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Current Projects

In 2016, the U.S. government provided our multi-university team a $1,989,000 grant to initiate this project. Amazing organizations from the building construction, plumbing, water utility, education, and public health sectors also kicked in a match of $1,100,000. Together, we are working to understand how to make certain the drinking water you use at home, at work, and schools is safe. The title of the project is “Right Sizing Tomorrow's Water Systems for Efficiency, Sustainability, and Public Health".

EPA Project Goal and Objectives

Our goal is to better understand and predict building drinking water quality and health risks posed by declining water usage and low flows. This project involves an extensive review of scientific literature, technical workshops with our Partners, drinking water monitoring and testing of buildings, and feedback from the public. During the project, results will be made publicly available.

During the project we plan to:

  1. Test the predictability of integrated water distribution system-premise plumbing models the project team develops and calibrates for residential and commercial buildings;
  2. Identify the most significant determinant(s) of tap water quality in these systems; and
  3. Identify water system design and operational conditions that pose increased human health risks.

Our Partners include:

  • Educational Institutions
  • Architecture and Building Design Firms
  • Water Utilities
  • Construction, Water, Health, and Environmental Associations and Networks
  • Technology Companies
  • See a list of our partners

City of Desoto Project Goal and Objectives

In 2017, the City of Desoto, Texas provided Purdue University funding to help the City of Desoto understand the degree to which crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) plastic pipe in building plumbing influences drinking water odor. Specific objectives of this work are to: (1) Conduct an onsite visit, interview Desoto staff, review drinking water customer complaint and water quality distribution records, and (2) Conduct in-building water sampling in select locations and characterize chemical leaching from new PEX pipe brands used by builders in Desoto. Results will be made available once the project is completed. Contact Dr. Andrew Whelton ( to participate in this project.

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