Security research contract awarded to Black & Veatch

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) awarded a contract to the global engineering, consulting and construction company, Black & Veatch, to advance an information technology framework for preventing wastewater treatment plant upsets.

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) awarded a contract to the global engineering, consulting and construction company, Black & Veatch, to advance an information technology framework for preventing wastewater treatment plant upsets.

The project will develop an integrated approach for detecting and rapidly responding to malicious attacks at wastewater treatment plants, with special emphasis on the possible introduction of chemical, biological and radioactive contaminants to plant influent.

According to WERF Project Manager Mary Strawn, "This project will play a critical role in our research of security issues by affording us a better understanding of the function of support systems in wastewater treatment. It will also provide insight on how to protect plant processes during upset conditions."

The project budget includes US$ 175,000 from WERF in addition to non-cash contributions from Black & Veatch, Advanced Data Mining, The Charleston (South Carolina) Commis-sioners of Public Works, Severn Trent Services and Applied Spectrometry Associates. Co-principal investigators Andrew Shaw, a process specialist at Black & Veatch, and Nancy Love, PhD, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, will lead WERF Project No. 03-CTS-7S: Feasibility Testing of Support Systems to Prevent Upsets.

The team will assess wastewater utilities' current real-time decision-making capabilities and use of computer-based support systems, evaluate available support products, and develop and test prototype decision-support framework software in addition to application guidelines.

WERF is a not-for-profit organisation that funds and manages water quality research through a public-private partnership among municipal utilities, corporations, academia, industry and the US government. More information is available at www.werf.org.

More in Wastewater