Under a $584,114 contract, Wayne State University will conduct a collaborative research project with the Great Lakes Water Authority in Detroit, Michigan to find new ways to convert river water to safe drinking water. The facility was completely rebuilt in the 1990s and one of the most advanced water treatment plants in existence. The project will be based in the facility’s pilot plant that is a 12,000 to 1 scale model of their full-scale treatment system. This allows the facility to first operate, experiment, and evaluate changes in their pilot plant before making changes to their full-scale system.
The project aims to evaluate what happens when water is taken from the Detroit River and prepared for the community to drink. Researchers will be looking at how impurities such as PFAS compounds, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products are removed in various steps of the process to better understand how to handle new and emerging contamination threats. In addition, they are working to maximize economic benefits to the community, as well as include workforce training and job opportunities.