American Water

Jun 14, 2019
Yanjin Liu

What new technologies have you been evaluating or implementing? 

For wastewater collection, American Water is implementing a sewer inspection tool using acoustic technology. The acoustic inspection helps the operators to identify the blockage of the sewer and prioritize cleaning effort in a timely and efficient manner. An innovative GIS and Asset Management integration tool has been developed and will go live this month at American Water. The user-friendly platform allows system managers to manage work orders, oversee preventive maintenance, and perform other asset management-related activities in a geographic view. American Water is also implementing sewer collection system early warning and flow monitoring technologies for SSO control and prevention. 

American water facility

For wastewater treatment, American Water is implementing an in-house developed technology, NPXpress. NPXpress is an innovative technology that removes nitrogen and phosphorus in a controlled reactor with energy savings up to 50% compared to conventional MBR systems. NPXpress has been installed at seven water resource recovery facilities in American Water. American Water is also implementing green energy technologies such as solar and biogas energy recovery at various facilities. 

American Water has been evaluating technologies in sludge treatment enhancement to produce Class A biosolids, trace emerging contaminants removal for reuse, and real-time energy monitoring and minimization for wastewater treatment. 


What technologies are you interested in investigating? 

We have a goal to continue to focus on SSO reduction and meet all treatment plant discharge permits, so technologies for collection system assessments and I/I reduction are of interest. We are also interested in investigating digestion enhancement technologies to boost the quantity and quality of biogas for anaerobic digestion, foaming control for activated sludge systems especially for SBRs, and odor control technologies for collection systems. 


What are your facility drivers/needs? 

Our main drivers are enhancing customer service, ensuring health and safety, increasing efficiency, and improving sustainability.


How has LIFT helped, or how would you like LIFT to help your facility? 

LIFT has been a great channel for us to obtain the first-hand information for cutting-edge technologies to build/manage/operate a resource recovery facility. We have a dedicated research staff and 200 wastewater facilities that could be sites for LIFT evaluations. American Water has a specific Innovation Development Process for validating, implementing, and promoting new technology.


If there were one technology you would pilot or collaborate on tomorrow, what would it be? 

We would like to pilot technologies that would help make digester gas energy recovery more economically feasible for smaller plants (less than 5 mgd). 


Yanjin Liu
Senior Environmental Engineer