This past week, the International Water Association (IWA) Specialist Group on Wastewater Pond Technology held its bienniel conference in Baru, Colombia. USF was represented at the conference with an oral presentation about our research regarding the removal of helminth eggs in a stabilization pond system with poor hydraulics.
Our paper provides recommendations for updating the WHO Guidelines for Wastewater Use in Agriculture, based on data from a pond system where Taenia spp. eggs were detected in higher concentrations than nematode species such as Ascaris. One Taenia species in particular (Taenia solium) can cause neurocysticercosis, which is the leading cause of acquired epilepsy in the world (1). Previous reports in the literature (2, 3) have proposed design equations for the removal of nematode eggs based on theoretical hydraulic retention time (HRT), however, our results indicate that, despite a very high theoretical HRT, extreme short-circuiting may have caused a lower removal of Taenia eggs than predicted by previous design equation models. In the pond studied, a large portion of the tracer dye was detected in the pond effluent after less than 10% of the theoretical HRT.
Special congratulations goes out to the Conference Organizing and Scientific Committees, in particular Dr. Miguel Peña and Dr. Carlos Madera from Univalle in Cali, Colombia. The team did an excellent job attracting many high-quality presentations by researchers from around the world, which provided for a rich exchange of ideas and opinions!
(1) García, H. H.; Gonzalez, A. E.; Evans, C. A. W.; Gilman, R. H. Taenia solium cysticercosis. The Lancet 2003, 362, 547–556.
(2) Ayres, R. M.; Alabaster, G. P.; Mara, D. D.; Lee, D. L. A Design Equation for Human Intestinal Nematode Egg Removal in Waste Stabilization Ponds. Water Research 1992, 26, 863–865.
(3) Saqqar, M. M.; Pescod, M. B. Modelling nematode egg elimination in wastewater stabilization ponds. Water Science and Technology 1992, 26, 1659–1665.
Visitors from the Water Environment Federation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toured three of USF’s labs in March 2013.
Dr. Yeh showed the visitors his lab’s NEWgenerator(TM) which reclaims nutrients from wastewater while simultaneously producing clean water and energy. The NEWgenerator(TM) is an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (anMBR) and can be used for decentralized wastewater treatment. The tour also highlighted work using wastewater to grow algae for biofuels.
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Dr. Daniel Yeh, USF associate professor of civil and environmental engineering describe innovative resource recovery technology to Nancy Stoner, EPA Assistant Administrator for Office of Water
Check out this featured article from the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Highlights. The article is about USF PhD student and WEF chief technical officer Matt Ries and the BioWET program kick off in July 2012.
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Congratulations to USF for making it into the top five Master’s International (MI) programs by the Peace Corps! Check out this article from the Peace Corps for the rankings
USF currently has 24 students serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers. These volunteers are spread between two MI programs, one for Public Health and one for Civil and Environmental Engineering. For the MI program volunteers spend one year completing coursework and then serve as Peace Corps volunteers for two years. While serving they complete research for their master’s degrees.
For more information about USF’s MI programs check out our Education and International Opportunity pages or follow link below to the MI program website.
Check out the Spring 2013 edition of Envision Magazine. The PIRE grant was featured as a front page article titled “Turning Wastewater into a Renewable Resource”
We had a fantastic time showing our UVI visitors around USF on 2/7/13 and 2/8/13. It was a very productive two days much was accomplished!
Keep on the the lookout, USF and UVI will soon have a dual degree program where undergraduates from UVI can complete a Masters in Engineering while completing the Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics at UVI.
Dr. Kostas Alexandridis gave a fantastic talk “Studying connectionism interactions and collective knowledge representation for social-ecological stewardship” on Thursday afternoon at USF’s Main Campus. And Marylin Brandt gave a talk on Friday afternoon at USF St. Pete Campus on “The importance of species characteristics to understanding disease dynamics among diverse coral communities presented”
Thanks so much to everyone who helped out! Hopefully sometimes soon USF students will get to visit tropical UVI!
Maya Trotz talking about Hurricanes & USF Caribbean Relief Efforts - WASH. Join us! fb.me/2nnZoI5wz