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American Water launches research on opportunistic pathogens in drinking water distribution systems

  • American Water launches research on opportunistic pathogens in drinking water distribution systems

About the entity

American Water
American Water provides high-quality water and wastewater services to approximately 15 million people in more than 1,600 communities in the United States as well as parts of Canada.

American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced the completion of Water Research Foundation (WRF) Project 4911Sampling and Monitoring Strategies for Opportunistic Pathogens in Drinking Water Distribution Systems. The project aimed to develop a practical sampling and analytical approach for water utilities to quantify opportunistic pathogens’ presence in drinking water distribution systems such that actionable data can be gathered for future risk determination and mitigation.

“American Water was proud to partner with The Water Research Foundation on this important water-related research and continued advancement in the science of drinking water,” said Dr. Zia Bukhari, principal scientist, American Water and lead for this study. “Each day, we are reminded that at the end of every water pipe, there’s a family depending on water providers to deliver a vital service – and every treatment plant serves as a barrier against potential disease. Research into our water distribution systems is a critical component in continuing to provide clean, safe and reliable water services.”

American Water has focused significant research efforts on opportunistic pathogens, specifically Legionella; placing an emphasis on advanced detection methodologies and customer education/communication to help develop a holistic management strategy and to provide science-based future recommendations.

WRF is the leading research organization advancing the science of everything water to meet the evolving needs of the water sector. Approximately $533,000 in research investment was provided by WRF and American Water collaborated with Biodetek, an Arizona-based testing laboratory on this innovative project.

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