American Water awarded grant to develop strategies for water systems contaminant

April 17, 2013
The WateReuse Research Foundation has awarded American Water a grant to develop risk management strategies for Legionella in reclaimed water systems.

VOORHEES, NJ, April 17, 2013 – American Water (NYSE: AWK), the nation's largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, announced it has been awarded a research grant from the WateReuse Research Foundation to develop risk management strategies for Legionella, a pathogenic group of bacteria, in reclaimed water systems.

The total value of the project is $355,164, with $200,000 funded by the WateReuse Research Foundation and $155,164 in-kind contribution from the research partners and participating utilities. American Water will directly receive $150,000 to pay for research costs.

The project will utilize "conventional, culture-based, and state of the art molecular procedures" to better understand reclaimed water quality and establish its relationship with Legionella occurrence and inactivation. There are many species of Legionella, but Legionella pneumophila is the predominant species responsible for both the severe (Legionainaire's disease) or the self-limiting mild (Pontiac fever) forms of human disease.

"Incorporating this information into sophisticated mathematical models will allow us to estimate Legionella risk from exposure to unrestricted urban reuse," said Dr. Mark LeChevallier, Director of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship at American Water. "The data gathered during this project will allow the water reuse industry to tailor mitigation efforts in areas providing the greatest benefit."

The project team will consist of LeChevallier as Principal Investigator, with American Water's Dr. Zia Bukhari and Dr. Patrick Jjemba, serving as Co-Principal Investigators. Dr. Charles Haas from Drexel University will collaborate with the American Water team to perform the risk assessments.

About the WateReuse Research Foundation

The WateReuse Research Foundation is an educational, non-profit public benefit corporation that serves as a centralized organization for the water and wastewater community to advance the science of water reuse, recycling, reclamation and desalination. The Foundation sponsors applied research which addresses the full range of scientific, technical, policy, and social science issues related to water reuse and desalination. For more information, visit


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