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  • Writer's pictureKristin Cooper

Water Research Foundation

Open RFPs - Research Priority Program

RFP_5078 Linking Nutrient Reductions to Receiving Water Responses Deadline: 10/15/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain The objective of this project is to evaluate and quantify the effects of nutrient loading reduction strategies on observed changes in key water quality and biological response variables that meet desired water quality goals. RFP_5078.pdf

RFP_5080 Assessment of Vulnerability of Source Waters to Toxic Cyanobacterial Outbreaks Deadline; 10/15/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain Develop a risk assessment model for the prediction of the occurrence of cyanobacteria and the potential for problematic biomass development. The model will track the progress of bloom development, a feature useful for making timely mitigation decisions. It would use the conventional understanding of the major factors triggering and supporting the growth of cyanobacteria, which could be tailored by utilities for site-specific use for their lake or reservoir. RFP_5080.pdf


Guidance for Using Pipe Loops to Inform Lead and Copper Corrosion Control Treatment Decisions Deadline; 10/15/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain To provide “fit for purpose” guidance for corrosion control pipe loop construction, operation, sampling, and data interpretation to inform pipe loop implementation for corrosion control studies.

RFP_5082 Investigation of Alternative Management Strategies to Prevent PFAS from Entering Drinking Water Supplies and Wastewater Deadline: 10/15/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain The overall goal of this project is to provide actionable strategies that lead to effective management of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) sources impacting drinking water treatment plants and water resource recovery facilities. Key objectives include the following:

  • Summarize and provide methodologies to identify potential point and nonpoint sources in the watershed and sewershed, elaborating upon the relative importance of different sources in terms of potential health impacts, treatability, source control, and occurrence.

  • Investigate categories of nonpoint sources, such as PFAS-containing products commonly used in commercial, institutional, and other sectors, that collectively enter sewers and water supplies, potentially adding significant and diverse quantities of PFAS.

  • Summarize appropriate applications of effective pre-treatment and mitigation measures, such as best management practices (BMPs), permitting at point sources, and potential upstream regulatory and legislative measures for nonpoint sources.

  • Summarize impacts of wastewater effluent PFAS on drinking water utilities. Available findings of current WRF project 5031 should be incorporated into this summary.

  • Develop a roadmap of multiple strategies to mitigate PFAS prior to entry into drinking water treatment plants and water resource recovery facilities.

  • Map of multiple strategies to mitigate PFAS prior to entry into drinking water treatment plants and water resource recovery facilities.

RFP_5086 Case Studies on Water Sector Interdependencies Deadline: 10/15/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain This project will collect case studies on existing utility practices for determining risk-based organizational interdependencies on systems including water, power, telecom/internet, transportation, fuels, etc. This project will develop a guideline for management of cross-sector interdependencies for small to medium water utilities (drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater) with the goal of achieving improved “co-resilience” of infrastructure systems. RFP_5086.pdf


Implementation of Innovative Biological Nutrient Removal Processes through Improvement of Control Systems and Online Analytical Measurement Reliability and Accuracy Deadline: 10/15/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain Project Objectives

  • Evaluate the best technologies, approaches, operations and maintenance (O&M) practices, and requirements for sensors and control systems for intensive biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes with a focus on innovative, but also appropriate, levels of process control complexity.

  • Develop a baseline evaluation of sensors available for implementing intensification of water resource recovery systems with particular emphasis on the performance, and necessary O&M requirements, as well as annual cost estimates for maintenance including parts and labor per instrument per manufacturer.

  • Identify additional improvements of sensor performance in existing facilities and pave the way for a consistent approach for utilities to reliably operate their BNR processes.

  • Engage with utility subscribers through the BNR LIFT Focus Group and other program activities such as LIFT LINK.

RFP_5079 Water Reuse and Beyond – Water Quality Monitoring Methods, Data, and Interpretation Deadline: 10/29/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain This project will deploy a utility survey and other information collection strategies to evaluate the critical needs, tools, gaps, and opportunities for water quality monitoring at potable reuse facilities. The needs, tools, gaps, and opportunities can be framed as the following key questions:

  1. What are the most critical water quality and treatment performance monitoring needs in potable reuse?

  2. What are the most common tools (i.e., technologies, methods, and/or approaches) being used at any treatment stage in existing facilities?

