WateReuse Foundation Selects American Water for Research Project

American Water, the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced on Jan. 30 that it has been selected by the WateReuse Foundation to review various methods for monitoring microbes in reclaimed water, or treated wastewater.

The objective of the 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 more easily and accurately assess the public health impact of microbes in reclaimed water.

Over the next 18 months, American Water will receive nearly $200,000 from the WateReuse Foundation to carry out the research. The project scope 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 Mark LeChevallier, Ph.D., director of Innovation & Environmental Stewardship at American Water and the primary research investigator.

Producing more than 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 EPA and USDA, have expressed support for this project.

American Water is headquartered in Voorhees, N.J., and employs more than 7,000 professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater, and related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada.

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