RCC to host talk about water sustainability

Dr. Charles Bott

HRSD’s Dr. Charles Bott samples a glass of the purified water produced in the SWIFT pilot project. Dr. Bott will speak about SWIFT at RCC on April 5.

On Wednesday, April 5, Rappahannock Community College’s Environmental Sustainability Committee and its Math and Science Club will co-sponsor a talk about SWIFT (Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow) from 12:25 to 1:25 p.m. in the lecture halls at the Glenns and Warsaw campuses. The speaker will be Dr. Charles B. Bott, director of water technology and research for the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD).

SWIFT is an innovative water purification project in eastern Virginia, which is designed to protect the region’s environment, enhance the sustainability of its long-term groundwater supply, and help address environmental issues such as Chesapeake Bay restoration, sea level rise, and saltwater intrusion. The project will take already-treated wastewater that would otherwise be discharged into the Elizabeth, James, or York rivers and purify it through additional rounds of advanced water treatment to meet drinking-water standards. The purified water will then be added to the Potomac aquifer, the primary source of groundwater throughout eastern Virginia. According to swiftva.com, “HRSD is proactively turning Used into Useful to help the Bay, replenish and protect groundwater, fight sea level rise, and support Virginia’s economy.”

As well as managing technology innovation for HRSD’s 13 wastewater treatment plants and collection system, Dr. Bott is an adjunct professor in the departments of civil and environmental engineering at both Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University. He has held multiple leadership and committee roles within the Water Environment Federation, and has served on numerous project oversight subcommittees for the Water Environment Research Foundation. Bott’s other professional affiliations include the International Water Association and the Chesapeake Bay Program Executive Council, where he serves on the Science and Technical Advisory Committee. He has received numerous awards not only for his scientific work but also for teaching and research.