Purdue University is one of two institutions to receive funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for water quality research. The university will receive $2 million to study how to improve the quality of drinking water in plumbing systems under low flow conditions.
The EPA says Purdue will look at home and LEED office buildings in order to "develop integrated water quality models and identify piping network design and operational conditions that can decrease health risks." The models will ultimately be used as part of a tool to identify the characteristics, operations and maintenance practices within premise plumbing systems to minimize any health risks to consumers.
Premise plumbing is described by the EPA as the portion of a drinking water distribution system located within a building, including pipes, valves and faucets. The agency says, as water consumption decreases due to lower flows, water quality could be negatively impacted.
"Providing clean drinking water is an essential part of EPA’s mission to protect public health, and these efforts should focus from the source to the faucet," said Thomas Burke, agency science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. "The research announced today will guide decision makers as they design, renovate, or manage plumbing systems to provide safe and clean drinking water."
The project is expected to run through September 2019. Drexel University in Philadelphia is the other institution awarded funding by the EPA.