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University Of Arizona Will Use $1.2M Grant To Help Make Drinking Water Safer

Engineers at the University of Arizona received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to find ways to make drinking water safer.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are hazardous chemicals often found in water. The process most-widely used to purify water and make it safe to drink is expensive.

Reyes Sierra, professor in the department of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, says the project will seek a cheaper and easier method.

“So these types of chemicals are really difficult to degrade, to destroy chemically or biologically so our method focuses on using sorbents that we will develop in our lab to remove PFAS from the groundwater," said Sierra.

Sierra says these chemicals have been connected with causing cancer and low birth weights.

Chloe Jones is a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication focusing on multimedia digital storytelling, expecting to graduate in May 2019. Jones also has a minor in Spanish and a minor in philosophy. She is passionate about journalism because she knows how important it is to give a voice to those who need to be heard. Jones joined the KJZZ team as an intern in September 2018.Jones was raised right here in Tempe, Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys teaching and practicing yoga, running outside (when it’s not too hot) and enjoying the outdoors. If she is not doing any of those things, she is probably taking a nap after binge-watching Netflix.