Grantee Research Project Results
Unlocking the Nationwide Potential of Water ReuseEPA Grant Number: R840462
Title: Unlocking the Nationwide Potential of Water Reuse
Investigators: Bloxom, Lyndsey , Linden, Karl G. , Dickenson, Eric , Cath, Tzahi , Hacker, Miriam
Institution: Water Research Foundation , University of Colorado at Boulder , Southern Nevada Water Authority , Colorado School of Mines , University of Pennsylvania
EPA Project Officer: Ludwig-Monty, Sarah
Project Period: September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2026
Project Amount: $3,245,999
RFA: NATIONAL PRIORITIES: WATER INNOVATION, SCIENCE, AND ENGAGEMENT TO ADVANCE WATER REUSE (2021) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water Quality , Water , Water Treatment
This research will unlock the full nationwide potential of water reuse by aligning development of science and technology with advances in sociological understanding of community-specific opportunities and barriers.
The research objectives include: (A) Characterize microbial and chemical risks in reuse source water (B) Predict chemical and microbial water quality performance of different treatment trains (C) Quantify the national potential of water reuse (D-E) Identify and create interventions for the social and organizational barriers to water reuse nationally and (C-D) Identify opportunities and strategies for expanding water reuse nationally.
To meet these objectives, we intend to: (A) use wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) and surveillance to understand pathogen loading and enable rapid identification and response in reuse systems, develop quantitative microbial risk assessment tools for application to under-appreciated reuse applications, and identify opportunities for chemical health risk reduction. (B) Develop a comprehensive model for reuse treatment processes that includes predictive algorithms, integrated to evaluate treatment train performance for microbial and chemical water quality goals, incorporating pilot demonstration and techno-economic analysis to support real-time monitoring and risk mitigation. (C) Quantify water reuse potential across the nation and identify barriers, drivers, and pathways to successful reuse through a rigorous case study evaluation process. (D-E) Partner with community leaders to synthesize and address organizational and social barriers to advancing reuse across diverse contexts and for traditionally marginalized communities. (C-D) Evaluate planned and potential reuse projects through a quantitative sustainable design process to identify strategies for water reuse capacity building efforts expanding reuse across a diversity of contexts.
The expected results of this work will provide stakeholders of diverse backgrounds with user-friendly tools and materials to advance water reuse in their community including: (A) National data on viruses and antimicrobial resistance hazards in sewage, an Outbreak Readiness Response Plan for the reuse sector, a QMRA tool and case studies for potable and agricultural reuse, and a demonstration of the relative health index tool for constituents of concern in reuse applications. (B) Deterministic algorithms for critical processes and constituents of concern, an Integrated Water Reuse Treatment Plant Model, and expansion of the US EPA Drinking Water Technology Unit Cost Model for water reuse applications. (C) Interactive maps showing water reuse availability and potential. (D-E) Best practices for community engagement strategies, including a synthesis of identified barriers and drivers for reuse, and a compendium of national and regional needs for organizational and social factors related to uptake of water reuse, highlighting the needs of underserved communities. (C-D) Case study and cross case comparison reports, a sustainability assessment framework, applied to multiple water reuse scenarios.