The WERF Nutrient Challenge is a multi-year collaborative research initiative established in 2007 to develop and provide current information about wastewater treatment nutrients (specifically nitrogen and phosphorus in wastewater), their characteristics, and bioavailability in aquatic environments to help regulators make informed decisions. The Nutrient Challenge will also provide data on nutrient removal so that treatment facilities can select sustainable, cost-effective methods and technologies to meet permit limits. To meet these goals, the Nutrient Challenge has teamed with a wide array of utilities, agencies, consultants, universities and other researchers and practitioners to collaborate on projects that advance these goals. The Nutrient Challenge is focusing on a different approach to collaborating and leveraging resources (financial and intellectual) on research projects by targeting existing projects and research that correspond with its goals and funding those aspects that the Nutrient Challenge identified as a priority. Because the Nutrient Challenge is focused on collaboration, outreach is an absolutely necessary component of its effectiveness. Through workshops, webinars, a web portal and online compendium, published papers, and conference lectures, the Nutrient Challenge is both presenting important new information, and soliciting new partnerships.
Keywords: limit of technology, nitrogen removal, phosphorus removal, regulatory impacts