Grantee Research Project Results
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Research and Development
National Center for Environmental Research
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
Closed - for reference purposes only
Treatment Technologies for Arsenic Removal for Small Drinking Water Systems - FY 2004
Opening date: September 17, 2003
Closing date: January 5, 2004
Summary of Program Requirements
Program Requirements and Description of Host Sites
Application Requirements and Evaluation Criteria
Review and Selection Process
Demonstration Program Roles
How to Apply
Program Title: Treatment Technologies for Arsenic Removal for Small Drinking Water Systems FY 2004
Synopsis of Program: This solicitation seeks proposals for treatment technologies for cost-effective arsenic removal for small drinking water systems. The objective of this program is to pre-qualify treatment technologies for a subsequent demonstration program which will evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of drinking water treatment technologies to meet the new arsenic maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 0.010 mg/l (10 ug/l) for varying source water quality conditions. For the purposes of this solicitation, “treatment technologies” may also include process modifications and engineering approaches, as well as point-of-use (POU)/point-of-entry (POE) devices. Additionally, treatment technologies may be new or add-on. The program will evaluate the reliability of technologies for small systems; gauge simplicity of operation, maintenance and required operator skills; determine cost-effectiveness; and characterize treatment residuals.
Proposals selected under this competition will not receive direct monetary awards, but will be pre-qualified for subsequent demonstration projects that will be supported by EPA through funding to a third party contractor. The contractor will work with the local water authority and other parties as necessary to plan and implement the demonstration project. If a treatment technology is selected for demonstration, the proposer will be compensated (by the EPA contractor) for the technology and will participate in the installation and start-up of the technology. Successful proposers under this solicitation are not guaranteed that a demonstration project will be initiated.
This solicitation is the second of
two. The first solicitation closed January 7, 2003. Twelve demonstrations were
selected from the first competition.
April Richards; Phone: 703-347-8103; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Thurnau; Phone 513-569-7504; email: email@example.com
Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s): 66.500
Anticipated Type of Selection: Pre-Qualification for Demonstration Agreement
Estimated Number of Selections: Up to 20
No funds will be directly awarded to the selected proposers under this solicitation. From those proposers pre-qualified, EPA anticipates selecting up to 20 proposals for demonstration. For those demonstrating, EPA will purchase any equipment or engineering services through an independent contractor and will pay for the installation of the equipment at the site. EPA will also purchase and provide supplies such as chemicals or media, if needed. If any waste disposal facilities are needed, the facilities will be provided by the host site.
The sorting code for applications submitted in response to this solicitation is: 2004-ARSENIC.
Letter of Intent Due Date: None
Application Proposal Due Date: January 5, 2004
(The deadline for receipt of the applications by NCER is no later than 4:00 p.m. ET.)
Recently available information on potential adverse health effects from arsenic in drinking water at the existing 0.05 mg/l MCL prompted Congress, in the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), to direct the EPA to reevaluate the arsenic standard to ensure public health protection. As a result, the 50-year old MCL of 0.05 mg/l was reduced to 0.010 mg/l (10 ug/l). To ensure that the revised MCL was achievable, EPA developed an arsenic research plan and undertook a comprehensive set of treatability studies that included the following technologies: activated alumina, ion exchange, iron removal coagulation/filtration and lime softening. Although they did not perform with the same removal efficiencies, all were successful in reducing arsenic concentrations to meet the new MCL of 0.010 mg/l (10 ug/l). Due to financial and other constraints, the research program was not able to provide treatment solutions for all drinking water systems affected by the new standard.
In October 2001, the EPA Administrator announced an initiative for additional research and development for cost-effective technologies to help small systems meet the new arsenic standard and to provide technical assistance to operators of small systems to reduce compliance costs. Therefore, to assist small community water systems (< 10,000 customers) in complying with the new standard, EPA intends to conduct a series of full-scale, long-term, on-site demonstrations of arsenic removal technologies, process modifications and engineering approaches. The EPA contractor will produce reports documenting the results of these demonstration projects.
