Louisville Water Scientists’ Research Project Published

Dr. Eric ZhuLouisville Water was founded on the idea of providing cleaner drinking water and is often considered one of the industry leaders when it comes to delivering high-quality water. It is also known for its contributions to water research and innovation.

We are proud to share Louisville Water Manager of Water Research and Development Dr. Eric Zhu and his team recently completed a national research project which was published by The Water Research Foundation.

Dr. Zhu’s research project focused on reducing risks in chloraminated water systems, which serve nearly half of the U.S. population, including Louisville. More specifically, this work helps in understanding the risks and benefits of different treatment techniques for nitrification control.

“Nitrification is an unwanted biochemical process that may occur in chloraminated water systems and has negative impacts on water quality,” Dr. Zhu explained. “Louisville Water is an industry leader in using innovative approaches such as chlorite and chlorine dioxide treatment to maintain water quality from the treatment plants to the customers’ taps.”

Dr. Eric ZhuDr. Zhu and Dr. Rengao Song, formerly Louisville Water’s Director of Water Quality and Research and currently a part-time Water Quality Advisor, led the project. They launched their research in 2019, collaborating with scientists around the world, performing the majority of the work at the Crescent Hill laboratory in Louisville.

Zhu said, “This work developed a combination of bench testing and a cumulative risk assessment protocol to provide utilities with an approach to identify primary risk drivers and find opportunities to reduce the overall health risks in drinking water.”

He added that, “In addition to providing an innovative tool to meet drinking water regulations, water utilities can use the total risk, or “risk-cup” screening tool developed in this project to make data-driven operational and treatment decisions.”

Dr. Zuh cakePeter Goodmann, Director of Water Quality and Research said, “Along with providing utilities a new, fairly simple model for making risk-based treatment decisions, the risk-cup concept provides the industry with an elegant tool for communicating risk to our customers, community leaders, the media, and others.”

Louisville Water’s Water Quality team held a celebration to congratulate Dr. Zhu and the research team.

“I appreciate the support from the leadership,” Zhu shared. “I’m certainly very proud of our team. I’m happy for everyone that helped complete this important work.”