Research Associate Professor

Contact InformationWilliam B. Anderson

Phone: 519-888-4567 x33265
Location: DWE 2446


Biography Summary

As the Associate Director of the Water Science, Technology & Policy Research Group, William B. Anderson collaborates with the group’s Director, Monica B. Emelko, to develop and manage a variety of drinking water associated research initiatives. Our group’s goals are to understand fundamental water science, investigate and promote innovative emerging treatment technologies, and lead in the development of policy that is impactful for industry and society. Professor Anderson has been immersed in the field of interdisciplinary drinking water treatment research for 39 years.

He served on the NSF International Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units for 12 years during which time he co-chaired a task group which developed a new standard for pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and endocrine disrupting compounds (NSF 401). He also contributed to the development of standards for the removal of the cyanotoxin, microcystin-LR, by activated carbon adsorption and for the perfluorinated compounds including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). Additionally, he represented academia on stakeholders and reviewers groups charged with the revision and update of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment ‘Design Guidelines for Drinking-Water Systems’ and the ‘Optimization Guidance Manual for Drinking Water Systems’ manual.

Professor Anderson has various research interests that relate to source water characterization, drinking water treatment, and the protection of human health. Currently, he is investigating detection and removal technologies for pathogens, toxins, and chemicals in drinking water. Some examples include: investigating a better understanding of the development of biofilms in biological filters during start-up, identifying critical operational control points and strategies to minimize microbial risk, protozoan removal through filtration in high quality surface waters, activated carbon for cyanotoxin removal (anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin, microcystin), and characterization of natural organic matter (NOM) in water and technologies for removal.

Research Interests

  • Drinking water quality and treatment
  • decision support systems for point-of-use devices
  • new technologies-drinking water quality monitoring
  • detection of known & emerging pathogens in water
  • Yersinia as a waterborne pathogen
  • new coagulant aids for DBP precursor removal
  • innovative approaches for nitrate removal
  • endotoxins in drinking water
  • GAC for taste and odour removal
  • particle and pathogen removal in filters
  • improving filter removal predictions
  • biofiltration / UF membranes
  • Changes in essential element concentration ratios
  • intermittent granular active carbon operation
  • Quantification of biomass quantity
  • dynamic risk modeling
  • treatment technologies for anatoxin removal
  • pre-ozonation
  • quantitative microbial risk assessment


  • 2004, Doctorate, Biology, University of Waterloo
  • 1979, Bachelor's, Microbiology, University of Regina

Selected/Recent Publications

  • "Anatoxin-a Adsorption by Virgin and Preloaded Granular Activated Carbon. Accepted for publication in AWWA Water Science." In Press: November 16, 2018. (Accepted in 2018)
  • Aly, S.A., W.B. Anderson, and P.M. Huck, 2018. "Biological Filtration with and without Prior In-line Coagulation to Reduce UF Fouling by Secondary Effluent." Water Reuse and Desalination, 8(2):176-191. (Accepted in 2016)
  • Hamouda, Mohamed A and Anderson, William B and Van Dyke, Michele I and Douglas, Ian P and McFadyen, Stéphanie D and Huck, Peter M, Scenario-based quantitative microbial risk assessment to evaluate the robustness of a drinking water treatment plant, Water Quality Research Journal of Canada, 51(2), 2016, 81 - 96
  • Rahman, Ishita and Van Dyke, Michele I and Anderson, William B and Jin, Xiaohui and Ndiongue, Souleymane and Huck, Peter M, Effect of phosphorus addition on biofiltration pre-treatment to reduce ultrafiltration membrane fouling, Desalination and Water Treatment, 2016, 1 - 13
  • Siembida-Lösch, Barbara and Anderson, William B and Bonsteel, Jane and Huck, Peter M, Biopolymer removal in full-scale conventional and advanced drinking water treatment trains at two large adjacent plants, Desalination and Water Treatment, 2016, 1 - 13
  • Scott, Daniel B and Van Dyke, Michele I and Anderson, William B and Huck, Peter M, Influence of water quality on nitrifier regrowth in two full-scale drinking water distribution systems, Canadian journal of microbiology, 61(12), 2015, 965 - 976
  • Pharand, Lizanne and Van Dyke, Michele I and Anderson, William B and Yohannes, Yonatan and Huck, Peter M and others, Full-Scale Ozone--Biofiltration: Seasonally Related Effects on NOM Removal (PDF), Journal-American Water Works Association, 107(8), 2015