The objective of this solicitation is to pre-qualify treatment technologies for a subsequent research demonstration program. This program will evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of drinking water treatment technologies, process modifications and engineering approaches as well as POU/POE devices to meet the new arsenic MCL of 10 ug/l at host site locations that have varied source water quality conditions. The program will evaluate the reliability of technologies for small systems, gauge simplicity of operation, maintenance and required operator skills, determine cost-effectiveness and characterize treatment residuals. There are several proven arsenic removal technologies (e.g., activated alumina, ion exchange, conventional coagulation, iron removal, lime softening, and membranes), but they are not easily applied to all systems without significant redesign and testing. EPA is aware that there are other commercially available arsenic treatment technologies for small systems (e.g., iron adsorptive media, coagulation/microfiltration) that may offer alternative treatment approaches and be more efficient and economical than traditional technologies. Process modifications and engineering approaches may also offer favorable alternatives to add-on treatment and may be more cost effective. POU/POE devices may also be appropriate for some systems.
This solicitation is the second of two. The first solicitation closed January 7, 2003. Twelve demonstrations were selected from the first competition. Major changes from the first solicitation include the following: 1) the demonstration program has been expanded to include non-transient, non-community drinking water systems, 2) EPA will now consider POU/POE devices for demonstration, and 3) for some selected sites, the demonstration technologies will be called on to remove arsenic plus another contaminant.
This solicitation seeks vendors, engineering firms and others to propose treatment technologies for the removal of arsenic to the revised MCL or lower. In addition, if the host site information indicates that the water source has multiple contaminants (such as, arsenic and uranium), the proposed technology must be able to control both contaminants to the appropriate MCL. Technologies selected under this solicitation will be pre-qualified for demonstration at selected host sites whose names are included on the website listed in the “List of Host Sites” section of this solicitation.
Host sites are public drinking water treatment facilities, which were solicited via a Federal Register Notice, http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WATER/2003/April/Day-18/w9622.htm. Proposers should select one or more of the host sites listed on the website below where their technology or engineering approach is expected to perform successfully.
All technologies must be commercially available for purchase with no additional development work required. Documentation to support the commercially available designation may include: patent, patent pending, operations & maintenance manual, pilot scale data, performance verification tests, full-scale data, or other relevant information.
Arsenic contamination is a national problem and the arsenic treatment technologies selected for this demonstration program must be applicable to the wide variety of water quality conditions found throughout the U.S. In addition to reducing elevated arsenic concentrations, the proposed technologies should be able to accommodate varying levels of naturally occurring substances in the source water. Examples of possible treatment interferences are: manganese, sulfate, silicate, and phosphate. The pH of the source water and its relationship to the proposed technology is another important factor. The sites selected for demonstration incorporate the different water quality conditions reviewed above and reflect the different water quality conditions across the U.S. The treatment technology selected for each site must be compatible with the source water quality conditions listed for the site and provide information to support that claim.
Proposers may contact host sites to determine if their technology is suitable for the given water supply and compatible with the site conditions.
List of Host Sites
A list of host sites can be found
at the website shown below. Site specific information is provided including
treatment capacity and water quality characteristics.
Important: If the host site information indicates that the water source has multiple contaminants (such as, arsenic and uranium), the proposed technology must be able to control both contaminants to the appropriate MCL.
Treatment technologies will be pre-qualified for participation in the demonstration program based on their treatment effectiveness and efficiency, their cost effectiveness and their operation and maintenance (O & M) requirements and applicability to the selected host site. Important criteria also include readiness and suitability for full-scale demonstration, applicability to the source water quality (arsenic and other water chemistry) at a selected host site, and ability to fill existing knowledge gaps. All treatment technologies proposed for these demonstrations must be commercially available for treatment of arsenic in drinking water. If the host site information indicates that the water source has multiple contaminants (such as, arsenic and uranium), the proposed technology must be able to control both contaminants to the appropriate MCL. The demonstration program is not meant to be a developmental arena for new emerging technologies or a forum for constructing, testing, modifying or redesigning equipment and technologies.
For this program, POU/POE devices will be considered. See the “Outline of Proposal and Evaluation Criteria” section of this solicitation.
Since the arsenic occurrence profile for the geographic U.S. is varied, the technologies employed or engineering approaches to control arsenic concentrations may also be varied. Treatment technologies should address water quality conditions that are associated with a specific host site.
Each applicant is required to submit a separate technical proposal for each site addressed by their technology. The order of material presented in the technical proposal should correspond to the “Outline of Proposal and Evaluation Criteria” presented later in this section. This outline is designed to cover material necessary to evaluate the proposal.
Evaluation of a proposed technology by a peer panel and EPA will be based on the material presented in the proposal. The three main evaluation criteria listed below are of equal importance. The fourth criteria will be applied in the evaluation, if applicable.
Proposals should not exceed thirty-two (32) pages, including cover sheets, abstract, charts, tables, diagrams and drawings and appendices. Font used should be 12-point, Times New Roman, and the format should be single-spaced with 1-inch margins. Proprietary data or confidential business information (CBI) should not be included. A summary of previous performance data is particularly important. Quality Assurance (QA) documentation for the collected data should be included. Company literature, brochures, resumes and references also may be attached as appendices. All appended materials will be counted toward the 32-page limit.
An abstract, not to exceed two pages, must be included which describes the treatment technology, and summarizes the three or four elements of the proposal outlined below.
An original and eight (8) copies of the proposal should be submitted. The abstract must also be provided in electronic format.
Outline of Proposal & Evaluation Criteria
I. Treatment Effectiveness and Efficiency
- Technology Description and Function
- Process Flow Sheet
- Capability of treating source water with characteristics of the selected host site
- Capability of meeting the new arsenic MCL or the MCLs for multiple contaminants for selected sites
- History of full scale and pilot-scale operation
- Strength of supporting data: lab, pilot, full scale
- Availability of third-party test data
- Pre/Post treatment needs for a specific host (including residuals handling)
- Patent citation, if applicable
II. Cost Effectiveness; Capital and O & M Costs
- Capital costs including engineering and installation
- O & M costs
- Pre/post treatment costs
- Narrative explanation of why the technology or engineering approach is superior to proven conventional treatment in terms of cost
III. Operation and Maintenance Requirements and System Applicability to Host Site
- Operator skill requirements
- Automation and process control capability
- Level of required maintenance - back washing, cleaning, etc.
- Chemical usage and handling requirements
- Safety requirement
- Physical characteristics: description of equipment
- Unit size and transportability: space requirements
- Energy requirements
- Adaptability to existing system (add on technology)
- Engineering/installation requirements (package vs.specially designed systems)
- Environmental impacts
IV. POU/POE Approaches
- Assessment of POU/POE as preferred approach rather than central treatment.
- Institutional factors
- Compliance monitoring, oversight and record keeping.
Discussion of Evaluation Criteria
A brief discussion of the identified
evaluation criteria are presented to clarify certain aspects of the criteria.
These discussions are intended to assist the proposer, but are not exhaustive.
Treatment Effectiveness and Efficiency: This section of the proposal should explain the technical aspects of the treatment technology and describe its operation and function. Capabilities and limitations should be addressed as well as the ability of the technology to meet the new MCL. If the host site information indicates that the water source has multiple contaminants (such as arsenic and uranium,) the technology must be able to control both contaminants to the appropriate MCLs. Detailed performance data are essential. Proposed treatment technologies should include adequate data to determine their potential success as a compliance strategy. Submission of data generated during the development and testing of the treatment technology that supports claimed treatment effectiveness is very important. Third party evaluations and appropriate Quality Assurance information are important components of the supporting data. CBI should be omitted from the proposal.
Arsenic treatment systems typically concentrate arsenic and other pollutants resulting in a liquid waste stream or a contaminated solid. Proposals should outline onsite handling of wastes and ultimate disposal options. Waste generation, handling and treatment costs need to be factored into the cost-effectiveness section of the proposal.
Cost-effectiveness--Capital and O&M Costs: This section of the proposal should explain how the arsenic removal technology will provide a technical and economic advantage over existing conventional technologies. Applicants may wish to reference the Arsenic Rule http://www.epa.gov/safewater/ars/arsenic_finalrule.html and compare the best available technology (BAT) cost to that of the proposed technology or engineering approach.
Arsenic treatment technologies with demonstrated cost and performance information, will be viewed more favorably by the peer reviewers than those without this type of data. A critical factor in the evaluation of proposals is the cost of purchasing and maintaining the treatment technology. This section of the proposal should include a conceptual design covering the capital costs of purchasing and installing the arsenic treatment technology, the expected O & M costs, and an analysis of the technical and economic advantages over conventional systems at the selected host site. All costs should be presented on a per-unit basis where possible (i.e., $ per 1000 gallons treated). Construction of facilities to house the treatment technology should not be included in the cost estimate.
Operation and Maintenance Requirements & System Applicability to Host Site: The complexity of the different arsenic treatments or engineering approaches will vary and this will be translated into different O&M requirements. This section of the proposal should discuss in detail the operation of the proposed treatment technology and relate its operation to the required maintenance procedures. Maintenance of critical components should be highlighted and an estimate of the time and cost should be included. (This information should also be presented or referenced in the Cost-effectiveness section.)
This section of the proposal should demonstrate how the technology or engineering solution can be successfully matched with the host site’s physical plant, associated piping, and water chemistry. Energy requirements and waste disposal capabilities need to be addressed as well as other environmental impacts such as the use of specialty chemicals or fugitive emissions from the process. To ensure that this section of the proposal is accurate, communication with the proposed host site may be necessary.
POU/POE Approaches: In addition to Parts I, II and III, proposals that intend to provide POU/POE type treatment technology must include an assessment of the economics and operating characteristics that make POU/POE a preferred alternative to central treatment.
These proposals must also include details on how the system intends to implement the POU/POE approach from an institutional perspective. Proposals must address; 1) the acceptability of the approach by the utility and the community or non-transient non-community water system, 2) how the approach will be implemented at each utility connection, 3) what legal or other mechanisms need to be put in place to properly oversee the technology and 4) if the approach will be acceptable as a long term compliance strategy by the State oversight agency or EPA Regional Office, as appropriate.
The proposals must also include information on how compliance monitoring will be accomplished, general oversight of the POU/POE approach to ensure that the treatment units are properly maintained and functioning and record keeping to determine when service will be performed.
All proposals submitted for this
competition will be evaluated by an external (non-EPA) panel of experts. Proposals
will be ranked “highly recommended”, “recommended” or
“not recommended.” Following the external peer review, EPA will
conduct an internal review of the “highly recommended” and “recommended”
proposals and compare them with site demonstration opportunities to determine
which technologies or engineering approaches will be pursued given available
funding and other program factors. Only one proposal will be selected by EPA
for demonstration at each site.
EPA is under no obligation to select any proposal or any specific number of proposals. All proposers will receive peer review comments.
Role of Technology Developer/Engineering Firm or Other Proposer After Successful Competition
The technology proposer, who is selected as pre-qualified under this competition, will be a participant to the agreement developed between EPA and the host site for the demonstration. The role of the proposer will be limited to providing the approved technology or design modification (through purchase by the EPA contractor) and providing consultation on the engineering, installation and operation of the technology. The proposer will be responsible for working with EPA, its contractor and the site to install the technology or the engineering solution at the host site. The proposer will also assist EPA and host site personnel with the start-up phase of the demonstration. The proposer will provide guidance and training on operation and/or maintenance of any equipment.
Once the technology or engineering solution has been installed and the start-up phase is completed, the proposer may monitor the data being generated from the demonstration and may respond to questions posed by the system operator. The host site will be responsible for operation of the technology or engineering approach. Since the objective of the demonstration is to collect “real-world” operating data on the performance, reliability and simplicity of operation, the proposer will not have personnel on-site to provide daily guidance on the operation of the technology or engineering approach or make modifications to the equipment. EPA will not have personnel on-site. The proposer may need to visit the site on occasion, but all site visits must be coordinated with EPA.
The proposer may wish to discuss the potential for demonstration of their technology with specific host sites prior to submission of a proposal.
