Welcome to the Pipeline!
Welcome to the latest edition of American Water's the Pipeline, a quarterly resource for all things water. We see this as one more way to stay connected.
A Note from Val Armstrong
Cutting Edge Research and Development
The needs of our customers inform our R&D efforts and dictate what we do and how we do it. Our customers are top of mind with each new research project and technology advancement we deploy.
Innovation and excellence are an American Water tradition. Over the last three decades, we've built a robust and diverse R&D team designed to maintain and improve the quality of water and wastewater service, support the company’s compliance efforts, improve operational effectiveness, and lead the way on environmental solutions.
Following are just a few examples of our R&D work in action:
- Incubator labs in the field are trial testing the latest innovation in efficient detection of water leaks and underground lead service lines for efficient and minimal disruptive replacements.
- Deployment of granular activated carbon technology to remove PFAS compounds.
- Use of energy efficient pumps to reduce electric consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
American Water’s R&D efforts better enable the company to optimize the life and operational efficiency of our water assets, and our scale allows us to implement such cutting-edge techniques rapidly and efficiently.
Building Pipeline of Next Generation Researchers
Talent development is an important aspect of American Water’s R&D efforts. We pursue partnerships throughout our footprint to promote STEM careers. We work with universities to develop internships and co-op programs and regularly engage with middle and high schools to inspire youth and foster an interest in the sciences. We also partner with diverse organizations, such as American Corporate Partners, where we pair mentors with military service individuals re-entering the workforce. We work to attract a workforce that reflects the communities we serve. To learn about American Water's Inclusion and Diversity priorities, view our 2020 Inclusion & Diversity Report.
Through these collective efforts, many of which are described in more detail in this issue of the Pipeline, we are ready to take on the challenges of today and those of the future to continue to provide safe, reliable, and affordable water and wastewater service to our customers.
Water Quality and Safety
While the crises in Flint and Newark have drawn media attention to the issue of water safety nationwide, other less covered, but critical, water quality challenges exist. One of these challenges relates to emerging contaminants.
This is why monitoring and treating known and emerging contaminants is among the top priorities being addressed by American Water’s R&D teams.
The company’s commitment bears out in the results. American Water routinely scores among the highest of all water companies when it comes to water quality. This in part is due to innovative approaches spearheaded by our R&D departments, which are aimed at identifying new ways to combat emerging challenges in the water industry, such as lead pipe erosion and corrosion and emerging contaminants.
Researching New Ways of Treating Emerging Contaminants
American Water’s R&D team develops solutions to contaminants of emerging concern, including PFAS, Legionella, cyanotoxin-forming algal blooms and more. The company’s commitment to water quality is exemplified by its Central Lab in Belleville, Illinois, which houses an industry-leading water research program, in addition to its forward-leaning efforts in PFAS treatment utilizing granular activated carbon to compare PFAS removal and media performance. Learn more about Reducing PFAS in Drinking Water with Treatment Technologies.
Spotlight: A Conversation with Dr. Lauren Weinrich Senior Scientist, Environmental & Analytical Products
American Water’s R&D team
Crucial to the Company’s Future Successes
From the consistent delivery of quality water, shoring up our infrastructure, to empowering our customers with the latest technology, our R&D team’s efforts have resulted in American Water being an industry leader with a proven track record. The company continues to invest in and develop innovative technologies and processes, while building a talent pool and pipeline of the next generation of research scientists, engineers and water chemical experts.
American Water’s Commitment to Environmental, Social Responsibility and Governance
American Water recently published our sixth biennial Sustainability Report covering our industry leading performance in 2019 and 2020. Our President and CEO Walter Lynch said, ”It is because of this ongoing commitment to integrating environmental, social and governance principles throughout our business that American Water continues to be recognized for our leadership. We are committed to limiting our impact on the environment while strengthening the communities we serve.”
American Water wants to be a resource of information for you. Through active outreach and engagement with a variety of stakeholders, American Water has taken part in a great exchange of ideas, issues and insights about challenges and opportunities impacting the water and wastewater industry. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us on any water or wastewater topic. Here are just a few examples of resources that provide background on the topics we covered:
- American Water: Water Quality and Wastewater Services
- EPA: America’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative: A Call to Action
We're here if you need us.