CEE researchers have created a new way to remove contaminants from storm water, addressing the needs of water-stressed communities searching to tap the abundant and yet underused source of fresh drinking water.
“The way we treat storm water, especially in California, is broken. We think of it as a pollutant, but we should be thinking about it as a solution,” said Joseph Charbonnet, CEE graduate student.
“Before we built the buildings, roads and parking lots that comprise our cities, rainwater would percolate into the ground and recharge groundwater aquifers,” said CEE Professor David Sedlak, co-director of the Berkeley Water Center.
“As utilities in water stressed regions try to figure out how to get urban storm water back into the ground, the issue of water quality has become a major concern. Our coated sands represent an inexpensive, new approach that can remove many of the contaminants that pose risks to groundwater systems where storm water is being infiltrated.”
The team details the finding Aug. 30 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
See Engineered sand zaps storm water pollutants (Berkeley News, 8.30.18)