In recent years it has become clear that the pollution of water sources has become so widespread that traces of compounds such as endocrine disrupters, polar pesticides and pharmaceuticals can even be found in Dutch drinking water. Only a few of these emerging substances are known and measured in our drinking water. To face these new substances application of advanced water treatment is required. Moreover, due to the scientific progress we have come to understand that also microbiological threats still cannot be ignored, amongst others Legionella and Cryptosporidium. Fortunately, in recent years we have also seen major breakthroughs in new technologies such as membrane filtration and disinfection/oxidation with ozone/UV/H2O2. These technologies can be used both on the drinking water as well as on the wastewater side and an integrated approach has to be developed. Our research in this theme deals with the further development of these technologies and in particular the determination of the practical feasibility including such aspects as efficiency, costs, sustainability and operational aspects. In several PhD projects the effectiveness of different treatment technologies and treatment combinations in removing these emerging substances is investigated. Also a modeling approach will be developed to predict the removal of new emerging substances and to assess the plant performance toward pathogens and organic micro pollutants.
Finally, the effects of climate change on drinking water quality and drinking water engineering is part of the research. Also positive effects of more extreme drinking water temperatures due to climate change are taken into account: can this be used for thermal energy recovery, and how does this affect the drinking water quality?