Shane Snyder, who earlier this year won best paper honors from the American Water Works Association, or AWWA, has been invited to present in Korea this month to an expected audience of 3,500 at the 2012 International Water Association's World Water Congress.
The UA chemical and environmental engineering professor’s presentation will focus not only on his research addressing the reduction of certain emerging contaminants in drinking water – the topic of his award-winning paper – but also it will draw on his personal knowledge of global water quality issues. Snyder has traveled throughout the southwestern United States, India, China and southeast Asia, including Singapore and Vietnam, studying water quality issues.
"How are these countries coping with the most fundamental of water safety questions: If you have $1 to spend, where do you put it?” Snyder said. “In terms of public health, do you eradicate the last trace of caffeine in your drinking water, or do you build wells?"
Snyder is scheduled to meet with Korea's Minister of the Environment Sept. 19 then give his IWA presentation Sept. 20 during the closing keynote in Busan, Korea. The topic is emerging contaminants in drinking water and the different treatment levels required around the world to deliver safe water. He will co-present with Hansruedi Seigrist, head of environmental engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology.
Snyder’s award-winning technical paper, “Perchlorate, Bromate and Chlorate in Hypochlorite Solutions: Guidelines for Utilities,” is based on research that establishes new chlorine handling and on-site chlorine production best practices. The guidelines are expected to help minimize the levels of perchlorate and related contaminants commonly found in drinking water.
"The authors provide practical recommendations to utilities attempting to control production of these regulated contaminants when using sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) as a disinfectant," said Journal AWWA in a statement about the winning paper. The award was presented in June at AWWA's 2012 national convention in San Antonio.
Perchlorate, a byproduct of chlorine, can form in chlorine during production and storage by public water utilities that use it to disinfect drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers it a contaminant of emerging concern because of its increasing presence in municipal water sources across the country. Chlorine quality and handling greatly influence the amount of perchlorate and related chemicals introduced into drinking water during the treatment process.
This is the first best paper award for Snyder, who is the co-director of the Arizona Laboratory for Emerging Contaminants and the director of the Snyder Research Group, which has laboratories at the UA's BIO5 Institute and the Environmental Research Laboratory.