University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Wastewater Treatment & Environmental Microbiology

Wastewater Treatment

The Program has been an innovator in wastewater treatment technology since its inception. The types of wastewaters studied have included municipal, industrial, and those classified as hazardous wastes. This work has involved elements of process performance, design, operation and monitoring. Other areas of research include use of membrane bioreactors for treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater, control of chlorinated organic compound precursors, biological nutrient removal, color removal in textile wastewaters, treatment of volatile emissions from municipal wastewater treatment plants with biofilters, the stability of residual biosolids, aerobic and anaerobic digestion of sludges, and the control of trace contamainants in wastewater reuse applications.

Environmental Microbiology

Work in environmental microbiology has focused on the microbial ecology of wastewater treatment systems, bioremediation of contaminated groundwater, control of drinking water pathogens such as viruses, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia, autotrophic biological reduction of nitrate and perchlorate, biological Fe(III) reduction for remediation of acid mine drainage sites and the study of soil microcosms containing petroleum hydrocarbons. Work has also been done on chemical transformations in biologically-active filters for drinking water treatment, and on improved bioassays for determining assimilable organic carbon (AOC) and biodegradable organic carbon.

Associated Faculty

Dave Ostendorf

Chul Park

Caitlyn Butler


Example Research Projects