Drinking water research

Activated carbon processes

Principal researchers: Professor Nigel Graham and Dr Geoff Fowler

Our research on this topic has investigated:

  • The production of activated carbon adsorbents/catalysts from sewage sludges.
  • The production of activated carbon adsorbents from other organic wastes
  • Engineered activated carbons for enhanced pesticide removal in water treatment

 Selected publications (links available at personal pages of researchers):

Fryer E., Graham N. and Fowler G., 2013, Pesticide removal by modified activated carbons, 6th Conference of the UK Network on Potable Water Treatment and Supply, 12 Sept, Cranfield University, UK.

Smith KM., Fowler GD., Pullket S. and Graham NJD., 2012, The production of attrition resistant, sewage-sludge derived, granular activated carbon. Separation and Purification Technology. Vol: 98, Pages: 240-248.

Stüber F., Smith KM., Mendoza MB., Marques RRN., Fabregat A., Bengoa C., Font J., Fortuny A., Pullket S., FowlerGD. and Graham NJD, 2011, Sewage sludge based carbons for catalytic wet air oxidation of phenol compounds in batch and trickle bed reactors, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Vol:110, Pages: 81-89.

Marques RRN., Stüber F., Smith KM., Fabregat A., Bengoa C., Font J., Fortuny A., Pullket S., Fowler GD. and Graham NJD, 2011, Sewage sludge based catalysts for catalytic wet air oxidation of phenol: preparation, characterisation and catalytic performance, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Vol: 101, Pages: 306-316.

Julcour-Lebigue C., Andriantsferana C., Krou N., Ayral C., Mohamed E., Wilhelm A-M., Delmas H., Le Coq L., Gerente C., Smith K., Fowler F., Pullket S. and Graham NJD, 2010, Application of sludge-based carbonaceous materials in a hybrid water treatment process based on adsorption and catalytic wet air oxidation, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol: 91, Pages: 2432-2439.

Disinfection by-products in drinking water

Principal researchers: Prof Nigel Graham, Dr Michael TempletonDr Tom Bond

The disinfection of drinking water, typically with chlorine, has resulted in massive improvements in global public health. However, reactions between disinfectants and organic molecules during water treatment also generate disinfection byproducts, many found to be toxic in laboratory studies. The trihalomethanes and bromate are regulated in UK drinking water, in order to limit public exposure to disinfection byproducts. However, there are also many other groups of (unregulated) disinfection byproducts, about which less is known. Selected nitrogenous disinfection byproducts have been the focus of several recent research projects in EWRE. These investigated their occurrence, formation and control in UK drinking water. Nonetheless, key research questions about disinfection byproducts remain unanswered. In particular, which disinfection byproducts pose most risk to public health is still uncertain and many remain unidentified. It is also likely that population growth and climate change will change the speciation of disinfection byproducts in the future.   

Selected publications (links available at personal pages of researchers):

Bond T, Tang SC, Graham N, Templeton MR, 2016, Emerging investigators series: formation of disinfection byproducts during the preparation of tea and coffee, Environmental Science-Water Research & Technology, Vol: 2, Pages: 196-205

Bond T, Templeton MR, Kamal NHM, Graham N, Kanda R, 2015, Nitrogenous disinfection byproducts in English drinking water supply systems: Occurrence, bromine substitution and correlation analysis, Water Research, Vol: 85, Pages: 85-94, ISSN: 0043-1354

Bond T, Huang J, Graham NJD, Templeton MR, 2014, Examining the interrelationship between DOC, bromide and chlorine dose on DBP formation in drinking water - A case study, Science of the Total Environment, Vol: 470, Pages: 469-479, ISSN: 0048-9697

Bond T, Kamal NHM, Bonnisseau T, Templeton MR, 2014, Disinfection by-product formation from the chlorination and chloramination of amines, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol: 278, Pages: 288-296, ISSN: 0304-3894

Bond T, Templeton MR, Rifai O, Ali H, Graham NJD, 2014, Chlorinated and nitrogenous disinfection by-product formation from ozonation and post-chlorination of natural organic matter surrogates, Chemosphere, Vol: 111, Pages: 218-224, ISSN: 0045-6535

Bond T, Templeton MR, Graham N, 2012, Precursors of nitrogenous disinfection by-products in drinking water-A critical review and analysis, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol: 235, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 0304-3894

