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US Environmental Protection Agency to fund new water treatment technology research

25 September 2012

EPA is approving grants to help researchers develop technologies to filter potable water off chemicals and pollutants

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is funding new research on the filtration of antibiotic and pesticide contamination in potable water.

The EPA has announced a grant of $499,778 to develop economic and low-budget facilities to decontaminate water from pollutants and provide potable water to many.

Clarkson University Civil and Environmental Engineering Departments Professor Christopher Bellona is working on water treatment technologies to clear the antibiotics and pesticides from drinking water.

Under the national primary drinking water regulations, there are 88 drinking water contaminants and indicators which are legally enforceable for public water systems.

The EPA has not yet established drinking water standards for all the pesticides found in water.

It has established a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for only a couple dozen pesticides of the hundreds of pesticide active in theingredients it registers.

EPA stated that, "Concerns for man-made and naturally-occurring chemicals found in surface water, ground water, finished drinking water, and wastewaters pose a host of treatment and management challenges and potential health risks for communities served by public water systems, these challenges are exacerbated for small systems, those serving 10,000 persons or less."

One of the water filter technologies being developed by Dr. Bellona and his associates is a dual-system technology using a membrane system and oxidation process.

In this process the water is first filtered through an ultra-fine membrane to discard larger particles contaminating the water and processed by the oxidation procedure to clear organic matters from the water.

Pollutants such as petroleum constituents, pesticides, aromatics, and volatile organic compounds are filtered out.


Image: The EPA is approving grants to help researchers develop technologies to filter potable water off chemicals and pollutants. Photo: Traumrune.