Science Inventory

Design, Testing, and Deployment of a Mobile Emergency Water Treatment System


Goodrich, J., J. Hall, M. Hogg, K. Daniels, G. Meiners, AND S. Witt. Design, Testing, and Deployment of a Mobile Emergency Water Treatment System. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-19/078, 2019.


The purpose of this study was to design, build, evaluate, and deploy a mobile emergency water treatment system capable of treating a wide variety of contaminated water following a natural or man-made disaster. Most emergency water treatment systems are either very large and expensive tractor-trailer mounted systems. They can be complicated to operate and maintain (very high pressures and concentrated wastes) given their use of reverse osmosis water treatment technology. Water may be contaminated with chemical, biological or radionuclide contaminants. Therefore, an emergency water treatment system must be designed and built so the treatment train can be configured on-site to treat a broad spectrum of contaminants without utilizing other unnecessary and costly unit processes and without producing large amounts of contaminated wastes. Mobile treatment of the contaminated water can significantly reduce the volume of water to be transported and reduce the liability and cost of transporting and disposing of a hazardous waste.


This mobile treatment technology system in this study is referred to as the Water-On-Wheels (WOW) Cart. The mobile system originally consisted of a pre-filter, an on-site chlorine generator, and a pump attached to a dolly or frame with wheels. The frame also provided space to store accessory equipment and to transport two empty 1,250-gallon bladder tanks used to treat and store treated water. This study designed, built, challenged and deployed an inexpensive mobile water treatment system. The system integrated the pre-filtration step with additional media filtration (e.g., granular activated carbon) and the on-site chlorine gas generation with options for UV LED and/or ultrafiltration membranes, which was all stored and transported on a wheeled, powder-coated steel frame This study also added (1) multiple power supply options that can be operated from the electrical grid (110v AC), (2) a duel-fuel generator, or (3) peripherals with a 12v DC deep cell marine battery (with solar recharge). There are also additional electrical outlets and USB ports for phones, computers, etc. The WOW Cart can now also produce liquid bleach for sanitation purposes.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 06/01/2019
Record Last Revised: 02/12/2020
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 348196