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Water Technology and Innovation

Technology Commercialization through the FAST Water Network

LIFT test bed network sample map.LIFT test bed network sample map. Innovative technologies can transform the water resource recovery sector by introducing new, more effective treatment strategies and management approaches that protect our nation’s waterways and support economic growth. Select examples of promising solutions include:
  • Nutrient sensors that provide real-time information on conditions where excessive phosphorus or nitrogen in surrounding waters could negatively impact drinking supplies or limit recreation;
  • Energy recovery systems that harness the thermal and chemical properties of wastewater to power the facility, benefiting ratepayers; and
  • Phosphorus harvesting technologies in wastewater treatment systems that create a new potential revenue stream (i.e., fertilizer) while improving the quality of water discharges to help protect the nation’s rivers, lakes, and streams.

In order to bring more transformative technologies like these to market and give utilities the confidence to invest, credible performance data is needed. The Water Environment and Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) established the Facilities Accelerating Science & Technology (FAST) Water Network to address this information gap.

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Given that the performance of innovative technologies is often initially unverified, innovative solutions may represent significant risk to utilities responsible for protecting public health and providing ratepayers reliable, affordable service. The FAST Water Network, supported in part by EPA, offers a way for developers of new water technologies to test and demonstrate their product under real-life conditions at various scales.

FAST Water facilities serve as the vanguard of water innovation — testing and verifying real-world performance.
- Aaron Fisher, PhD
Technology and Innovation Manager, WE&RF

Over 70 facilities across the country have volunteered to host technologists and entrepreneurs to date, and many have already begun using the resource to gain the test validation they need to enter the market. Network participants believe that as more facilities undertake pilot projects, this wider availability of real-world data will help accelerate the adoption of new water technologies nationwide. WE&RF is presently working to secure long-term funding to provide for the ongoing support of the technologists and entrepreneurs who seek to improve our nation’s water resources.

For more information on wastewater technology demonstration support, contact EPA Region 1's Energy and Water Specialist, Jason Turgeon (turgeon.jason@epa.gov).  Jason can also be reached by phone at 617-918-1637.

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