The UMass Amherst Office of News and Media Relations has produced a new video about the research of Assistant Professor Emily Kumpel from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Kumpel works on strategies to make drinking water safe for the billion people worldwide who have only an intermittent water supply.
As Kumpel explains on the sound track of the enlightening new video, “At least one billion people a day go to turn on their tap and no water comes out. The pipe’s water only runs intermittently for a few hours a day or a few hours per week. One of the main issues with intermittently supplied water systems is that the pipes are no longer under pressure.”
According to Kumpel, contamination can get into the pipes through leaks and cracks, which are very normal for a distribution system. Unfortunately, this contamination creates a great environment for waterborne pathogens that cause diseases such as typhoid or cholera.
“So the focus of my research,” says Kumpel, “is bringing together the engineering, environmental, and human systems. The whole idea is to be able to find operational strategies that utility engineers can use right away to enable the provision of safe water and sanitation for people around the world.” (December 2018)