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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 30, 2005

Valentine Receives $200,000 Grant To Study Drinking Water Contaminants

Richard Valentine, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the University of Iowa College of Engineering, has received a two-year, $200,000 grant from the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF) to study environmental contaminants in drinking water systems, effective Jan. 1.

The project will look at the accumulation of regulated inorganic contaminants and naturally occurring radionuclides in the scales, or interior coatings, and sediments contained in water distribution system pipelines as well as residential and institutional plumbing systems. Valentine's colleagues on the project -- which totals about $500,000 for all institutions involved -- include researchers from the UI, the University of Washington, Seattle and HDR, Inc., a nationwide architectural, engineering and environmental consulting firm.

"Work at Iowa will focus on radionuclides such as radium, uranium and radon," said Valentine, who also serves as a researcher in the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, as well as an environmental assessment investigator in the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center. "We will investigate the mode of occurrence and possible correlation of the accumulation of inorganics and radionuclides with water qualities, pipe materials, and water sources.

"Ultimately, the project will help utilities predict those distribution systems particularly at risk from this type of contamination problem and determine regulatory consequences," he said.

In September of 2005 Valentine was awarded a two-year, $150,000 AWWARF grant for a study of the processes leading to recent increases in lead concentrations in drinking water.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu