An article about the campus-based Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS), headed by Professor David Reckhow of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, is one of the eight feature stories in the recently released UMass Amherst annual Report on Research (2015 Report on Research). WINSSS is a national center for research aimed at assisting small-sized drinking water systems. The article about WINSSS is titled “A Cleaner Drop to Drink: New EPA funding puts UMass Amherst water treatment innovation to the test”.
According to Reckhow, in providing funding for WINSSS and another similar research center at the University of Colorado Boulder, the EPA intends to use these two institutions as places where emerging water technologies can be tested and refined for the betterment of the water utilities across the country.
Reckhow’s colleagues on the WINSSS project are John Tobiason, Caitlyn Butler, Chul Park, and Prashant Shenoy, all from the UMass Amherst campus, as well as researchers at the University of Texas Austin, the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, the University of Illinois, and the University of Nebraska.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced in September of 2014 that Reckhow and his colleagues received a $4.1-million grant to create a national center for research aimed at assisting small-sized drinking water systems. Under the EPA grant, WINSSS will develop and test advanced, low-cost methods to reduce, control, and eliminate water contaminants that present challenges to communities across the U.S. and worldwide.
“We are proud to partner with the University of Massachusetts Amherst and small systems across New England to ensure that people have safe, clean drinking water,” said an EPA official at the 2014 ceremony. “This helps improve the health, economy, and security of our communities.”
As UMass Amherst Chancellor Subbaswamy said during the 2014 event, “Providing safe, clean drinking water is critical for maintaining the health and security of the Commonwealth. Researchers here at UMass Amherst are on the front lines of efforts to make sure that clean water is a reality for all our communities and citizens. This new funding will help the Commonwealth’s flagship campus make an important contribution to this key public need.”
Reckhow added during the ceremony that “The new EPA drinking water center and the state funding are both intended to address critical U.S. and regional needs for clean water. The EPA center will allow researchers at UMass Amherst to test out new and more economical ways of removing contaminants in drinking water, many of which will help to reduce our dependence on using chlorine for disinfection.”
The WINSSS article from the Report on Research was also posted on Research Next, the campus's official window into the research, scholarship, and creative activity that distinguishes UMass Amherst as a top research university.