American Water to research water reuse methods for WRF

An extensive review of methods for detecting and measuring micro-organisms in reused water or wastewater treatment effluent is to be undertaken in the USA by American Water on behalf of the WateReuse Foundation (WRF), the foundation announced on 30 January 2009.

The objective of the 18-month project, titled Examination of Microbiological Methods for Use with Reclaimed Waters, is to develop a standard framework to help utility operators, regulators, engineers and scientists to assess the public health aspect of water reuse more easily and accurately.

The scope of the US$200,000 project includes conducting an extensive review of methods for detecting and measuring microbes, surveying reclaimed water systems, and organizing a workshop with subject experts to gather further insight. American Water will present its findings in a summarized report and recommend a framework for inter-laboratory testing.

“As water reuse becomes an increasingly important and accepted practice for meeting water demand, standardizing the way we analyze and measure reclaimed water is the necessary next step in ensuring public health and safety,” said Dr Mark LeChevallier, director of innovation and environmental stewardship at American Water.

Producing over two billion gallons of reclaimed water per year, LeChevallier and his project team have vast practical experience in monitoring bacteria, viruses and protozoa. In addition to the WateReuse Foundation, a broad range of organizations, including the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Agriculture, have expressed support for this project.