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Water Treatment



Microvi technology used to treat nitrate contamination in Californian groundwater


7th December 2018

Microvi Biotech has been selected to treat nitrate for the Cucamonga Valley Water District (CVWD) in Rancho Cucamonga, California. A contract was awarded to WesTech Engineering to design and build a full-scale groundwater nitrate treatment solution, featuring the breakthrough Microvi MNE technology. The project is a collaborative delivery between WesTech and CVWD and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2019.

The multi-million-dollar turnkey project will reduce nitrate contamination without producing a significant waste stream allowing CVWD to cost effectively restore production from a critical groundwater resource. The full-scale system has the potential to provide over 2 billion gallons of clean drinking water annually by bringing three wells back online.

Ensuring a reliable and robust water supply is critical in the Rancho Cucamonga region, where economic investment and population growth continue to thrive. 

CVWD awarded the contract to WesTech after a thorough evaluation of Microvi MNE as the best candidate to meet rigorous technical requirements and an aggressive timeline. Key areas assessed by the District include lifecycle costs, ease of operation, robustness and the lack of secondary waste production. 

“We have concluded the WesTech Microvi MNE technology is the right solution to advance our commitment to maximize local water resources in a cost-effective, sustainable manner,” said John Bosler, Assistant General Manager of CVWD.

Nitrate is one of the world’s leading groundwater pollutants,” said Dr. Fatemeh Shirazi, CEO and CTO of Microvi. “Microvi MNE provides a sustainable alternative to decades-old technologies which produce a significant waste stream—this means we can enable more communities to access clean water, equitably and affordably.”

“WesTech’s 45 years of expertise in water and wastewater solutions engineering and equipment design, along with experience providing turnkey solutions, allows us to eliminate unnecessary steps and move forward on time and within budget,” said Rex Plaizier, CEO of 

WesTech. “Using the Microvi MNE process, the new facility should have a 98.5% water recovery rate from the wells resulting in a very low 20-year life-cycle cost for the District.” 

Microvi MNE, the next generation biological solution for water and wastewater treatment, combines proprietary Microvi technology (MicroNiche Engineering) with proprietary WesTech process equipment for a groundbreaking approach to biological treatment. 

An installation of Microvi MNE at Sunny Slope Water Company in Pasadena, CA, has been operating for close to two years and delivering over 200 million gallons of clean water annually. Microvi MNE is approved by the California Division of Drinking Water and has received NSF/ANSI61 consumer safety certification for use in treating drinking water. 

Microvi MNE is a single pass system that requires minimal operation time and maintenance, while eliminatingthe need for biosolids treatment and disposal. Customized integrations of the Microvi MNE process for various applications have provided consistent nitrate removal with a significantly smaller footprint, minimal biosolids production, reduced pumping and aeration requirements, and reduced energy costs. The solution is operator friendly, stable, robust, and can be used in existing infrastructure.

The technology uses novel biocatalytic composites (biocatalysts) that intensify biological processes, while maintaining a controlled population of microorganisms at a much higher density than existing technologies. Despite the complexity of the biocatalysts themselves, the design and operation of the systems are simple. Microvi’s technologies have been implemented in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. for drinking water, municipal wastewater, and industrial applications.  

WesTech has a global alliance agreement to commercialize the breakthrough Microvi MNE solution for the water and wastewater industries.