Civil & Environmental Engineering

Faculty Advisor(s)

Timothy Dittrich

Document Type



Various pollutants including pesticides, herbicides, automotive fluids, and excess nutrients from fertilizers are found in high concentrations in urban runoff. There are many technologies that can be used to control and redirect the water flow such as retention basins, constructed wetlands, and rain gardens; however, these methods are specifically focused on controlling water and not necessarily the nutrients and contaminants in the water. There has recently been an increased interest in the potential for using additional materials (e.g., compost, charcoal) to enhance the pollution treatment ability by either adding them to the soil or by engineering prefilters to remove pollutants from urban run off before the water enters the biosphere. This project will investigate the capability of biochar, a relatively inexpensive form of charcoal, at removing pollutant concentrations from urban runoff. Various biochar materials will be tested with differing copper concentrations to understand which material is optimal.


Environmental Engineering | Environmental Health and Protection | Hydrology