Chair, Geography and Environmental Engineering
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland 21218
Date: Monday, January 14.
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: ITE 456.
Water Supply Challenges in the U.S.
"We take the supply of water for granted in the United States. However, there are several challenges emerging that will impact our ability to supply adequate amounts of water in the future. Some of these challenges include energy requirements for water conveyance and treatment, decaying infrastructure, influence of climate change on water availability, and the need to use waters of impaired quality. Water reuse is receiving increased attention as one strategy for meeting present and future water demand. The presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) impedes public acceptance of water recycling, which could otherwise mitigate water shortages. My laboratory is evaluating the fate of certain pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in model porous media. Many of the compounds studied are biodegradable at trace levels with batch cultures and in biofilms. Through a series of batch experiments, nearly all of the tested PPCPs exhibited greater than 80% biodegradation after 50 days of incubation under aerobic conditions. Additional studies examined the biodegradability of the target PPCPs at trace levels in biofilm systems. Several factors influencing the performance of biofilm reactors were tested, including influent substrate concentrations, contact time, temperature, and biofilm loss through decay. The compound removals are enhanced via secondary utilization. Overall, results from this study suggest that soil-aquifer treatment and other biofilm-based water treatment systems have great potential for effectively removing PPCPs from impacted water. "