Final 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 , 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 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. Systems approaches allow us to evaluate and optimize an integrated system of technologies and management strategies.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

To date, our Center researchers have published: 18 peer reviewed publications and 9 graduate student theses/dissertations. We also plan to have at least 11 additional peer reviewed journal articles and at least 3 additional student theses/dissertations published in 2019. Three patent applications have also been submitted for innovative technology developed by Center researchers.

Researchers completed science and demonstration of full-scale waterless urinals designed so that they minimize unwanted precipitation of urine-derived minerals and simultaneously maximize the potential for nutrient recovery from stored urine.

Researchers developed a decentralized wastewater resource recovery solution, based on the anaerobic membrane bioreactor technology, which can generate and sustain high quality product water containing nutrients suitable for irrigation. Demonstration is currently taking place with a full-scale machine with application to mine sewers to generate an effluent that will support a hydroponic green wall located on the side of the unit.

Researchers developed and demonstrated a nutrient management process applied to side stream nutrient recovery at a wastewater treatment plant that used anaerobic digestion, precipitation of struvite from the digester effluent, nitritation or nitrification of the liquid effluent from the struvite precipitation, and a microbial fuel cell with nitrite/nitrate serving as the electron acceptor in the cathode. The demonstration showed the microbial fuel cell can achieve complete removal of nitrate from samples of the sidestream generated at a Biosolids Management Facility, while simultaneously generating a low current of electricity.

Researchers completed a 1.5 year monitoring of the demonstration of a side-by-side conventional bioretention system and a modified bioretention system (developed in this research) to better manage nitrogen in stormwater runoff. Overall, the Total Nitrogen and NOx mass removal efficiency was significantly greater in the modified system than measured in the conventional system. Adding plants to both systems was shown to have a more significant impact for the conventional system in its nitrogen removing performance.

Researchers integrated nutrient and stormwater management research demonstrations with K-12 science education at local middle schools and at a community center, all located in under- represented neighborhoods of EPA Region 4.

Researchers developed and tested a new technology for removal of nitrogen in onsite wastewater treatment systems and operated a demonstration system. Results showed the system with recirculation consistently removed more ammonium nitrogen than the system without recirculation and high levels of inorganic nitrogen were removed from the system with complete denitrification observed in all systems. The demonstration also showed the developed technology could successfully handle transient loadings encountered in onsite systems.

Researchers completed Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to assess the environmental sustainability of several nutrient management technologies for discharge and reuse scenarios developed and demonstrated by Center researchers: aerobic membrane bioreactors (AeMBR), anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBR), an onsite wastewater treatment system, and stormwater bioretention systems.

Researchers completed development of an analytical model that provides a framework for quantifying the economic benefits of nutrient recovery and water reuse from point source nutrient management approaches.

Researchers have drafted a working paper on using hedonic models to estimate monetized values of nutrient pollution reductions in the Tampa Bay region.

Researchers continued development of a modeling framework to quantify watershed-scale water quality impacts of nutrient management technologies and strategies along with a decision support model to provide guidance on optimal location and capacity design of these nutrient management technologies.

Researchers have collected state and local regulations and guidelines relating to nutrient management. Identification of policy changes to spur adoption by households/businesses and integration into regulatory compliance.


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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  • 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.
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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.
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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  
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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).
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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    RD835569 (2014)
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  • Abstract: ES&T-Abstract
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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)
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  • 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:

    built environment, policy, resource recovery, water, energy, nutrients  

    Relevant Websites:

    University of Southern Florida - Reclaim Exit

    Twitter: @USF_Reclaim

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2017 Progress Report