$2 Billion in Grants Available Through EPA to Combat Emerging Contaminants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of $2 billion from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address emerging contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water across the country. The investment, being allocated to states and territories, will be made available to communities as grants through the EPA’s Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Program, promoting access to safe and clean water in small, rural, and disadvantaged communities while also supporting local economies. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $5 billion over five years, including this initial allotment of $2 billion.
Toilet Paper Adds to Forever Chemicals in Wastewater
Scientists recently identified toilet paper as being a source of PFAS in global wastewater. There are thousands of types of PFAS, many of which can be found in household items and cosmetics. Paper production processes often include PFAS as additives during the wood-to-pulp conversion. Not only does this mean standard toilet paper might contain PFAS, but so too could the rolls made from recycled paper. Researchers collected toilet paper from North, South, and Central America, as well as from Africa and Western Europe, then evaluated sludge samples from eight wastewater treatment plants in Florida. They extracted PFAS from both the paper particles and sludge solids and studied them for 24 different compounds. The main substances detected were polyfluoroalkyl phosphoric acid diesters, or diPAPs, precursor compounds that can convert into other kinds of PFAS.
Sen. Baldwin and Rep. Rouzer Honored with WQA Drinking Water Leadership Awards
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative David Rouzer (R-NC) have been honored with the Water Quality Association’s Drinking Water Leadership awards for their work to improve access to safer, healthier drinking water across the country. Both Rouzer and Baldwin are champions of the Healthy H2O Act, which would authorize a new U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program to cover the costs of water-quality testing and the purchase, installation, and maintenance of POU and POE water filtration systems certified to address health-based contaminants found in drinking water.
IAPMO Publishes Manual of Recommended Practices for Toilet Room Design
The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) has published the Manual of Recommended Practice for Toilet Room Design: All Gender, Health, Safety, Privacy and
Security. IAPMO initiated the Bathroom Design Task Group on September 15, 2021, with the mission to create a manual to provide code enhanced and adoptable language for all-gender restrooms. The task group’s work culminated in the release of this manual, which addresses toilet room design, specifically all-gender accessibility and privacy concerns. While developed as a guidance document, it is written in mandatory language so building and health departments can easily adopt and codify the requirements. The document also includes excerpts from the Uniform Plumbing Code and an appendix with sample signage to provide examples.
AMTA and AWWA Announce 2023 Awards
Each year the American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) and the American Water Works (AWWA) Association confer a number of prestigious awards to recognize individuals and organizations that are advancing the understanding and application of membrane technology to create safe, affordable, and reliable water-treatment solutions. This year’s awards were announced at the 2023 Membrane Technology Conference:
- Membrane Facility Award—Kay Bailey Hutchinson Desalination Plant, El Paso, Texas, in recognition of an outstanding municipally owned drinking-water facility.
- Robert O. Vernon Operator of the Year—Ron Lutge, chief plant operator, City of Oceanside, in recognition of outstanding service and dedication to membrane operations and for his leadership in the industry.
- MTC23 Best Paper Award—Katerina Messologitis, Stantec, and Bryce Burrell, City of North Las Vegas.
- MTC23 Best Poster Award—Raul Alfaro, Jacobs.
- MTC23 Best Student Paper Award—Joseph Ladouceur, University of Ottawa.
- MTC23 Best Student Poster Award— Weiming Qi, Clemson University.
- Best Exhibit Award—NX Filtration.
- AMTA Hall of Fame Awards—Bruce Biltoft and Warren Johnson in recognition of their contributions to the membrane filtration industry.
- AMTA Distinguished Service Award—Yuliana Porras-Mendoza, USBR representative and coordinator of the USBR Fellowship, and Buddy Boysen, AMTA Board of Directors.
- AMTA Presidential Awards—Paul Biscardi, Hazen and Sawyer; Steven Coker, DuPont Water Solutions; Karla Kinser, Kinser Membrane Solutions; and Greg Wetterau, CDM Smith.
Scientists Develop Water-Treatment Solution for Eradicating Forever Chemicals
The University of British Columbia (UBC) made a significant breakthrough in water-treatment technology by developing an innovative method for removing PFAS from water sources. UBC’s new method uses electrochemical oxidation to break down PFAS, rendering them harmless. The process involved applying an electric current to the water, which generates highly reactive hydroxyl radicals that effectively oxidize and neutralize PFAS molecules. This water-treatment solution has shown promising results in lab tests, successfully removing up to 99.99 percent of PFAS from water samples.
Pace® Analytical Services Acquires Alpha Analytical Laboratories
Pace® Analytical Services has announced the acquisition of Alpha Analytical, LLC, a full-service environmental laboratory services company based in Westborough, Massachusetts. Alpha Analytical provides a full range of environmental laboratory services complementing those offered by Pace® Analytical Services, including air, water, soil, and testing for emerging contaminants such as PFAS. Through this acquisition, Pace® adds full-service laboratories in Westborough and Mansfield, Massachusetts, as well as service centers in Brewer, Maine; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Mahwah, New Jersey; Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, New York; Holmes, Pennsylvania; and Mentor, Ohio.
