WERF Awarded EPA Cooperative Agreement

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) will receive $10 million in U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funds to evaluate new technologies that will help utilities cope with aging and failing water and wastewater systems. As the recipient of this cooperative agreement, WERF will administer $6.25 million to address wastewater and stormwater infrastructure research and will coordinate with the Water Research Foundation to administer $3.75 million to address aging drinking water systems. These funds will be further leveraged by a 33.3 percent cost share to be provided by the investigators.

Funding for the research is through EPA?s Aging Water Infrastructure Research Program, a research agenda that supports efforts to put the nation?s aging infrastructure on a pathway toward sustainability.

?The success of EPA?s program depends on stakeholder involvement,? said Sally Gutierrez, director of EPA?s National Risk Management Research Laboratory. ?Sharing information and tools, and working together toward the long-term stewardship of our water infrastructure will put us at the forefront of addressing our nation?s critical need for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure research.?

Research efforts initiated under the cooperative agreement will examine innovative tools and procedures to cost-effectively improve the maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement of the aging sewer lines, water mains, and other components that constitute our water and wastewater infrastructure. Research efforts will focus on four key areas: condition assessment for water and wastewater conveyance systems; system rehabilitation for water and wastewater conveyance systems; advanced design and engineering concepts; and innovative treatment technologies for wastewater, stormwater, water reuse and drinking water.

EPA projects a funding gap of $220 billion funding over the next 20 years if utilities and municipalities don?t increase their investments in water and wastewater infrastructure. By better pricing and managing water use, as well as by implementing new technologies, that gap may be lessened.



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