Dr. Rand's research is focused on drinking water treatment, particularly for small-scale systems, including water quality in the distribution system, disinfection, and nutrient management. The research team consists mainly of undergraduate engineering students at Acadia, but we are always looking for graduate students in any related program at Acadia. Dr. Rand's adjunct status with Dalhousie University also allows her to supervise students through engineering graduate programs at Dalhousie.

If you are interested in working on Dr. Rand's research team - as an undergraduate student, graduate student or co-op student - please feel free to contact her by email or phone.
UV Point of Application

In recent years the use of UV light in treatment of drinking water has expanded due to its ability to combat chlorine-resistant pathogens and due to the minimum formation of disinfection byproducts. However, limited research has been conducted to examine the interactions between UV light and other disinfectants that are used in the drinking water treatment process. Dr. Rand has completed studies that considered the impact of bacterial regrowth when UV light is utilized as a secondary disinfectant compared to primary treatment. In addition, the effects that UV light has on disinfectant residual in a treatment stream were also investigated.

Disinfection Synergy

Disinfection of drinking water entering a distribution system is the last treatment step, and in some small-scale systems the only treatment, before the water reaches the consumer. Utilities struggle with achieving log reductions of pathogens without surpassing standards regarding disinfection byproducts (DBPs). It has been shown in previous studies that synergy exists between some disinfectants that allows for improved reduction of pathogens. However, knowledge in this research area is very limited and few papers exist that focus on disinfection synergy for drinking water treatment. Dr. Rand has expanded this knowledge base through various studies on synergistic benefits in reducing bacteria in drinking water. Work has included four field studies where combinations of UV light and chlorine-based disinfectants were investigated for synergistic benefits in reducing bulk water and biofilm heterotrophic bacteria. Dr. Rand also has developed an acute synergy test standard operating procedure (SOP) in order to investigate synergistic effects between disinfectants for the reduction of microbial pathogens.

Alternative Disinfection Methods  

Due to more stringent standards with regards to disinfectants and their byproducts (i.e., Stage II D/DBP Rule, USEPA) interest in alternative disinfectants in the drinking water industry has grown. Dr. Rand has conducted several experiments that compare the effectiveness of various disinfection strategies on heterotrophic bacteria, E. coli, nitrification, biofilm formation, and other common issues in distribution systems. Disinfectants considered include UV light, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, chloramines, chlorite, and combinations of UV and chlorine-based disinfectants. Research has included studies in warm and cool climates, as well as within laboratory settings and in field locations. The effect of these disinfection alternatives on subsequent water treatment processes has also been considered.

      Nutrient Management

Nova Scotia and other Canadian provinces have implemented significant changes in drinking water strategies and guidelines in the past decade. In addition, the general public is becoming more invested in water issues facing their local utilities and Canada as a whole. Although initiatives are necessary to protect public health, systems that fail to meet new standards will need technology and resource upgrades to comply. This is particularly troublesome for rural municipalities where water utilities generate little income. To compound the problem, these areas often rely heavily on the agriculture industry, which can negatively impact water sources. Some utilities are faced with serious issues that can be difficult to treat, including elevated nitrogen levels. Treatment of these contaminants can be an intimidating and expensive task for small-scale systems and utilities often opt to shut down contaminated sources to maintain compliance. Dr. Rand's research in the future will look to develop non-conventional treatment options for small-scale drinking water systems dealing with elevated source water nitrogen levels.  

Dr. Jennie L. Rand - Assistant Professor
Ivan Curry School of Engineering
Acadia University, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
Phone: 902-585-1519Fax: 902-585-1519