Role of the Host Site
At each demonstration site, a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) will be developed between EPA and the host site to specify the duties and responsibilities of each party and any special conditions that apply. In part, each site’s responsibilities are expected to include:
- daily operation of the arsenic treatment technology
- sample collection according to project plan
- preparation & shipment of samples (EPA underwrites the cost)
- documentation of maintenance data
- maintenance of inventory of spare parts and maintenance items (EPA underwrites the cost)
- coordination of any service calls
- documentation of waste disposal operations. The site will be responsible for all disposal related activities.
Any new or add-on arsenic treatment technology will be operated by the host facility in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
Role of EPA and Support Contractor
- The EPA contractor will work with the host site and the successful proposer to design the demonstration project plan and will oversee all aspects of its conduct.
- The EPA contractor will purchase and supervise the installation of all arsenic treatment technologies or engineering services from successful proposers.
- EPA and its contractor, in conjunction with the host site and the successful proposer, will prepare the plans and specifications for submission to the State for approval of the installation of the technology or engineering approach.
- The EPA contractor will prepare a site specific sampling protocol and a quality assurance project plan (QAPP) for the demonstration project (see www.epa.gov/quality for guidance on the content). If chemical analyses are performed on site, they will be included in the approved QAPP that must be in place before initiating any analytical work. Analytical chemistry costs for arsenic and other nonstandard project-related analyses will be the responsibility of EPA. Data analysis and reporting will also be underwritten by EPA.
- The EPA contractor, in consultation with the host facility, will provide a final report summarizing the performance and O & M conditions for the treatment technology. The report will include the performance of the arsenic treatment technology, cost effectiveness, required maintenance, unexpected repairs, and waste management. Training of the operator(s) along with any adverse impacts on their regularly scheduled duties will also be documented.
At the conclusion of the project, EPA will dismantle and remove the arsenic treatment technology or negotiate a transfer of title with the host facility.
Background on development of Arsenic
Information on Arsenic Rule implementation
No funds will be directly awarded to the selected proposers under this solicitation. From those proposers pre-qualified, EPA anticipates selecting up to 20 proposals for demonstration. For those demonstrating, EPA will purchase any equipment or engineering services through an independent contractor and will pay for the installation of the equipment at the site. EPA will also purchase and provide supplies such as chemicals or media, if needed.
All applications must have a sorting code. The sorting code for applications submitted in response to this solicitation is: 2004-ARSENIC.
Further information, if needed, may be obtained from the EPA officials indicated below. Email inquiries are preferred.
April Richards 703-347-8103, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Thurnau 513-569-7504, email@example.com
The proposal and abstract must be prepared in accordance with these instructions. All proposals must include the Proposal Cover Sheet and the Application for Federal Assistance. Both of these forms are included in this solicitation. Informal, incomplete, or unsigned proposals will be returned without review. The original, signed copy of the application must not be bound or stapled in any way. The other eight (8) required copies of the application should be secured with paper or binder clips or secure staples.
Send completed applications via regular mail to:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Peer Review Division (8703R)
Sorting Code: 2004-ARSENIC
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20460
The following address must be used for express mail-delivered applications:
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
Peer Review Division (8703R)
Sorting Code: 2004-ARSENIC
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20004
Phone: (202) 564-6939 (for express mail applications)
Courier- or personally-delivered applications must be brought to the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004. The courier must come to the EPA Visitors Lobby and tell the security guard that he/she has a delivery for the EPA mail room. The courier will be required to sign a visitor’s log, and will be directed to the EPA mail room. The mail room is open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. weekdays, exclusive of Federal holidays. If the applicant requires a receipt for the delivery, he or she will need to provide a form, which the mail room person will sign.
Proposal Cover Sheet
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Treatment Technologies for Arsenic Removal for Small Drinking Water Systems
Firm Name: ___________________________________________________________
Contact: _____________________________ Telephone: ________________
email: _____________________________ Fax: ________________
Mailing Address: ______________________________________________________
City: _______________________ State:________________Zip:________________
Selected Host Site:___________________________________________________________
Technical Abstract (Two pages or Less, Must be Publishable): [Abstract must include a description of the technology and address each of the three (or four, where applicable) elements of the evaluation criteria.]
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