Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRF) receive water after it has been used by a community and processes it to protect human health and the environment and to extract valuable resources such as energy and nutrients. Professor Glen Daigger and his team are using advancements in big data, data mining, and artificial intelligence to improve performance of the highly advanced Grand Rapids WRRF.
Gallons of water that the Grand Rapids WRRF treats annually
Number of communities served by the Grand Rapids WRRF
Population of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Implementing unique approaches to receiving and processing industrial used water (Grand Rapids is the “Beer City”), it is becoming a regional and national leader and example of this evolving paradigm.
Extracting increased value from the used water stream also means an increasingly complicated processing facility, which represents one of the challenges the WRRF is addressing. Grand Rapids is addressing this challenge by aggressively implementing advanced sensor technology to compliment traditional methods of process facility data collection. The challenge created by a significantly increased stream of data is the need to process it so that it is useful for decision-making. Fortunately developments in big data, data mining, and artificial intelligence creates the possibility of turning the data challenge into an opportunity for optimizing the facility and further improving resource efficiency.
The collaboration between Grand Rapids and the University of Michigan promises to significantly enhance Grand Rapid’s ability to extract resources from the used water stream and contribute to the sustainability of the Grand Rapids community. Learning about the opportunities created by the application of advanced sensor technology, coupled with data mining and artificial intelligence promises lessons that can be applied to other facilities, not only within the region but nationally and internationally. Thus, a further objective of the research team is to generalize their results and share them broadly.
Using autonomous sensors and valves to create “smart” stormwater systems to reduce flooding forecasting, and improve water quality.
Using wireless sensors to monitor water quality and flow conditions and to control drains to Ox Creek in Benton Harbor.
Optimizing phosphorus removal at Detroit’s water treatment facility, to keep it out of lakes and rivers.
Investigating the use of cutting-edge molecular tools that characterize and optimize water quality process performance.
Improving Benton Harbor’s aging water system using risk assessment and risk analysis techniques, as well as mobile sensors.
Limiting the volume of stormwater in the Detroit system to prevent untreated sewage from being released into the Detroit and Rouge Rivers.
Using remote sensing and security camera data to better understand how people are using the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy public spaces.
Application of real-time sensing and dynamic control on existing wastewater infrastructure to reduce the frequency and volume of Combined Sewer Overflows.
A grassroots train-the-trainer program on how to install, operate and maintain faucet-mounted point-of-use filters to protect for lead in drinking water.
Installing special toilets and urinals at a University of Michigan building to concentrate urine, sanitize it, and prepare it for re-use as fertilizer.
Professor, Environmental and Water Resources
Dr. Daigger is currently Professor of Engineering Practice at the University of Michigan and President and Founder of One Water Solutions, LLC, a water engineering and innovation firm. He previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for CH2M HILL where he was employed for 35 years, as well as Professor and Chair of Environmental Systems Engineering at Clemson University. Actively engaged in the water profession through major projects, and as author or co-author of more than 100 technical papers, four books, and several technical manuals, he contributes to significantly advance practice within the water profession. He has advised many of the major cites of the world, including New York, Los Angles, San Francisco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Istanbul, and Beijing, and is currently a member of the Asian Development Bank Water Advisory Group. Deeply involved in professional activities, he is currently co-Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), and a Past President of the International Water Association (IWA). The recipient of numerous awards, including the Kappe, Freese, and Feng lectures and the Harrison Prescott Eddy, Morgan, and the Gascoigne Awards, he is a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a Distinguished Fellow of IWA, and a Fellow of the Water Environment Federation (WEF). A member of a number of professional societies, Dr. Daigger is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineers.