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Monitoring for Reliability and Process Control of Potable Reuse Applications

Project: 11-01
Funding Partner: Bureau of Reclamation, Pentair, Singapore PUB, Xylem, Water Corporation
Total Investment: $1,553,817 (Cash: $565,000, In-Kind cash and service: $1,133,817)

Principal Investigator: Ian Pepper, Ph.D., University of Arizona


There is a growing drive to use recycled water due to increasing water scarcity and costs associated with finding new water sources. The cost of piping infrastructure, especially when long distances are required or there is unsuitable hydrogeology, may render indirect potable reuse (IPR) projects uneconomical and unfeasible. The need for new water sources has therefore led some water agencies and other groups to consider implementing direct potable reuse (DPR). In DPR, purified recycled water is introduced directly into the potable water supply distribution system or into the raw water supply immediately upstream of a water treatment plant. Understanding the monitoring and control of the treatment and distribution system is critical to moving towards DPR. System options need to be assessed, compared, tested, and verified before the industry moves forward.

Goals and Objectives

The project will identify, evaluate, test, and validate systems that can be used to assure the public safety of potable reuse. The project is specifically focused on monitoring for the removal of regulated and unregulated compounds of concern, such as micropollutants and endocrine disrupting compounds.

Research Approach

Task 1: State of Knowledge Workshop

Task 2: Laboratory Evaluation of Monitoring and Control Systems. The main focus of this task will be the identification of correlations between sensor response and treatment performance through direct and in-direct measurements. Sensor evaluations will take the form of three primary and overlapping goals: 1) suitability as an alarm, 2) suitability of water quality monitoring , and 3) ability to offer process control through feedback loops.

Task 3: Pilot and Full Scale Evaluations. This phase of the project involves monitoring and sensor validation at both pilot and full-scale facilities. Pilot scale evaluations provide flexibility in treatment operational parameters and in reconfiguring the system quickly. Full-scale evaluations involve sampling at various critical points in the system and using existing on-line monitoring systems.

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