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The Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) has awarded funding for Phase I of an emerging contaminants research project to Dr. Marcia Silva and Dr. Sakib Mahmud of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The objective of Phase I is to study consumer awareness of emerging contaminants and what messages motivate a decision to treat their water.
"To study messaging is a new area for WQRF but not uncommon in the public health field," WQRF Foundation Relations and Research Manager Kim Redden said. "Many researchers study how different communications methods influence health behaviors. This type of research helps the public health field decide what communication channels will be most successful for the desired health outcome — in this case, to install water treatment."
Research objectives include the following:
Phase I research is expected to begin in January 2021 and be completed by September. Researchers will conduct a comprehensive online consumer survey of 2,400 households that is representative of the U.S. population across all 50 states using stratified random sampling method to address the research questions.
Results will be reviewed, with input from state and local authorities and the American Water Works Association, to identify and prioritize the Phase II treatment efficacy study. Phase II priorities will be studying emerging contaminants of highest concern that are not being removed from treatment plants and without existing known POU/POE technology or certification standards to validate removal.
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