Research & Technology

We maintain an industry-leading research and development program that is designed to enhance our services, help ensure compliance, and shape a more sustainable future.

As part of our R&D and innovation efforts, we are working with research institutions and partners to develop and pilot new technology advances.

We collaborate on a significant number of our research projects with many stakeholders, including governmental entities (such as the USEPA), consultants, universities, other utilities, and research agencies (such as the Water Research Foundation, WateReuse Research Foundation, and the Water Environment Research Foundation). We also participate and collaborate with numerous state and local organizations through our state-regulated entities.

Central Laboratory

Our lab in Belleville, Illinois, supports research through sophisticated testing and analysis. Since its inception, our research and development program has evolved to become a leading water-related research program, achieving advancements in the science of drinking water and wastewater.

The testing done in Belleville sets the standard for water utilities, and is truly ahead of its time. The lab has a history of being on the forefront of monitoring, testing, identifying and controlling contaminants before specific federal regulations are put in place. Our highly sophisticated analytical and research capabilities are why the United States Environmental Protection Agency regularly taps into our lab and our research team to help develop federal drinking water standards and regulations.

Our Innovation Development Process 

In 2009, we launched our Innovation Development Process (IDP) to seek out innovations and leverage them for our customers and the water industry.

Using the IDP, we have examined more than 600 technologies to date and are actively pursuing a dozen partnerships with domestic and international partners. This helps us to create greater efficiencies in the areas of water reuse, desalination, wastewater operations, and bio-energy. We use an open collaboration model in four key areas:

  • Water treatment and distribution
  • Wastewater treatment and collection
  • Biosolids management
  • Energy management at the water–energy nexus

To continue providing improved services, it is essential to invest in new technology to ensure that our existing infrastructure is replaced in a timely manner.