Ever since Enos Inniss came to MU as an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering a short time ago, he has kept remarkably busy on various research projects involving water quality and safety.
Enos Inniss describes the process of taking his work from lab-based and pilot scale to real-world and full-scale, a process that allows him to isolate specific variables and raise pertinent questions. “The pilot system is where you start to ask those questions, get those design parameters, in many cases operating parameters, that help you with the operation of the system,” he explains.
As water regulations change, Inniss and his team are looking into ways to help personnel streamline required modifications to water plants. Meeting these regulations is of the utmost importance as far as public health is concerned.
Several groups of people are involved in Inniss’ water plant research: the regulatory agency, the treatment facility, the consultants, and MU. “There are several entities responsible for water quality, and for improvements to the water quality," he notes. “We work with them, and we feel like we’re a component in that whole structure.”
When a new water quality regulation is introduced, the makeup of the source water must be compared to the updated requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act in order to determine which substances need to be removed from the water and which need to be added.
In the United States, chemicals like chlorine are used to disinfect drinking water. While these chemicals are highly successful in killing waterborne diseases, some negative by-products are left behind in the water. “We are trying to find a balance between adding that disinfectant to our water and then having to deal with some of the other things that may happen as a result,” Inniss explains.
Inniss’ students are regularly involved in his research projects, graduates and undergraduates alike. “They want to see what we’re doing outside of the classroom; they want to see the applications of the stuff that we’re actually teaching them,” he says.
Just as his students have benefited from their participation in the research process, so has Inniss: “I think the research also helps with the classroom experience—teaching—from the standpoint that there are real-world experiences that I can share."