Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015NJ361B

Assessing the partitioning and treatment of microbial agents during wet weather flow

Institute: New Jersey
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $19,998 Total Non-Federal Funds: $58,060

Principal Investigators: Nicole Fahrenfeld, Nicole Fahrenfeld

Abstract: Aging sewerage infrastructure results in the release of 23 billion gallons of untreated wastewater in New Jersey each year. Due to the high cost of upgrading sewer systems, end-of-pipe treatment options are desirable. Major challenges for achieving end-of-pipe treatment are the (1) variable nature of the combined sewer overflow (CSO) effluent and (2) uncertainties associated with wet weather treatment technologies. The first aim of this work is to determine the partitioning (attached versus suspended) of microbial agents (i.e., pathogens and antibiotic resistant bacteria) during wet weather flow events. The second aim is to evaluate the ability of the green disinfectant peracetic acid to reduce the concentrations of viable antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes in CSO effluent. Results will provide critical insight into the partitioning and therefore the fate of these microbial agents in CSO, ultimately supporting improved modeling and treatment during wet weather events.