Environmental & Water Resources Engineering Masters Projects

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 110
  • Publication
    (2019-01-01) Ram, Kaavya Raghavan
    Metal contamination in drinking water, especially heavy metals such as lead, and corrosion issues, pose a threat to human health and have received increasing attention in recent years. This study reports on the results of ‘The Massachusetts Assistance Program for Lead in School Drinking Water’ and provides a better understanding of the dynamics of sampling protocols, premise plumbing and their influence on lead and copper concentrations. ‘The Massachusetts Assistance Program for Lead in School Drinking Water’ that was announced in April 2016, implemented tap-based water sampling for lead and copper at K-12 public schools and Early Education and Childcare centers in Massachusetts, thus targeting the most vulnerable populations to the health risks of lead and copper exposure. The Program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and implemented by both UMass Amherst and MassDEP, saw the collection and testing of about 68,000 water samples across 992 school buildings between June 2016 and December 2018. About 44% of school buildings had one or more samples exceeding the lead AL, 9% of school buildings had one or more samples exceeding the copper AL, and another 29% had exceedances of both the lead and copper ALs. Flushing was found to have a higher impact in decreasing lead concentrations as compared to the impact on copper concentrations. A decrease in lead concentration levels is seen in schools constructed later than the year 1990, possibly indicating the implementation of lead materials control following the regulations in the 1980s and the LCR.
  • Publication
    Modeling Nature-based Solutions for Climate Resilience
    (2019-01-01) Saleeba, Mason
    Riparian wetlands can serve as nature-based infrastructure that slow the rapid movement of water during high flow events. As the recurrence of high flow events increases due to global climate change, an improved understanding of the potential of wetland landscapes to provide flood mitigation is needed. This research addresses both the impacts of climate change and land cover on extreme flow events in the Otter Creek watershed in Vermont. The upstream portion of the basin is modeled with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to investigate the impacts of climate change on extreme flow events. A Hydrologic Engineering Center's - River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) two-dimensional hydraulics model is implemented to explore the downstream response of these high flow events to land-use changes in the low-land floodplain system. Flood frequency is analyzed for the results of the hydrology model driven by climate data derived from a representative concentration pathway emission scenario (RCP8.5). Hydraulic model results demonstrate the ability of forested wetlands within the riparian corridor to substantially mitigate the impacts of flooding to downstream communities.
  • Publication
    Application of CE-QUAL-W2: Wachusett Reservoir Contaminant Spill Modeling
    (2018-05-01) Yan, William
    This research was done to investigate the fate and transport of a simulated contaminant spill into Wachusett Reservoir using the CE-QUAL-W2 model. The reservoir is located in central Massachusetts (north east of Worcester) and was first filled in 1908. The Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) uses the reservoir as a primary source of drinking water for the metropolitan Boston area. The 65-billion-gallon reservoir is replenished by 9 tributaries and also supplemented by the transfer of water from Quabbin Reservoir (412 billion-gallon capacity) through the Quabbin Aqueduct. This transfer is used to meet system water demands, manage the water surface elevation at the Wachusett Reservoir and improve Wachusett water quality. The MWRA withdraws reservoir water at the Cosgrove Intake (CIT) where it flows by gravity to the John J. Carroll Water Treatment Plant at Walnut Hill in Marlborough.
  • Publication
    Development of Application Software for Water System Data Management, Visualization, and Analysis With the Shiny Framework
    (2018-05-01) Zinck, Nicholas
    A comprehensive watershed protection plan includes the collection of water quality, meteorological, and hydrological data. Large amounts of data can be difficult to manage if proper systems are not put in place for data management. Poor data management can be detrimental and may result in data loss, poor quality data, or underutilized data due to the lack of an efficient process of querying, visualizing, and analyzing data. Database software is a great solution to store and organize large datasets, yet database software often lack data visualization and analysis tools. Commonly, databases are paired with an outside application specialized for data querying, visualization, and analysis. In this work, two applications were developed with a free and open source application development framework, Shiny, in the R programming language, for facilitated water system data management by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) (RStudio 2013). One application is designed for facilitated database data entry and the other for facilitated data visualization and analysis. This project is a product of the collaboration between UMass Amherst and the DCR.