WERF Seeks Proposals For Research To Help Wastewater Treatment Facilities With Mercury Control

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) announced on Aug. 28 it is accepting proposals for research to gauge the relative contribution of mercury being discharged from wastewater treatment facilities.

Up to $275,000 in funding will be made available to develop technical guidance that will be used by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and other stakeholders regarding the environmental measurement, fate, and significance of potentially bioaccumulative mercury entering receiving waters under a range of conditions.

WERF hopes that the outcome of this project will determine the relative contributions of mercury in receiving waters from all quantifiable sources including, but not limited to, WWTP effluents, urban runoff, contaminated sediments, air deposition, and mine drainage. This information would provide WWTPs and other stakeholders an ability to characterize the mercury in WWTP effluent relative to other sources and inform decision makers on how to best allocate resources at the WWTP-level and the watershed-level to control potentially bioaccumulative mercury and minimize health and environmental risks.

"The advanced treatment needed to reduce levels of mercury in WWTP discharges is a capital intensive process, and that means higher costs for the public," said Dan Woltering, director of WERF research. "By seeking out a better understanding of the relationship between the levels of mercury in discharges from these facilities and mercury bioaccumulation, we can provide the public assurance that their dollars are well spent."

According to WERF, depending upon the outcome of the first two phases of this project, which comprise the scope of this request for proposals (RFP), it may be desirable to study the transformation of mercury as it passes through the various stages of a WWTP in order to provide guidance on which treatment processes and/or practices are available that minimize the bioaccumulation of mercury discharged from WWTPs.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Oct. 20. Researchers interested in submitting a proposal are encouraged to visit the WERF Web site at http://www.werf.org/funding/avail_funding.cfm for more information and a complete RFP.

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