Templeton MR, Kanda R, Graham N, Mokhtar Kamal NH, Bond, 2012, Monitoring of nitrogenated DBPs in drinking water, Defra project DWI 70/2/268. http://dwi.defra.gov.uk/research/completed-research/reports/DWI70_2_268.pdf

Bond T, Huang J, Templeton MR, Graham N, 2011, Occurrence and control of nitrogenous disinfection by-products in drinking water - A review, Water Research, Vol: 45, Pages: 4341-4354, ISSN: 0043-1354

Bond T, Templeton MR, 2011, Nitrosamine formation from the oxidation of secondary amines, Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, Vol: 11, Pages: 259-265

Templeton MR, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Graham N, Bond T, Huang L, Chen Z, 2010, Review of the current toxicological and occurrence information available on nitrogen-containing disinfection by-products, Defra project DWI 70/2/243. http://dwi.defra.gov.uk/research/completed-research/reports/dwi70_2_243.pdf

Templeton MR, Chen Z, 2010, NDMA and seven other nitrosamines in selected UK drinking water supply systems, Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology—AQUA, Vol: 59, Pages: 277-277, ISSN: 0003-7214

Zhang Y, Collins C, Graham N, Templeton MR, Huang J, Nieuwenhuijsen M, 2010, Speciation and variation in the occurrence of haloacetic acids in three water supply systems in England, Water and Environment Journal, Vol: 24, Pages: 237-245, ISSN: 1747-6585

Huang J, Graham N, Templeton MR, Zhang Y, Collins C, Nieuwenhuijsen, 2009, A comparison of the role of two blue–green algae in THM and HAA formation, Water Research, Vol: 43, Pages: 3009-3018, ISSN: 0043-1354

Schematic of disinfection by-product formation.

Schematic of disinfection by-product formation.

Chemical structures of selected disinfection by-products: From left to right: chloroform (trichloromethane), dichloroacetic acid, chloropicrin (trichloronitromethane) and NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine).
Chemical structures of selected disinfection by-products: From left to right: chloroform (trichloromethane), dichloroacetic acid, chloropicrin (trichloronitromethane) and NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine).

Membrane separation processes

Principal researchers: Professor Nigel Graham and Dr Wenzheng Yu

Our research on this topic has investigated:

  • Pre-treatment methods for ultrafiltration, including combined coagulants and oxidants, disinfectants and attached media
  • The role and mechanisms of bio-fouling of ultrafiltration membranes
  • Novel materials for ultra-, and nano-, filtration membranes

Selected publications (links available at personal pages of researchers):

Yu W., Graham NJD. and Fowler GD., 2016, Coagulation and oxidation for controlling ultrafiltration membrane fouling in drinking water treatment: application of ozone at low dose in submerged membrane tank, Water Research. Vol: 95, Pages: 1-10.

Yu W., Yang Y. and Graham N., 2016, Evaluation of ferrate as a coagulant aid/oxidant pretreatment for mitigating submerged ultrafiltration membrane fouling in drinking water treatment. Chemical Engineering Journal. Vol: 298, Pages: 234-24.

Yu W., Xu L., Graham N. and Qu J. 2015, Contribution of Fe3O4 nanoparticles to the fouling of ultrafiltration with coagulation pre-treatment. Scientific Reports. Vol: 5, Pages: 13067.

Yu W., Xu L., Graham N. and Qu J. 2014. Pre-treatment for ultrafiltration: effect of pre-chlorination on membrane fouling. Scientific Reports. Vol: 4, Pages: 6513 (1-8).

Yu W., Xu L., Qu J. and Graham N. 2014. Investigation of pre-coagulation and powder activate carbon adsorption on ultrafiltration membrane fouling. Journal of Membrane Science. Vol: 459, Pages: 157-168.

Yu W., Liu H., Li H., Qu J. and Graham N. 2013. The pre-treatment of submerged ultrafiltration membrane by coagulation - effect of polyacrylamide as a coagulant aid. Journal of Membrane Science. Vol: 446, Pages: 50-58.

Modelling of filtration processes

Principal researcher: Professor Nigel Graham

The development of new mathematical models for granular media filtration is focused on the two principal forms of filtration, slow sand filtration (SSF) and rapid media filtration (RMF). In both cases there is a need for substantial improvements in current modelling.

