Following a disaster like the back-to-back hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico in 2017, water systems can become flooded and unable to provide safe drinking water to communities. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers recognized the need for portable water treatment systems that can quickly and cost-effectively provide safe drinking water to affected communities following a disaster. To address this challenge, EPA researchers partnered with WaterStep to develop a modular, mobile water treatment system known as the Water on Wheel – Emergency Mobile Drinking Water Treatment System, or the WOW cart. EPA’s role in the partnership with WaterStep was to provide technical assistance, environmental sampling and analysis, and logistical support.
Researchers also provided expertise to expand the mobile unit’s capability with drinking water treatment and disinfection research, including granular activated carbon (GAC) and UV disinfection best practices. WaterStep designed the mobile treatment cart and provided the engineering and fabrication. The result, the WOW cart, was designed and prototypes were built.
Learn more about EPA’s work with WaterStep.