The 2019 GRC on Water Disinfection, Byproducts and Health will present frontier research in engineering, chemistry, toxicology, epidemiology and regulation to address emerging issues in the provision of safe drinking water. Multiple global issues, including contaminated and diminishing water supplies, demand innovative treatment technologies for effective treatment of new and existing water sources to provide safe drinking water to consumers. Different source waters (e.g. domestic and industrial wastewater impacted sources) require different disinfection strategies and therefore generate different types and amounts of disinfection byproducts (DBPs). Many water utilities prioritize the reduction of specific DBPs to comply with regulatory guidelines, when choosing disinfection treatment processes. However, a treatment process that yields low levels of the regulated DBPs may actually produce higher amounts of other more toxic DBPs. This raises new challenges in balancing microbial and chemical risks. Epidemiological studies have shown potential associations of DBPs with increased risk of bladder and colorectal cancers as well as adverse developmental effects. However, the DBPs responsible for the observed health effects remain unclear; hundreds of DBPs have been identified, but majority are still unidentified. These knowledge gaps present challenges in choosing treatment strategies, monitoring water quality, assessing health risks, and improving regulatory guidelines.
This high impact conference will feature mechanistic studies on DBP formation, innovative engineering solutions for treatment of natural and impacted water and removal of DBPs, state-of-the-art analytical and toxicological technologies for identification of DBPs of health relevance, molecular mechanisms of toxicity, integrated surveillance and epidemiological assessment of DBP exposure, and an overview of regulatory challenges in this important field. The Gordon Research Seminar provides a unique opportunity to enhance the conference experience for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. An entire Sunday will be dedicated to the presentations organized by emerging investigators to highlight their research contributions and network among their peers. The conference will actively promote international multidisciplinary research collaborations to address emerging issues relating to the management of water sources, their disinfection, and the unintended formation of DBPs, and subsequent human exposure with the goal of maintaining sustainable safe drinking water.
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by October 15, 2018. Please check back for updates.
- From the Source to Tap: Disinfection Engineering, Chemistry, Monitoring and Quality Control
- Health Effects: Exposure and Epidemiological Assessment
- Regulatory Pathways Forward for Addressing Pathogens, DBPs and Unintended Consequences
- New Challenges in Treatment and Water Reuse
- Multidisciplinary Approaches to Addressing Emerging Issues of Sustainable Safe Drinking Water
- Challenges in Water Disinfection: Balancing Microbial and Chemical Risks
- Advanced Analytical and Toxicological Technologies for Characterization of DBPs
- Mechanistic Toxicology Studies of DBPs
- Disinfection and Chemistry