Firstly, our studies are seeking to develop an integrated deterministic simulation model of the SSF process incorporating fundamental physico-chemical and biological dynamics within a classical filtration framework. For RMF, we are exploring the inclusion of 3-dimensional heterogeneity of the media in the mathematical representation of the filtration process.

In both cases the models are based on a temporal and spatial finite difference method and are calibrated and verified using bench-scale tests and operational data from pilot-scale filter units.

Selected publications ((links available at personal pages of researchers):

Jankovic-Nisic B., Wetherill A. and Graham, N, 2007, Decision support tool for optimisation of water treatment works capacity, 2nd Biennial Conference on Developments in Water Treatment and Supply, UK Network on Potable Water Treatment and Supply, 3-4 July, Bath, UK.

Campos LC., Smith SR and Graham NJD, 2006, Modelling and simulation of slow sand filtration - I. model development, Journal of Environmental Engineering (ASCE), Vol: 132, Pages: 872-886.

Campos LC., Smith SR and Graham NJD, 2006, Modelling and simulation of slow sand filtration - II. model application, Journal of Environmental Engineering (ASCE), Vol: 132, Pages: 887-894.

Campos LC., Smith SR. and Graham NJD, 2006, Use of a novel simulation model to define the behaviour of covered and uncovered slow sand filters, 4th International Slow Sand and Alternative Biological Filtration Conference, 3-5 May, Mülheim, Germany.

 

 

Oxidation processes

Principal researchers: Professor Nigel Graham and Dr Michael Templeton

Research studies related to ozone and other oxidants have been a major interest for many years. Previous studies have been concerned with the application of ozone and ozone-based advanced oxidation processes (e.g. ozone/peroxide/ultrasound) to the degradation of endocrine disrupting compounds (e.g. alkylphenols) and specific pharmaceutical compounds (e.g. iodinated contrast media) in wastewaters.

These studies have involved the determination of reaction rate constants and reaction pathways and mechanisms. Other oxidants of recent interest are potassium ferrate and potassium manganate which can act simultaneously as an oxidant and coagulant in their chemically reduced forms. These have also been studied as a pre-treatment for ultrafiltration (see our research in membrane separation processes).

Current studies are evaluating the performance and mechanisms of reaction of low pressure UV H2O2 treatment as an advanced oxidation process.

Selected publications (links available at personal pages of researchers):

Semitsoglou-Tsiapou S., Templeton MR., Graham, NJD., Hernández Leal L., Martijn BJ., Royce A. and Kruithof JC., 2016, Low pressure UV/H2O2 treatment for the degradation of the pesticides metaldehyde, clopyralid and mecoprop – kinetics and reaction product formation. Water Research. Vol: 91, Pages: 285-294.

Ren Z. and Graham N., 2015, Treatment of humic acid in drinking water by combining potassium manganate (Mn(VI)), ferrous sulphate and MIEX. Environmental Engineering Science, Vol: 32(3), Pages: 175-178.

Jagadevan S., Graham NJD. and Thompson IP., 2013, Treatment of waste metalworking fluid by a hybrid ozone-biological process. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol: 244-245, Pages: 394-402.

Rivas J., Encinas A., Beltran F. and Graham N., 2011, Application of advanced oxidation processes to doxycycline and norfloxacin removal from water, Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A, Vol: 46, Pages: 944-951.

Chan TW., Graham NJD. and Chu W., 2010, Degradation of iopromide by combined UV-irradiation and peroxydisulfate, Journal of Hazardous Materials,Vol:181, Pages: 508-513.

Graham NJD., Khoi TT. and Jiang J-Q., 2010, Oxidation and coagulation of humic substances by potassium ferrate, Water Science and Technology – WST, Vol: 62(4), Pages: 929-936.

Source water quality and treatability

Principal researchers: Professor Nigel Graham and Dr Michael Templeton

Understanding how surface water catchments are likely to respond to climate change is key to predicting what treatment technologies will be needed in the future to delivery safe and affordable drinking water. Our research looks at how different types of catchment and different land-uses within catchments respond to changing hydrology and how this affects raw water quality. Current work is focusing on specific catchments as case studies using state-of-the-art UV sensors to assess water quality at high frequency at the sub-catchment scale. Bringing the knowledge gained from this theme together will allow water utilities to assess how their catchments are likely to change in the future and how best to manage this.

Selected publications (links available at personal pages of researchers):

Ritson J P., Graham NJD., Templeton MR., Freeman C. and Clark JM., 2015. The sensitivity of peat soil and peatland vegetation to drought: release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on rewetting’. EGU General Assembly 2015, 12-17 April, Vienna, Austria.

Ritson JP., Clark JM., Graham NJD., Templeton MR. and Freeman C., 2015. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) release following drought: influence of DOC source and drought severity on drinking water treatment. 249th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and Exposition, 22-25 March, Denver. Colorado, USA.

Ritson JP., Bell M., Graham NJD., Templeton MR., Brazier RE., Verhoef A., Freeman C. and Clark J.M., 2014. Simulated climate change impact on summer dissolved organic carbon release from peat and surface vegetation: implications for drinking water treatment. Water Research, Vol: 67, Pages: 66-76.

Ritson JP., Graham NJD., Templeton MR., Clark JM., Gough R. and Freeman C., 2014. The impact of climate change on the treatability of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in upland water supplies: a UK perspective. Science of the Total Environment.Vol: 473-474, Pages: 714-730.

Tang R., Clark JM., Bond T., Graham N., Hughes D. and Freeman C., 2013. Assessment of potential climate change impacts on peatland dissolved organic carbon release and drinking water treatment from laboratory experiments. Environmental Pollution. Vol: 173, Pages: 270-277.

 

Water and sanitation in developing countries

Principal researchers:  Dr Michael Templeton and Professor Nigel Graham

Our research on this topic has investigated:

  • Novel low-cost onsite sanitation technologies
  • The role of water, sanitation and hygiene in preventing schistosomiasis
  • Groundwater pollution by pit latrines
  • Faecal sludge management options in developing countries
  • Small community and household water treatment systems

Selected publications (links available at personal pages of researchers):

Grimes JET, Tadesse G, Mekete K, Wuletaw Y, Gebretsadik A, French MD, Harrison WE, Drake LJ, Gardiner IA, Yard E, Templeton MR, 2016, School water, sanitation, and hygiene, soil-transmitted helminths, and schistosomes: national mapping in Ethiopia, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol: 10, Pages: e0004515-e0004515, ISSN: 1935-2735

Furlong C, Gibson WT, Templeton MR, Taillade M, Kassam F, Crabb G, Goodsell R, McQuilkin J, Oak A, Thakar G, Kodgire M, Patankar R et al., 2015, The development of an onsite sanitation system based on vermifiltration: the 'Tiger Toilet', Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, Vol: 5, Pages: 608-613, ISSN: 2043-9083

Grimes JET, Croll D, Harrison WE, Utzinger J, Freeman MC, Templeton MR et al., 2015, The roles of water, sanitation and hygiene in reducing schistosomiasis: a review, Parasites and Vectors, Vol: 8:156

Grimes JET, Templeton MR, 2015, Geostatistical modelling of schistosomiasis prevalence, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol: 15, Pages: 869-870, ISSN: 1474-4457

Templeton MR, 2015, Pitfalls and progress: a perspective on achieving sustainable sanitation for all, Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, Vol: 1, Pages: 17-21, ISSN: 2053-1400

Templeton MR, Hammoud AS, Butler AP, Braun L, Foucher JA, Grossmann J, Boukari M, Faye S, Jourda JP, 2015, Nitrate pollution of groundwater by pit latrines in developing countries, AIMS Environmental Science, Vol: 2, Pages: 302-313

Todman LC, van Eekert MHA, Templeton MR, Hardy M, Gibson WT, Torondel B, Adbelahi F, Ensink JHJ et al., 2015, Modelling the fill rate of pit latrines in Ifakara, Tanzania, Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, Vol: 5, Pages: 100-106

Nakamoto N, Graham N, Collins MR and Gimbel R (2014) (Editors) Progress in Slow Sand and Alternative Biofiltration Processes – Further Developments and Applications, IWA Publishing, London, UK.

Furlong C, Templeton MR, Gibson WT, 2014, Processing of human faeces by wet vermifiltration for improved on-site sanitation, Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, Vol: 4, Pages: 231-239

Grimes JET, Croll D, Harrison WE, Utzinger J, Freeman MC, Templeton MR et al., 2014, The relationship between water, sanitation and schistosomiasis: a systematic review and meta-analysis, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol: 8, Pages: e3296-e3296, ISSN: 1935-2735

Ghebremichael K, Wasala LD, Kennedy M and Graham NJD (2012), Comparative Treatment Performance and Hydraulic Characteristics of Pumice and Sand Biofilters for Point-of-Use Water Treatment. Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology-Aqua, Vol:61, Pages: 201-209

Bond T, Templeton MR, 2011, History and future of domestic biogas plants in the developing world, Energy for Sustainable Development, Vol: 15, Pages: 347-354, ISSN: 0973-0826

Papafilippou N, Templeton MR, Ali M, 2011, Is there a role for external technical support in the community-led total sanitation (CLTS) approach?, International Development Planning Review, Vol: 33, Pages: 81-94

Thye YP, Templeton MR, Ali M, 2011, A critical review of technologies for pit latrine emptying in developing countries, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, Vol: 41, Pages: 1793-1819

 

Waterborne pathogens and disinfection

Principal researcher: Dr Michael Templeton

Our research on this topic has investigated:

  • Disinfection of opportunistic pathogens found in tap water
  • Occurrence and control of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in drinking water
  • UV disinfection dose measurement and UV dose-response of pathogens
  • Plant-derived biocides as potential alternative disinfectants

Selected publications (links available at personal pages of researchers):

Mayor-Smith I, Templeton MR, 2014, Methodological considerations when conducting bench scale polychromatic ultraviolet irradiation of water, Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, Vol: 14, Pages: 291-298, ISSN: 1607-0798

Blyth J, Templeton MR, Cairns B, 2013, An assay for estimating UV disinfection dose by direct quantification of DNA damage in indigenous microorganisms in drinking water, Water Environment Federation (WEF) Disinfection and Public Health Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Mushantaf F, Blyth J, Templeton MR, 2012, The bactericidal effects of allyl isothiocyanate in water, Environmental Technology, Vol: 33, Pages: 2461-2465, ISSN: 0959-3330

Matthews RL, Templeton MR, Tripathi SK, Bhattarai K et al., 2009, Disinfection of waterborne coliform bacteria by Neem oil, Environmental Engineering Science, Vol: 26, Pages: 1435-1441

Shaheed A, Templeton MR, Matthews RL, Tripathi SK, Bhattarai K et al., 2009, Disinfection of waterborne coliform bacteria using Luffa cylindrica fruit and seed extracts, Environmental Technology, Vol: 30, Pages: 1435-1440

Templeton MR, Antonakaki M, Rogers M, 2009, UV dose-response of Acinetobacter baumannii in water, Environmental Engineering Science, Vol: 26, Pages: 697-701

Templeton MR, Oddy F, Leung WK, Rogers M et al., 2009, Chlorine and UV disinfection of ampicillin-resistant and trimethoprim-resistant Escherichia coli, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol: 36, Pages: 889-894

Water quality in pipe networks

Principal researchers: Dr Ivan Stoianov and Professor Nigel Graham

The supply of drinking water through pipe networks is of continuing research interest owing to the problems of water loss through bursts and leakage, interruptions in supply, and poor water quality. With regard to the latter, our research has been studying the following:

  • The use of continuous, in-pipe water quality monitoring
  • The impact of flow variation (e.g. transient surges, flow reversal) on water quality
  • The impact of network topology and dynamic re-configuration on water quality

 Selected publications (links available at personal pages of researchers):

Armand H., Stoianov II. and Graham NJD, 2015, A holistic assessment of discolouration processes in water distribution networks, Urban Water Journal. Accepted for publication.

Armand H., Stoianov I. and Graham N, 2015, Investigating the impact of sectorized networks on discoloration, 13th International Conference on Computing and Control in the Water Industry – CCWI 2015, 2-5 September, Leicester, UK.

Aisopou A., Stoianov I., Graham N. and Karney B., 2014, Analytical and experimental investigation of chlorine decay in water supply systems under unsteady hydraulic conditions, Journal of Hydroinformatics,Vol:16, Pages: 690-709.

Aisopou A., Stoianov I., and Graham NJD, 2012, In-pipe water quality monitoring in water supply systems under steady and unsteady state flow conditions: a quantitative assessment, Water Research, Vol: 46 , Pages: 235-246.

Aisopou A., Stoianov I. and Graham N. 2010, Modelling discolouration in WDS caused by hydraulic transient events, 12th Annual Water Distribution Systems Analysis Conference (WDSA 2010), 12-15 September, Tucson, USA.