Navigation Links
Lose the fat: Targeting grease to curtail sewer overflows
Date:11/23/2009

Sewer overflows are a nasty business, posing dangers to human health and the environment. North Carolina State University is launching a new project with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that targets the fat and grease that contribute to millions of overflows every year, and will give urban planners new tools to further reduce the risk of sewage spills.

At issue are overflows from "sanitary" sewer systems, as opposed to "combined" systems that also handle stormwater. EPA estimates that 40 percent of the 3 to 10 billion annual sanitary sewer overflows around the country are caused by hard deposits made up of fat, oil and grease (FOG) that clog sewage pipes. In other words, the FOG buildup is directly responsible for hundreds of millions of sewer overflows, as well as untold costs in health effects, environmental harm, cleanup expenses, and damaged public perception for the utilities.

Dr. Joel Ducoste, an associate professor of civil engineering at NC State, is launching a research effort to address the problem under a prestigious Science To Achieve Results grant from EPA.

"Our goal is to discover the fundamental chemical reactions that lead to these deposits," Ducoste says, "because if we can understand it, we can figure out how to reduce it via enhanced treatment technologies, more cost-effective maintenance and by setting appropriate regulatory standards.

"We think a reaction takes place in the sewage collection system when FOG interacts with calcium or other metal ions to form these hardened deposits," Ducoste says, "similar to the chemical reactions that are used to make household soaps. We'll be testing this as part of the grant and, if this is the case, we will explore ways to remove the substances that contribute to these deposits.

"Also," Ducoste says, "once we understand the chemistry behind these deposits, we can develop models to identify potential 'hot spots' where FOG deposits may form." Identifying these hot spots will allow utilities to use preventative maintenance to avoid overflows. Perhaps more importantly, the models could serve as useful tools for urban planners helping them determine whether an existing sewer system can sustain population growth, or if the system needs to be modified in order to accommodate future growth.

The urban planning component is essential, Ducoste says, because significant amounts of FOG get into sewage systems from high-density residential areas, such as apartment blocks and condominiums. Local governments need to be aware of potential sewer overflow problems that could stem from population growth in a concentrated area. Currently, sewage systems try to keep out FOG by using grease interceptors but they are found only at restaurants.

The EPA grant is for approximately $570,000 over three years.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Targeting nerve growth factor may cure liver cancer
2. Gene-targeting pioneer Mario Capecchi shares 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine
3. Yale chemist receives NIH Young Investigator Award for antibody targeting
4. Titanium Group Announces Launch of New Identification Solution Targeting High Growth Retail Sector
5. Tumor-targeting viral therapy slows neuroblastoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors
6. AACR annual meeting showcases developments in understanding and targeting cancers
7. Motor nerve targeting to limb muscles is controlled by ephrin proteins
8. Twin nanoparticle shown effective at targeting, killing breast cancer cells
9. Peregrines PS-targeting antibodies highlighted in AACR Annual Meeting studies
10. Targeting children effective use of limited supplies of flu vaccine and could help control flu spread
11. Targeting helpers of heat shock proteins could help treat cancer, cardiovascular disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... -- Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics ... Support & Other Service  The latest report ... analysis of the global Border Security market . ... $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In November ... software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/16/2016)...   EyeLock LLC , a market leader of ... an IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, ... of embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris ... security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most ... EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver a fast ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India , ... of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... provider, today announced a global partnership that will ... way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... is a key innovation area for financial services, but it ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... find the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings ... here to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, ... financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will ... its drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional ... has been an incredible strategic partner to us – ... would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: