Water and Waste Water Treatment Research

Biological Treatment

Faculty Member: Dr. John T. Novak

Biological treatment studies have been focused on the biodegradation kinetics of hazardous organics. Recently, these studies have been extended to soil and groundwater systems where investigations are underway to determine the natural rate at which contaminant organics biodegrade and to investigate methods for enhancing these rates. Sludge dewatering studies have been directed toward understanding and optimizing the dewatering of sludges by addition of organic polyelectrolytes. Hazardous waste studies are underway to develop a set of guidelines for local governments in the siting of hazardous waste facilities and in dealing with problems of household wastes.

Industrial and Hazardous Waste Management

Faculty Member: Dr. Greg Boardman

S_industrial_and_hazardous_waste_managementWater conservation and reuse, water quality, process enhancements, toxicity reduction, waste reduction, improvements in effluent characteristics, and cost reduction are of interest to a variety of industries and the public. Recent projects include evaluating the degradation of toxic agents in a chemical industry’s wastewater, improving the performance of attached growth biological processes at a chemical plant, using alternative carbon sources for denitrification, evaluating the effectiveness of an innovative aeration and mixing system, evaluating various treatment systems for aquacultural waters, reducing disinfection by-products for a municipality, and using biomass from suspended growth reactors as a feed supplement for marine shrimp. Considerable effort has also been devoted to developing and offering training programs for operators and engineers in the areas of design, operations and mainenance troubleshooting, and budget development.

Water Treatment Processes

Faculty Member: Dr. William R. Knocke

Residue management studies have emphasized work in the area of sludge characterization and the effect of various conditioning processes (heat treatment, freeze-thaw, inorganic/organic chemicals) on sludge dewatering rates. Past industrial waste management research efforts have been in the area of electroplating waste treatment, including investigations of alternate precipitation techniques, sludge handling concerns, and extraction potentials for metals under ultimate storage conditions. Additional work has been done in areas of textile waste management, coal processing wastewaters, and agricultural feed lot management. Water treatment studies have emphasized the optimization of mixing conditions, selection of proper coagulants, and alternative treatment configurations for improving potable water quality. A significant amount of work has also been performed in the area of trace metal (Fe and Mn) removal.

Wastewater Treatment Processes

Faculty Member: Dr. Clifford W. Randall, Emeritus

Though retired, Dr. Randall’s contributions to the program area remain significant. His main interests are: biological nutrient removal (BNR), industrial and biological wastewater treatment, water supply and waste disposal in developing countries, and watershed management.