Faculty Advisor

John Bergendahl

Faculty Advisor

Jeanine D. Plummer


Source water protection is important to maintain public health by keeping harmful pathogens out of drinking water. Non-point source pollution is often times a major contributor of pollution to surface waters, and this form of pollution can be difficult to quantify. This study examined physical, chemical, and microbiological water quality parameters that may indicate pollution and may help to identify sources of pollution. These included measures of organic matter, particles, and indicator organisms (fecal coliforms and E. coli). The parameters were quantified in the West Boylston Brook, which serves as a tributary to the Wachusett Reservoir and is part of the drinking water supply for the Metropolitan Boston area. Water quality was determined over four seasons at seven locations in the brook that were selected to isolate specific land uses. The water quality parameters were first analyzed for trends by site and by season. Then, a correlation analysis was performed to determine relationships among the water quality parameters. Lastly, ANOVA analyses were used to determine statistically significant variations in water quality along the tributary.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Civil & Environmental Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Conductivity, pH, Dissolved Oxygen, UV absorbance, Source Water, Surface Water, Dissolved Organic Carbon, Total Organic Carbon, Particle Counts, Turbidity, E. coli, Fecal Coliforms, West Boylston Brook, Wachusett Reservoir, source water protection, surface water protection, Water, Pollution, Water-supply$zMassachusetts$zBoston