Civil and Environmental Engineering MS Thesis Defense: Emily Heleva-Ponaski
Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 2:00pm

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is pleased to announce Emily Heleva-Ponaski's MS Thesis Defense: "Removal Efficiencies, Uptake Mechanisms, and Competitive Effects Observed in Various Stormwater Filter Media."

Date: Thursday, June 7 2018
Time: 2:00pm
Location: Engineering Building 350
Adviser: Dr. Gwynn Johnson

Polluted stormwater, if not treated, can compromise water quality throughout our hydrologic cycle, adversely affecting aquatic ecosystems. Common stormwater pollutants, copper and zinc, have been identified as primary toxicants in multiple freshwater and marine environments. For small-scale generators, stormwater management can be cumbersome and implementation of common BPMs impractical thus catch basins are popular though not the most environmentally conscience and sustainable option. This study aims to characterize the potential of a mobile media filter operation for the treatment and on-site recycling of catch basin stormwater. The removal capacities of various commercially available filter media (e.g. a common perlite; Earthlite™, a medium largely composed of biochars; and Filter33™, a proprietary porous medium) were measured using binary injection solutions modeled after local catch basin stormwater characteristics. The results of filtration experiments conducted indicate that the transport of metals in Perlite is primarily impacted by nonspecific sorption whereas in Earthlite™ and Filter33™ both nonspecific and specific sorption are present. In all, this research indicates that test parameters (i.e. pH, competitive ions solutions, empty bed contact time, flow rate) based on the natural environment and field scale operation can greatly impact removal efficiency in filter media.