The goal of this project is to understand the load of nutrients and micropollutants in the local natural water and wastewater and wastewater treatment processes. It is also intereting to see the wastewater quality after the local wastewater treatment facility's renovation to accommodate the extremely variable student population. Previous summer data have shown trace amounts of personal care products and pharmaceuticals in the local stream. To achieve the goal, we will be sampling, performing data analysis of results, performing chemical analysis, operating ion chromatography, performing liquid-liquid extraction, and operating gas chromatography. Students will be going out to sample in the wastewater treatment plant and the local streams sometimes during wet conditions. The project requires both computer, lab, and field skills.
The project requires both computer (statistics and data processing), lab (handling sewage wastewater, strong acids, strong bases, and organic solvents), and field skills (basic outdoor safety). Some knowledge of chemistry and microbiology may be helpful.