NSERC Chair in Water Treatment

Chair Mission

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Chair in Water Treatment at the University of Waterloo functions as a centre of expertise in water treatment and quality. The Chair's mission is to conduct leading edge, fundamentally based, yet practically oriented research on critical issues related to water treatment and quality. Our research emphasis is on work that addresses short- to medium-term needs of the funding partners, including municipalities, consultants and industry involved in the treatment and provision of water. A key feature of the Chair is its multidisciplinary expertise and research program. The Chairholder, Dr. Peter M. Huck, is an internationally recognized expert in water treatment. In addition to engineering, the Chair team includes senior doctorally trained individuals in environmental chemistry and microbiology.

Research Goals

Now in its sixth five-year term (2018 - 2022), the Chair's major research focus is in the following three areas:

A - Successfully Managing Raw Water Quality Changes through Robust Systems, which will develop tools to help utilities plan for extreme weather events, spill scenarios, seasonally occurring cyanotoxins blooms, and emerging contaminants such as microplastics.

B - Green and Innovative Treatment Processes, which will study biofiltration for cyanotoxin removal, sustainable approaches to control groundwater hardness and manganese using newer technologies, and novel, reusable composite adsorbents for contaminants such as cyanotoxins.

C - Understanding Corrosion with a Focus on Lead, which will investigate corrosion control measures to minimize lead release from existing lead pipes and lead-bearing plumbing system components, and also potential interactions between the control and distribution system residual maintenance practices.