An outside-the-box approach for tracking wastewater sources
After we received a tailored collaboration grant from the WateReuse Research Foundation (WRRF), now WE&RF, we collaborated with several Florida utilities and management agencies on a new research project. The goal? To develop an empirical approach that would better identify nutrient impairment causes in Florida surface waters.
The goal was to find out the extent of contribution that water reuse irrigation played, and the project had a breakthrough. Research showed that the artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda) was a significant marker unique to wastewater sources.
As a result of this study, sucralose is now used as a marker by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to track wastewater impacts on Florida surface waters—and other organizations, nationwide, have followed suit.
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