Research

At ACWA, interdisciplinary teams of researchers and technology developers confidently push the boundaries of science and technology

ACWA provides access for researchers from around the world to an exceptional, globally unique facility. The experimental streams, tertiary treatment modules, on-site analytical chemistry lab, plus associated on-campus labs, provides researchers with the opportunity to conduct research in ways that would be difficult or impossible anywhere else.

The contained nature of ACWA’s facilities and the ability to route discharges back to the headworks of a full-scale treatment plant allows ACWA to conduct experiments and robust piloting without posing a discharge risk to natural environments

How can I do research at ACWA?

Contact the ACWA team to discuss your research needs. We will work with you to develop a plan for how the ACWA facility can best support your research.

Once the research scope is understood, we will provide an estimate of costs, schedule and start date. A project intake form will be reviewed by ACWA’s Research Approval Committee, and once approval has been granted, your team can access ACWA’s facilities.

If you are a graduate student wishing to conduct research at our facility, ACWA also has training opportunities available. 

Access ACWA

ACWA offers facility access and services for researchers and industry. Contact us to learn how ACWA can support your projects. 

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Facilities for researchers

Experimental streams

Globally unique, ACWA has 3.8 kilometers of naturalized, experimental streams that replicate real-life water situations and enable research that cannot currently be performed anywhere else.

Their size (320 meters each), replication (12), and connectivity to the city plant allow researchers and trainees to study the effects of actual wastewater effluent on living ecosystems in real time.

 

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Tertiary Treatment Modules

ACWA’s four advanced tertiary treatment modules draw 510,000 L/day from secondary clarifiers of the full-scale wastewater treatment plant and provide a testing platform for advanced treatment.  Modules include membrane (ultra- and nano-filtration) and advanced oxidation (O3 or H2O2) with and without UV.

The modules can be configured in series or parallel and can be individually evaluated and can deliver treated effluent to research streams to measure receiving environment effects.

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Laboratories

An on-site analytical laboratory provides state-of-the-art chemical analyses of a wide range of organic and inorganic compounds, including detailed wastewater characterization. The lab team has developed several new analytical methods for low concentration compounds in challenging wastewater matrices, including cannabinoids, pharmaceuticals and hormones, nitrosamines and phthalates, and targeted industrial compounds.

Access to on-campus labs provides aquaria for detailed ecotoxicological studies, microbiology and gene sequencing and stable isotope tracing analyses. New methods can be developed as required.

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