Water Research Foundation The Foundation Celebrating 50 Years of WRF Research


50th Anniversary Utility Story: Milwaukee Water Works and Ozone

50th Anniversary Utility Story: Trinity River Authority and Biofiltration

State of Colorado Proclamation Declares December 5, 2016 as Water Research Foundation Day

American Water Works Association Commemorates WRF's Anniversary: Golden Anniversary of Water Research

2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the Water Research Foundation. First envisioned in 1955, the Awwa Research Foundation was officially incorporated on December 5, 1966. The 1967 budget was set at $34,000. In 1968, the first research project was funded, by the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration (FWPCA). Between 1984‒1987, Congress appropriated $3 million for the Research Foundation. In 1987, the subscription program for water utilities began, an innovation that has allowed WRF to become the industry leader in water research.

One of the most gratifying aspects of WRF’s research efforts is the opportunity to help utility subscribers find innovative solutions to complex problems. As part of our yearlong anniversary celebration, WRF will be highlighting several utility stories through videos, showcasing subscriber utilities that have achieved great things, in part because of their use of and participation in WRF research projects.

The first utility story video, launched in February, focuses on Milwaukee Water Works (MWW). MWW has been a WRF subscriber for over 25 years, and has been a participating utility on over 25 WRF projects during that time. In 1993, MWW experienced a Cryptosporidium event, which resulted in a boil water advisory. Over the next five years, Milwaukee implemented an unprecedented $89 million renovation of facilities to strengthen the barriers related to source water protection, disinfection, and filtration. At the time, the $51 million design-build project was the largest ozone retrofit in the world. To ensure the success of this project, Milwaukee Water Works relied on WRF research on ozone inactivation of emerging pathogens, ozone contactor optimization, bromate formation reduction strategies, quenching agents, and diffuser design. In addition to the video, a two page summary of the utility story is also available.

The next utility story video, launched in June, focuses on Trinity River Authority (TRA), in Arlington, Texas. TRA has been a WRF subscriber since 1989. In 2012, Trinity River Authority began a Tailored Collaboration project with WRF and Carollo Engineers, entitled, Optimizing Filter Conditions for Improved Manganese Control During Conversion to Biofiltration (project #4448). The purpose of this pilot-scale study was to determine if enhanced biofiltration can enable a utility to retain previously removed manganese on the filter media and provide long-term water quality improvements, including taste and odor control and prevention of manganese breakthroughs. The research proved successful, and TRA was able to move to full-scale testing with their plans to implement biofiltration at the Tarrant County Water Supply Project in the future. In addition to the video, a two page summary of the utility story is also available.

These are just two examples of innovative and proactive subscriber utilities that have used WRF research to solve complex and multifaceted problems. We at WRF are proud to have played a part in their success.

Moving forward, we remain committed to providing our subscribers with the tools and focused research necessary to navigate the ever-changing water industry landscape. To achieve this, we are increasing our commitment to providing One Water research for the entire water community. Together with you, we embark on a path toward the next 50 years of groundbreaking One Water research, paved with the knowledge gained thus far.