Welcome to our April 2023 research and innovation newsletter.
This newsletter was not created by ChatGPT, although I can’t lie, I did try. The result was not good and confirmed that AI is not going to take over our lives any time soon.
If you see any interesting articles, projects or news about new research that others might be interested in, please send to [email protected] – it could even make the next newsletter due in May 2023.
If you’ve stumbled on this newsletter and would like to receive future editions please click this link. Or if you know someone who really needs this: forward to a friend.
Industry Innovation and Resilience
Can Nutrient Trading Deliver Environmental Outcomes?
WSAA has published the results of another successful industry collaboration. A world leading analysis of the ability of nutrient trading to deliver environmental outcomes.
Authored by Professor Michele Burford and Dr. Jing Lu at Griffith University, the report outlines the benefits of nutrient trading, including the ability to:
Provide flexibility in meeting nutrient reduction targets,
Incentivize innovation and cost-effective solutions, and
Provide a mechanism for funding catchment management activities.
The report also discusses the challenges associated with implementing a nutrient trading regime, including the need for robust monitoring and verification systems, the need for clear rules and regulations, and the need for stakeholder engagement.
On March 14, 2023, the U.S. EPA released their proposed drinking water Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) for select per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The new MCLs will likely have far-reaching consequences for water utilities involved in any part of the water cycle and, potentially, any part of the world.
The Australian Water Association (AWA), in partnership with Arup, has produced The Future of Water Report – the Australian Context from data collected from a 2022 survey distributed across Australia.
The survey captured over 750 responses, highlighting how individuals and communities across Australia value and interact with water and key priorities for future water management at both a local and national level.
Northumbrian Water Fuels a World-First in Green Energy Expansion
Northumbrian Water in the UK have installed a ground-breaking piece of equipment to capture ammonia from sewage.
The technology uses heat generated from the natural breakdown of proteins in wastewater. The resultant ammonia has the potential to be used in the production of fertiliser, pharmaceuticals or to develop green fuels.
Researchers from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology have used an electro-photonic tweezer along with metal nanoparticles to concentrate ultrafine nanoplastics as part of a real-time nanoplastics detection system.
The research claim to have achieved ultrahigh-sensitivity detection of microplastics in real-time and propose that the method can be extended to the measurement of microplastic concentration in various water resources.
Wastewater Treatment Plants Release More Methane Than Previously Thought
Researchers at the University of Princeton claim that wastewater treatment plants are releasing nearly double the amount of methane into the atmosphere than previously believed.
The university carried out two studies: one which performed on-the-ground methane emissions measurements at 63 wastewater treatment plants in the United States, the other which used machine learning methods to analyse published literature data from methane monitoring studies of various wastewater collection and treatment processes around the globe.
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the US claim that they have uncovered evidence in a sample of women in Singapore linking plasma concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) with an increase in the difficulty of becoming pregnant.
A number of studies have found that PFAS can disrupt reproductive hormones, lead to delayed puberty onset and result in an increased risk of endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.
The University of Belgrade’s Institute for Multidisciplinary Research has developed an urban photo-bioreactor. The researchers claim that Liquid 3 can clean the air as well as serve as a bench in the busy Belgrade city centre.
Liquid 3 contains six hundred litres of water and uses microalgae to bind carbon dioxide and produce pure oxygen through photosynthesis.
Discounted Online Access Available to WSAA Members
The Annual WateReuse Symposium is the most important global conference about water recycling. It attracts water professionals and reuse practitioners globally to collaborate, share findings, and envision the future of water reuse.
The 2023 Symposium took place in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on 6-8 March.
WSAA members and associates can receive a $300 USD member discount off the marked price for recorded sessions by entering the discount code “WSAA23Symp” upon registration.
A new website has been launched for the South East Queensland Water Supply and Sewerage Design and Construction Code (known as the SEQ Code).
The SEQ Code, which is administered by qldwater on behalf of five SEQ water service providers, provides the technical standards for the design and construction process for new retail water and sewerage assets across South East Queensland.