William B. Anderson

Research Associate Professor
William B. Anderson

Contact information


William Anderson
Water, Science, Technology & Policy Group

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 40 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.

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

  • Rahman, M.F., M.J Mahmud, A.H.M. Sadmani, A.I. Chowdhury, W.B. Anderson, A.B.M. Bodruzzaman, and S. Huq, 2021. Previously Unrecognized Potential Threat to Children from Manganese in Groundwater in Rohingya Refugee Camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Chemosphere, Volume 266, March, 129128.
  • Chik, A.H.S., M.B. Emelko, W.B. Anderson, K.E. O’Sullivan, D. Savio, A.H. Farnleitner, A.P. Blaschke, and J.F. Schijven, Evaluation of Groundwater Bacterial Community Composition to Inform Waterborne Pathogen Vulnerability Assessments, Science of the Total Environment, 743
  • Schmidt, P.J., W.B. Anderson, and M.B. Emelko, 2020. Describing Water Treatment Process Performance: Why Average Log-Reduction can be a Misleading Statistic. Water Research, Volume 176, 1 June 2020, 115702
  • Aly, S.A., W.B. Anderson, and P.M. Huck, 2020. In-line Coagulation Assessment for Ultrafiltration Fouling Reduction to Treat Secondary Effluent for Water Reuse. Water Science & Technology. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2020.571. Date Online: November 30 2020.
  • Vlad, S., S. Peldszus, W.B. Anderson, and P.M. Huck, 2019. Anatoxin-a Adsorption by Virgin and Preloaded Granular Activated Carbon. AWWA Water Science 1(1): 1:12.

Graduate studies