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Water ARC: A Continually Evolving R&D Asset for Carollo’s Clients

Authors: Justin Sutherland, PhD; PE Youmi Park; Aaron Samson

Currents: Volume 2, 2022

Currents 2022 Volume 2

Since opening its doors in 2018, Carollo’s 8,900-square-foot Water Applied Research Center (Water ARC®) has grown into a full-scale advanced research facility that delivers a comprehensive range of services, from bench-scale treatability and corrosion testing to full-service field, pilot, and demonstration equipment support. Located in Boise, Idaho, this applied research and development (R&D) hub designs custom solutions to meet any scale or need, whether clients require immediate results through emergency diagnostics or long-term support on complex, extended studies that result in one-of-a-kind designs, products, and initiatives.

Here are just some of Water ARC®’s recent projects, which reflect its innovative ability to address the industry’s most pressing challenges and turn theory into application.

Over the last 4 years, Water ARC® has conducted more than 120 applied research projects that affect more than $1 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure.

Wastewater Surveillance
Wastewater surveillance has become an important tool in understanding the spread and concentration of SARS-CoV-2 infections and variants. However, without an effective control for non-municipal wastewater, identifying representative samples can be challenging.

Enter the Pepper Mild Mottle Virus (PMMoV): Known for its prevalence in human digestive systems due to the abundant use of peppers in cuisines and food manufacturing, this virus’s concentration in wastewater can act as a control for the presence of industrial wastewater in municipal systems.

Water ARC® developed its own SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for use in municipal wastewater monitoring. This method simultaneously tests for PMMoV, which helps refine the required sensitivity of the PCR test administered for a given system. Other applications of Water ARC®’s wastewater surveillance testing include lab, pilot, and full-scale treatability and pathogen-removal studies.

Equipment Fabrication, Piloting, and Troubleshooting
Water ARC® is fostering the City of Tampa’s development of the country’s first full-scale suspended ion exchange (SIX) system, a Netherlands-born advanced water treatment (AWT) technology specializing in high-efficiency organics removal. For this technology’s pilot, Water ARC® provided Carollo-owned ozone and filtration units and field instruments, as well as custom-fabricated equipment, including an instrumentation skid and a portable pressure data logger.

Water ARC® provided real-time, integrated troubleshooting and system support that bolstered the pilot with a strong foundation, helping the City make history through the adoption of an exciting new AWT process.

Condition-specific Corrosion Testing and Pipe Loops
With the EPA’s new Lead and Copper Rule Revisions now in effect, corrosion testing for system piping continues to be a critical tool in maintaining public health and meeting stringent regulatory requirements. With endlessly variable combinations of water chemistry, treatment processes, and conveyance infrastructure, Water ARC®’s corrosion testing goes straight to the source: No guessing.

For Oklahoma City, in addition to lead and copper testing, Water ARC® used sample cross-sections of pipes harvested from the utility’s water distribution system to develop accurate conditions for bench-scale testing, not to mention full-scale pipe loops that test current and proposed pipe scale stabilization methods and chemicals. Tailored to their specific conditions, this ongoing effort is already changing the way Oklahoma City views and operates their distribution system.

At its core, Water ARC® believes that approaching common challenges with unique, condition-specific solutions, no matter how small, can be as innovative as completely new processes or designs. This center regularly achieves both.

The seamless integration of Carollo-owned or -built equipment, with advanced testing capabilities and on-site talent, provides a center for all your applied research needs. Working directly with Carollo’s design and project teams also gives our clients the confidence and convenience of knowing that their designer, lab technologist, researcher, troubleshooter, and testing experts are all in one place—and their support is just a phone call away.

To see how Water ARC® can bring your next project to life, contact Justin Sutherland at [email protected] or (208) 327-2693.

Read more of this issue of Currents: Currents: Volume 2, 2022