EPA Grants 1.2M to U-M to Study Wastewater Viruses

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted the University of Michigan researchers $1.2 million. The purpose of the funds is to study the efficiency of current wastewater virus removal treatments. One of the overall goals is to increase the viability of using wastewater as drinking water.

While existing technologies might be quite effective, they can be equally complex. By upgrading the water treatment facilities – particularly in drought-prone areas – reusing wastewater might be more realistic and practical.

Krista Wigginton, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, said, “In areas where water scarcity is becoming a growing concern, they may be forced to look at methods like desalination or potable reuse for their drinking water. If we make reuse rules too stringent, and we’re not giving treatment systems the proper credit for what they’re already removing from the water, we’re going to create a much more expensive project for communities.”

Wigginton will lead a three-year study to identify what aspects of water quality can be monitored in real-time. Using three methods (ozone, coagulation/flocculation/sedimentation, and biological wastewater treatment), the researchers will evaluate whether viruses are effectively removed during those processes. 

Contaminated and strained water resources combined with a rising global population are determining factors for treating and reusing wastewater as drinking water. According to the World Health Organization, half of the global population will reside in “water-stressed” areas. In the United States, countless regions are experiencing lengthy droughts that compromise water supplies.

The EPA said, “The changing climate is challenging many communities to meet their long-term water needs. Reuse of treated wastewater and stormwater for agricultural, nonpotable or even potable uses provides an alternative source of water that can be more reliable than traditional water sources.”

Wigginton said, “We may actually be better at virus removal than we already know. For some of these processes, like ultraviolet light, we already have robust models for predicting how they eliminate viruses. But for others that may not have been studied as much, we don’t have these models. We want to correct that.”

Are you interested in purifying your water? Contact Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. today to learn how we can improve your water.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

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