Water Research Foundation Issues RFP for Analysis of Corrosion Control Treatment for Lead, Copper

The Water Research Foundation has issued an RFP for Analysis of Corrosion Control Treatment for Lead and Copper Control.

Corrosion control treatment (CCT) is designed to reduce lead and copper release to the tap by limiting the corrosivity of finished water. Common water-quality characteristics that can impact lead and copper corrosion are pH, dissolved inorganic carbon, oxidation reduction potential, corrosion inhibitors, chloride-to-sulfate ratio, microbiological activity, and hardness.

Currently, CCT assessments are required under the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) for systems serving more than 50,000 people, any size system that has a lead or copper action level exceedance, and systems that make changes to source water or water treatment. Systems not required to formally implement CCT are currently employing water-quality strategies that maintain compliance with the LCR. Evaluations of CCT are used to confirm that current treatment strategies are optimized to minimize lead and/or copper release, or to better understand the impacts of anticipated source water or treatment changes.

The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (CFR 2011) define optimal CCT as "the corrosion control treatment that minimizes the lead and copper concentrations at users' taps while insuring that the treatment does not cause the water system to violate any national primary drinking water regulations." Furthermore, they state that "the water system shall evaluate the effect of the chemicals used for corrosion control treatment on other water quality treatment processes."

There is renewed interest from regulatory agencies and utilities in evaluating current CCT practices and proposed revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule are expected in the near future. Potential CCT options that are being considered for the updated LCR include (EPA 2016a): requiring large water systems (serving more than 50,000 people) to evaluate and re-optimize CCT when EPA publishes updated CCT guidance, and requiring all systems in the U.S. to implement CCT regardless of system size, tap sampling results, or the presence of lead service lines.

Under this RFP, grants of up to $250,000 will be awarded for research on the uncertainty related to CCT, including research aimed at better understanding when to reevaluate CCT, methods to assess/re-evaluate CCT, and potential risks from making changes to CCT.

Research plans for this RFP suggested by the WRF include but are not limited to conducting a literature review that documents previous work on CCT; compiling case studies of lessons learned from utilities that have implemented or changed CCT in response to regulatory requirements or planned source water and/or treatment changes; identifying the importance of the role that comprehensive distribution system water-quality data can play in CCT assessments; discussing the impact that use of phosphorus-based corrosion inhibitors or other CCT changes can have on other downstream water stakeholders, as well as how other utilities have navigated this challenge; performing lab studies and/or full-scale data collection to support CCT decision making; and/or developing a decision tree that can be used by utilities to better understand how to effectively assess current CCT and when and how to re-evaluate CCT.

Eligible applicants include domestic or international entities, including educational institutions, research organizations, governmental agencies, and consultants or other for-profit entities.

See the Water Research Foundation website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

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Deadline: September 12, 2019