WRF grant for United Water's VOC membrane research

The Water Research Foundation has awarded a grant to US water utility United Water to evaluate the use of water-resistant membranes to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from drinking water.

The Water Research Foundation will contribute US$ 175,000 and Suez Environnement, United Water's parent company, will contribute US$ 200,000. Another US$ 148,000 of in‑kind contributions will be made by project team members.

Previous testing by United Water has shown that using low-cost membrane technology is effective in removing potentially harmful chemicals such as VOCs. They include tetrachloroethylene, used in dry cleaning; radon, a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring gas formed from the disintegration of radium; and trihalomethanes, a byproduct of water chlorination. The objective of this project is to better understand how the membrane works and what is needed to maintain it.

Other teams in the research project are: Confluence Engineering Group, LLC of Seattle, Washington; Williams McCarron Inc of Long Beach, California; the City of Redmond's Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District; the US Bureau of Water Reclamation; the Suffolk County Water Authority in Long Island, New York; and Layne Christensen, Mission Woods, Kansas.

"The grant will offer us an opportunity to achieve progress in advanced treatment of surface water and groundwater resources in order to protect them, while mitigating the impacts of climate change on the water cycle," said Bertrand Camus, CEO of United Water.

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