Inaugural Class of Industrial Water Reuse Champion Award Winners
At the 2023 WateReuse Symposium, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, WateReuse Association, Veolia, and the Water Center at the University of Pennsylvania announced the inaugural class of Industrial Water Reuse Champion Award winners. The Industrial Water Reuse Champion Awards recognize top companies that incorporate best-in-class water recycling and reuse programs to improve water stewardship and achieve their water management goals. For 2023, the organizing partners presented awards to three champions:
- APA Corporation for its produced water management approach in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico.
- PepsiCo for ongoing water reuse activities and its forward-looking strategy to achieve water resiliency.
- Intel Corporation for its investment in water recycling across its operations
New Water Safety Plan Manual Released with Guidance for Safe Drinking Water
The International Water Association and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released the second edition of the Water Safety Plan Manual. The manual offers practical guidance for the development and implementation of water safety planning in accordance with WHO guidelines for drinking-water quality. The manual is intended for water suppliers and organizations supporting water safety planning programs, including government agencies responsible for public health, regulation, and surveillance of drinking-water quality, as well as non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations. The manual covers various aspects of water safety planning, including risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication. It also provides guidance on the development of monitoring programs, contingency planning, and documentation of water safety plans.
New Global Commitment to Eliminate Lead from All Drinking Water Systems by 2040
During the United Nations 2023 Water Conference, a consortium of governments, manufacturers, and civil society partners launched a global commitment to achieve lead-free drinking water. Founding members of the consortium presented “A Global Pledge to Protect Drinking Water from Lead,” which aims to build momentum around local and global initiatives to progressively reduce lead exposure from drinking water and protect public health. The pledge highlights actions to eliminate the use of lead-leaching parts in the construction of new drinking water systems and to improve the monitoring and remediation of existing systems that leach lead into drinking water.
DuPont Water Solutions Selected for World’s Largest MBR-RO Water Reuse Plant
DuPont MemPulse® Membrane Bioreactor System (MBR) and FilmTec™ Reverse Osmosis (RO) technologies have been selected as part of a multi-technology solution for implementation in Singapore’s Tuas Water Reclamation Plant (WRP). This new facility plans to begin initial operations in 2026 and is poised to become one of the world’s largest MBR facilities when fully completed. Once fully operational, the Tuas WRP will have the capacity to treat an average dry weather flow of 650, 000m3/day of domestic wastewater using an advanced multi-technology process.
Hydrologist Andrea Rinaldo Wins Stockholm Water Prize 2023
Hydrologist Andrea Rinaldo was awarded the 2023 Stockholm Water Prize for his ground-breaking research on river networks, demonstrating their significance in the spread of solutes, aquatic species, and diseases. Rinaldo is a leading authority in hydrologic sciences, and his pioneering research has led to new insights into the complex ways in which water shapes the Earth’s surface and ecosystems. Rinaldo has provided in-depth knowledge of how solutes and populations move at varying speed, both on and beneath the Earth’s surface. His quantitative analyses provide a fundamental understanding of rivers as ecological corridors, and his models for water’s role in disease transmission have been applied to real-world hotspots of diseases, such as cholera and schistosomiasis in Haiti, South Sudan, and Burkina Faso, linking fundamental research to real-life application.
IDE Technologies Commence Construction of the Aconcagua Desalination Plant
IDE Technologies commenced construction of the Aconcagua desalination plant with a capacity of 86,400 m3/day, located in the Quintero Bay Area of Chile. The plant was developed by Aguas Pacifico SpA and will be the first multi-client seawater desalination plant in the Valparaiso region of Chile. IDE’s design of the Aconcagua desalination plant prioritizes sustainability, social responsibility, and environmental soundness.
Omani Student Wins Laurels at the Kuwaiti Youth Forum
Among more than 100 competitors from various Arab countries, doctoral student Amira Al Gharbiya of Sultan Qaboos University won second place in the third Kuwaiti Arab Youth Forum competitions. Al Gharbiya is a doctoral student specializing in chemical engineering and transformational processes at the College of Engineering at Sultan Qaboos University and is also a member of the Omani Water Society. Her project, “Improving the performance of the membrane distillation process for water desalination using carbon nanotubes derived from waste of the Omani Palm,” earned her second place in the Kuwaiti Arab Youth Forum.
Ethiopia and the Netherlands Endorse Ethiopian SDG6 Water Management Initiative
During the UN23 Water Conference in New York, H.E. Dr. Eng. Habtamu Itefa Geleta, Minister for the Ministry of Water and Energy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and Kitty van der Heijden, Director-General International Cooperation at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, endorsed the launch of the Ethiopian SDG6 Water Management Initiative. This initiative aims to improve the water needs of millions of people and will be based on digitally verifiable outcomes focused on the reduction of non-revenue water, increase of water quality, increased access to water, and higher availability of water. This project is a collaboration of the Ethiopian local and federal government and multiple innovators in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. The SDG6 Water Management Initiative has the potential to be rolled out to over 19 other countries in 55 cities, improving the water needs of half a billion people.