  3. What are the gaps in knowledge or tools required to meet the needs identified?

  4. What are the opportunities for innovation or optimization regarding monitoring tools in potable reuse?

RFP_5083 Advancing Low-Energy Biological Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal Deadline: 10/29/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain The main objective of this project is to conduct research needed to advance the most promising intensive and efficient low-energy nutrient treatment process(es) and innovative process control approach(es) that utilities can employ and reliably operate at their facilities with a balance of cost-effective investments and appropriate levels of process control complexity. While the scope of this project is open to all low-energy biological nutrient removal intensification processes, we encourage proposers to consider the processes and research topics listed under the research approach section below. RFP_5083.pdf

RFP_5084 Holistic and Innovative Approaches for Flood Mitigation Planning and Modeling under Extreme Wet Weather Events and Climate Impacts Deadline: 10/29/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain Project Objectives

  • Develop a synthesis document and guidebook for utilities and municipalities on holistic approaches to flood mitigation planning and modeling under extreme wet weather events and climate impacts.

  • Demonstrate the use of an integrated planning framework in support of holistic flood management and mitigation planning with case studies at the community level.

  • Synthesize the state-of-the-practice and provide guiding principles for integrated hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) modeling systems that can be used for flood scenario modeling and mitigation planning to support decision making by utilities and municipalities.

RFP_5085 Impact of a Haloacetic Acid MCL Revision on DBP Exposure and Health Risk Reduction Deadline: 10/29/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain The objectives of this project are to develop:

  • A holistic assessment of the potential impacts of potential new regulatory levels for HAA5, HAA6Br, or HAA9.

  • A defensible database and analysis available to water systems for discussion with regulatory authorities.

  • An understanding of the benefits of compliance technologies for a future rule, which will allow water systems to make preliminary evaluations of water treatment improvements they may have to incorporate after the regulations are revised.

  • Guidance to water systems and regulators on consequences of implementing changes to respond to a revised maximum contaminant level (MCL) for haloacetic acids (HAAs).

RFP_5088 Defining Exposures of Microplastics/Fibers (MPs) in All Waters: Occurrence, Monitoring, and Management Strategies Deadline: 10/29/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain The objectives of this project are to:

  • Characterize typical microplastic (MP) numbers, types, and sizes in all waters (including secondary and tertiary treated wastewater, recycled water, stormwater, drinking water supplies—ambient waters, and treated drinking water);

  • Develop reliable monitoring and sampling guidelines, based on MP sizes and source media;

  • If needed, develop a decision-making framework for MP reduction strategies from the whole water supply cycle. (Note: Thresholds for risk potentials are not defined in this RFP. Some jurisdictions will act on more precautionary thresholds than others [e.g., population vs. organismal effects]. It may be reasonably

  • assumed that with continued input of a persistent chemical into the environment [i.e., plastic], exceedance of risk thresholds is inevitable. Researchers should clearly define and provide a rationale for thresholds for risk potentials within the context of their research project/proposed work plan); and

  • Describe the relative effectiveness of various technologies and legislation to mitigate sources and pathways of MPs.

RFP_5091 Developing a Framework for Quantifying Energy Optimization Reporting Deadline: 10/29/2020 - 2:00 pm Mountain Project Objectives Create a methodology for evaluating energy-saving/renewable-energy-producing water, wastewater, and reuse projects using validated past projects.

  • Create a framework using the evaluations mentioned above, to be utilized for future projects.

  • Create a repository for collecting and sharing verified, framework-assessed projects.

  • Provide decision-making and performance-tracking guidance to agencies and utilities considering such projects, including identifying the metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most important to evaluating energy efficiency projects.

  • Summarize a list of considerations to be factored in quantification and reporting of project results.

  • Create and summarize energy savings from different types of energy efficiency projects. “Energy efficiency projects” is defined as capital equipment retrofits and operational and behavioral changes.

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