SCIENCE, RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY
and Phoredox processes for biological nitrogen and phosphorus
removal, Barnard was instrumental in bringing these innovative
technologies to water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) around
the globe. The forum, held in Austin, Texas, featured leaders in bio-logical
phosphorus (bioP) removal for invited presentations and
facilitated discussions. With short presentations and panel discus-sions,
the forum encouraged free-flowing dialogue to examine the
past, present, and future of biological phosphorus removal topics
and set the agenda for years to come.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral for growth. However, phos-phorus
runoff and deposition in water bodies can cause aquatic
dead zones that choke off oxygen to plants and wildlife. This
leads to a unique conundrum where there can be no life with-out
phosphorus, yet too much has disastrous effects.
Furthermore, global supplies are dwindling, and we are facing
a potential crisis if renewable sources are not developed. A
balance must be struck between efficiently using phospho-rus
while simultaneously developing recovery techniques.
Recovering biological phosphorus via WRRFs can help fill
this gap, but continued research is necessary to make it more
24 | ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER JULY 2019
efficient, reliable and accessible to utilities of all sizes.
Bacterial populations and modeling
Current knowledge and existing gaps emerged as the first
theme at the forum. Presentations dove into the microbial
ecology of enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR),
starting with understanding two of the most important poly-phosphate
accumulating organisms (PAOs) in wastewater
treatment, tetrasphaera and accumulibacter. These two organisms
are studied widely, but there remains a knowledge gap about
them as researchers continue to try to better utilize them by
fully unlocking their mechanisms.