Meire Mehare SURF SMART
Developing an Air Cathode Assisted Iron Electrocoagulation System to Remove Arsenic from Contaminated Drinking Water in Central California
Arsenic is a toxic carcinogen causing multiple forms of cancer and low IQ in children. In California, about 55,000 people are exposed to high levels of arsenic via their community water systems. As current technologies are too costly or complex to implement, the Gadgil lab is developing an affordable and effective technology, called Air Cathode Assisted Iron Electrocoagulation (ACAIE) at community scale. In this project, to test ACAIE outside of the lab, my graduate student mentor and I are working with an elementary school in Central California that is currently out of compliance in terms of the arsenic in their drinking water. The projects summer focus is on field implementation and engineering design to test the efficacy of ACAIE in removing arsenic from real California groundwater. I will assist our team in setting up the 6-week field trial in Central California, monitoring water quality parameters, and evaluating technology performance over time. At the UCB lab, I will utilize analytical instruments to characterize the treated water from the field and to help improve the technology based on reactor design and operating conditions.