New project to explore critical role of pre-oxidants in removal of pathogens during filtration

Becker and O�Melia, LLC announced it has received funding from AWWARF to investigate a new water treatment strategy that in preliminary studies has shown some protection against pathogens in water.

BALTIMORE, Md., Dec. 21, 2000—Becker and O�Melia, LLC has received major funding from the American Water Works Association Research Foundation to investigate a new water treatment strategy that in preliminary studies has shown some protection against pathogens in drinking water, Bill Becker, president of Becker and O�Melia, announced today.

�Our preliminary research has shown that pre- or intermediate oxidants such as chlorine and ozone can significantly improve particle removal performance in filters,� Becker said. �We�re pleased AWWARF has given us the opportunity to examine for the first time how oxidants can best be used to optimize filter performance.�

Becker said that while some filtration plants are moving away from pre-chlorine because of concerns over disinfection byproducts (which have been linked to cancer and birth defects), this research on the use of oxidants in enhancing filtration is promising. �This research could lead to increased protection against Cryptosporidium and other waterborne pathogens in water supplies throughout the United States,� Becker said. The proper use of pre- and intermediate oxidants can minimize the chance of future waterborne disease outbreaks.

AWWARF will provide $150,000 to the research and consulting firm for the project, "The Use of Oxidants to Minimize the Passage of Pathogenic Particles Through Granular Media Filters."

According to Bob Allen, the AWWARF Senior Project Manager, �The goal of AWWARF�S unsolicited proposal program is to fund innovative and creative research that may be considered a risky investment by some organizations that fund research but could lead to significant advances for the industry.

Although this type of research has not yet been attempted by others and is quite innovative, we are confident that Becker and O�Melia will provide us with new information that utilities can use in their pursuit of protecting public health. Bill Becker and Charles O�Melia should be proud that this project was selected for funding through an extremely competitive selection process by the AWWARF Board of Trustees which represents over 1000 subscribers and some of the largest water utilities in the U.S. and abroad� Allen said.

The research, to be conducted in partnership with the American Water Works Service Company, follows upon another project recently announced by Becker and O�Melia with AWWARF. Titled �Impacts of Major Point and Nonpoint Sources on Raw Water Treatability,� this project will evaluate the impact of pollution and source water protection measures on treatment plant performance and treatment costs. �This project ultimately will serve as a negotiating tool for utility managers as they protect watersheds,� Becker said.

Becker and O�Melia, LLC, is a specialized research and consulting firm focusing on drinking water treatment processes and technologies.

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