite pretreatment, particle size, dose and biomass concentration on particulate pyrite autotrophic denitrification (PPAD) of nitrified domestic wastewater. Environmental Engineering Science 2018;35(8):875-886.
    abstract available  
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  • Journal Article Wang R, Zimmerman JB. Economic and environmental assessment of office building rainwater harvesting systems in various U.S. cities. Environmental Science & Technology 2015;49(3):1768-1778.
    abstract available   full text available
    RD835569 (2014)
    RD835569 (2015)
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    RD835569 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: ES&T-Full Text HTML
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  • Abstract: ES&T-Abstract
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  • Other: ES&T-Full Text PDF
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  • Journal Article Tong S, Rodriguez-Gonzalez LC, Feng C, Ergas SJ. Comparison of particulate pyrite autotrophic denitrification (PPAD) and sulfur oxidizing denitrification (SOD) for treatment of nitrified wastewater. Water Science & Technology2017;75(1-2):239-246.
    abstract available   full text available
    RD835569 (2016)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: IWA-Full Text HTML
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  • Abstract: IWA-Abstract
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  • Other: IWA Publishing-Full Text-PDF
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    nitrogen, phosphorus, eutrophication, built environment, infrastructure, policy, resource recovery, water, energy, nutrients, life cycle assessment, LCA, life cycle cost analysis, LCCA, sustainability, sustainable development, systems thinking

    Relevant Websites:

    reclaim | University of South Florida Exit
    Nutrien Polution Research Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2017 Progress Report
  • Final Report