Molly Ahearne, Emily Aldrich, Cara Bereznai, Simon Escapa, and Bianca Espinoza
The population boom of Uganda is resulting in the exhaustion of current water sources as well as an increase in water pollution and diseases. Due to Uganda´s high rainfall records, rainwater catchers are a viable solution. Another solution would be to give the population further education on the maintenance of the new sources to keep up their efficiencies.
Jacob Alexander, Cynthia Bukowski, Zulean Cruz-Diaz, Crystalin Harris, and Seth MacDonald
Stormwater runoff and combined sewer outputs have been contributing to nitrogen excesses leading to “dead zones” in the Long Island Sound for over 100 years. Our project aims to slow and possibly neutralize the cause of these nitrogen excesses to aid in the effort to clean the Sound. Our goal was to provide evidence in favor of small scale stormwater runoff reduction solutions in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut as an additive measure to the separation of combined sewers that run within the city’s boundaries. We found these measures to be effective and therefore recommend their implementation.
Jacob Arnold, Marisa Lee, Matthew Upham, Justin Vitiello, and Drew Wethern
Along the Mississippi River, the heavy usage of nitrogen fertilizer is causing eutrophication, leading to the formation of a Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico [IX]. This Dead Zone is uninhabitable to all marine life, harming the environment and the local economy.
Daniel Bettigole, Logan Brown, Monineath Khun, and Caroline Muirhead
The problem is that the Cape Cod Aquifer is contaminated with Organic Wastewater Compounds (OWCs), from the overuse of septic tanks. We analyzed a case study in New Jersey and compared that solution with other solutions. After evaluating them, we have decided that a sewage treatment system similar to the one in New Jersey would be the best solution to reduce the concentration of these OWCs in Cape Cod.
Nicholas Borowski, Benjamin Dringoli, Matthew Murphy, Erik Paulson, and Kelly Sheehan
Fryeburg, ME is the site of an ongoing conflict with Nestlé Waters. This conflict concerns unfair pumping of the town’s water as well as the contract between Nestlé and the town water company itself. The goal of this project is to create a compromise that allows both the town and Nestlé to prosper off the natural resources in the area while making sure that the environment as well as the community is not harmed. We are suggesting a shorter and more flexible contract that appeases both the town and Nestlé.
Poster Presentation, Judges Award (2013)
Caitlin Burner, Shanel Chisholm, David Laovoravit, Gina Rios, and Alexander Ruggiero
Cyanobacteria are microorganisms that are important in the formation of the earth’s atmosphere as well as in the process of nitrogen fixation. In Lake Okeechobee, algae blooms of Anabaena and Microcystis strains of toxic cyanobacteria have been increasing since 1987. Due to an increase of the water level, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been forced to release water from the lake, allowing the cyanobacteria and nutrients to flow into the waterways. We researched multiple methods of cyanobacteria filtration and compiled what we believe are the most effective methods into one system. We recommend the use of filtration strip switchgrass and filtration plates to filter out the nitrogen and phosphorous and remove the cyanobacteria in the long term.
Brendan Casey, Annie McDonald-Schwartz, Julia Pershken, Derek Porter, and Tara Sharp
Oftentimes produced water from hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale region is not treated and disposed of properly because drilling companies are taking advantage of loose regulations. Hydraulic fracturing is exempt from many federal regulations, including the Federal Safe Water Drinking Act, which allows drilling companies to be careless when dealing with their produced water. However, some western states such as Wyoming, Utah, and Texas have strong regulatory frameworks that allow hydraulic fracturing to thrive, but in a safer manner. If local and state governments in the Marcellus Shale region tailor a plan similar to the ones of Wyoming, Utah, and Texas, then hydraulic fracturing could flourish throughout the United States.
Annemarie Daddis, Sean Deans, Meghan Hickey, Brendan Kling, and Joseph Tomaino
Pilgrim Nuclear Power station in Plymouth, MA, is the target of much debate, mostly about how dangerous it is for the people of Cape Cod due to some catastrophic event or radioactive leakage. The chance of either happening is incredibly small, but even still the people of Cape Cod voted to close the plant. The real problem is with the local marine wildlife, which pilgrim, like any other power plant, proves to be a constant threat.
Veronica Delaney, Thomas Farro, Jeffrey Letourneau, Alexander O'Brien, and Samuel Young
The chemical breakdown of plastics in the Pacific Ocean releases BPA, a known lipophilic endocrine disruptor(i) . The effects of this chemical are particularly felt in Alaska due to converging ocean currents and a traditional high-fat diet(i) . We focused on a long term solution and a short term fix to this growing issue. To minimize human exposure to such harmful substances, we propose modified filtration systems on statewide sources of plastic waste and, on a local level; prevent the consumption of and contact with substances that contain BPA(iii,iv) .
Poster Presentation, People's Choice Winner (2013)
Ian De Lisle, Austin Higgins, Jason McKinney, Kevin Ouellette, and Brendan Sullivan
Nitrogen runoff in locations that rely almost exclusively on septic systems for wastewater management is causing water quality issues in local bodies of water, like ponds, lakes and watersheds. This excess nitrogen causes plant life to die, allows bacteria and algae to thrive and gives bodies of water a murky green discoloration. Orleans, Massachusetts has drafted several plans to solve this problem, but they keep getting voted down at town meetings due to high costs. The purpose of this project is to find and develop efficient and cost effective methods to augment these drafted plans and reduce costs to a level which meets public approval. The method we recommend is the use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). These cells clean wastewater, remove between 60 and 90 percent of the nitrogen, use little energy to operate, and create some electricity in the process. This means when implemented in a centralized treatment plant, MFCs can significantly reduce the long term cost of a wastewater treatment project.
Anthony DiBiasio, Thomas Flannery, Julia Scott, Ellen Thomson, and Rui Yu
High concentrated nutrient runoff is a prominent issue in the cranberry growing industry. White Island Pond, located in Plymouth/Wareham, MA, shows the effects of this runoff. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection identified this pond as impaired in 2009, and a budget and plan was organized to improve the quality of the water. Cranberry bogs were pinpointed as a source of pollution for White Island Pond, and a filtration method was devised and employed. Among the plan of action for this pond, responsibilities were assigned to guarantee that the quality of the water is maintained. Many solutions were researched and riparian buffers were concluded to be the most viable Best Management Practice. It is recommended that Plymouth and Wareham apply this plan through a community service projects.