Aquatech BreakOuts will be back with a monthly series of live events, kickstarting with a focus on water quality and contaminants and micropollutants of emerging concern.
A wider look at water quality challenges
The Aquatech Online BreakOuts will continue with a monthly, live event series running from June to Aquatech Amsterdam in November.
The BreakOuts are designed in tandem with the key themes of the “hubs” present at the event: water quality, digital, desalination & water reuse, industrial/corporate water and resource recovery.
Typically attracting between 300-800 registrations from over 60 countries, the live events are known for their audience interaction, concise and information-packed talks and fruitful discussions.
Previous BreakOuts have focused on digital innovation, blockchain applications in water, circular economy developments in the new normal and resilient water systems.
“The live events are known for their audience interaction and information-packed talks.”
Kickstarting the next series of online events will be a focus on Water Quality with a BreakOuts entitled: Futureproofing water treatment against contaminants and micropollutants of emerging concern.
The discussion will continue on water quality challenges, from micropollutants to microplastics, algal blooms to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and how water companies are looking to innovative solutions to bolster treatment capability to deal with these challenges.
Speakers include Jason Dadakis, Executive Director of Water Quality and Technical Services, Orange County Water District (OCWD); Cora Uijterlinde, Research Manager, STOWA; Karyn Georges, Head of Consulting, Isle; Dr Ian Ross, PFAS Global Practice Leader, Tetra Tech; Lisa Brand, CTO, LG Sonic and Tom Freyberg, Content Director, Aquatech Online as the moderator.
The discussion will include:
- Update and early results from the Orange County Water District’s (OCWD) per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pilot programme
- Notable innovations when it comes to PFAS destruction, including an investigation together with the University of Surrey on sonolysis
- Removing micropollutants in the Netherlands: update on a five-year government initiative to accelerate technology innovation and validation
- Innovation overview: notable technology developments on water quality monitoring.
Award-winning PFAS removal pilot in Orange County
North America remains a “hotbed of PFAS activity”, according to a recent GWI article.
Jason Dadakis from OCWD will provide an overview and update on a project in California, known as the nation’s largest PFAS pilot testing program.
The utility is testing various treatment techniques to remove PFAS detected in local groundwater supplies and recently won the Clair A. Hill Water Agency Award for Excellence from the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).
Multiple technologies have been tested in the district, including granular activated carbon and ion exchange products, as well as novel adsorbents.
The district is currently working on adding 10 PFAS treatment plants throughout the area and has provided more than a year's worth of data to help determine the most effective treatment media to remove PFAS.
Phase two is currently under development and will test newly available adsorbents.
Notable PFAS destruction innovations
Dr Ian Ross works across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia to establish pragmatic and effective PFAS management approaches.
“More sustainable, low energy destructive options are going to essential in managing PFAs water treatment.”
He will discuss notable innovations when it comes to PFAS destruction, including an investigation together with the University of Surrey on sonolysis. This process involves using ultrasound to generate plasma at ambient temperatures, to break down carbon–fluorine and carbon-carbon bonds in PFAS.
He told Aquatech Online: “Multiple sectors including water utilities are paying significant attention to this challenge, including in the UK and Europe. More sustainable, low energy destructive options are going to essential in managing PFAs water treatment.
“Sonolysis offers a destructive technique that is proven to completely mineralise PFAS at around 30oC. Scaling up this approach could provide a bolt-on, containerised destruction unit that could be added to other primary treatment technologies, such as foam fractionation, nanofiltration, or reverse osmosis (RO), or used to treat wastes from the regeneration of ion exchange resins, for example."
Innovations in micropollutant removal
Cora Uijterlinde will provide an update on an innovation program addressing the removal of micropollutants.
STOWA, known as the Applied Water Management Research, represents Dutch wastewater companies.
The organisation has been leading an innovation program of the Regional Water Authorities, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to further develop technologies and techniques for the removal of micropollutants, including medicine residues, from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).
Uijterlinde will provide an update on the program that focuses on technologies and techniques that are on the verge of breaking through but are insufficiently proven to be directly applicable on a large scale in WWTPs in the Netherlands.
She will explain how the program aims to create a better understanding of the operating mechanisms and dimensioning principles of various technologies.
“It’s almost everywhere”
Karyn Georges will speak about notable solutions in microplastic monitoring, ambitions of a UKWIR project involving UK utilties that is focusing on PFAS, as well as market innovations in removal.
“New water quality sensors are also democratising access to the data.”
Finally, Lisa Brand, CTO of the Dutch technology company, LG Sonic, will discuss the increasing threat of algal blooms to surface water sources and then, following the BreakOuts, will lead an online roundtable discussion.
Previously discussing the “algal bloom boom”, Brand said: “Algae blooms are increasing globally so fast now, it’s almost everywhere on the agenda. It’s not a local problem.”
- The Aquatech BreakOuts on water quality will take place on June 29th 16:00 CET.