The Center for Inland Desalination System (CIDS) at The University of Texas at El Paso has received a $400,000 Desalination and Water Purification Research grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to study desalination of water for direct potable reuse, or converting municipal wastewater to drinking water.
Leading the research are Shane Walker, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and director of CIDS, and Malynda Capelle, Ph.D., associate director of CIDS. Their research is focused on the development of desalination and potable reuse technology.
CIDS research includes increasing water recovery, decreasing energy consumption, and recovering minerals and other products from waste streams.
Walker and Cappelle are collaborating with executives and operators from El Paso Water, researchers from New Mexico State University, and engineering consultants from Garver to evaluate the cutting-edge technology to produce water suitable for drinking.
The study is expected to conclude by October 2021.
“This project is very exciting because we are demonstrating high-efficiency advanced water purification, starting with treated municipal wastewater,” Walker said.
The advanced water purification process uses a series of chloramination, ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), ultraviolet-peroxide advanced oxidation process (UV-AOP), and granular activated carbon (GAC) to produce drinking water from treated municipal wastewater.
Furthermore, this pilot study will demonstrate a high water efficiency through the use of the Concentrate Enhanced Recovery Reverse Osmosis (CERRO) technology that was developed in partnership between UTEP and El Paso Water.