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Canada Research Chair in Microbial Contaminant Dynamics in Source Waters

Phone: (514) 340-4711 Ext. 3951

Research areas description

Modern water treatment has drastically reduced waterborne diseases in the developed world. Still, several large outbreaks have happened, each linked to municipal drinking water sources. Many followed periods of heavy rainfall.

The presence of enteric pathogens (living organisms in or from the intestines) and other microbial contaminants in water has been linked to environmental conditions. Cyanobacteria (photosynthetic bacteria) have been observed in increasing frequency in surface waters, and exposure to cyanobacteria toxins has led to both animal and human deaths.

Dr. Sarah Dorner, Canada Research Chair in Microbial Contaminant Dynamics in Source Waters, is developing computer models to help us understand the fundamental processes governing the fate and transport of microbial contaminants in water under changing environmental conditions. Using state-of-the-art instruments, she is measuring these contaminants and learning how weather conditions and human activities in a watershed impact water quality.

Dorner's work will improve our understanding of the processes that lead to microbial contamination of water sources, and will develop new models to help protect our drinking water supplies.

Research interests

Expertise type(s) (NSERC subjects)
  • 1501 Water quality, pollution

Research staff

Professors / researchers (1)

Press review about Canada Research Chair in Microbial Contaminant Dynamics in Source Waters

November 6, 2015, CBC News, Montreal sewage dump review by scientific panel urges caution Entrevues de Sarah Dorner, titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada sur la dynamique des contaminants microbiens dans les sources d'approvisionnement en eau et membre du Centre de recherche, développement et validation des technologies et procédés de traitement des eaux. 
October 28, 2015, Métro - Montréal, #Flushgate: Savez-vous vraiment ce qui sera déversé ? « La station d’épuration ne désinfecte pas les eaux usées, donc ça ne changera pas grand-chose.» Propos de Sarah Dorner, professeure agrégée à Polytechnique Montréal et titulaire d’une chaire de recherche sur la protection des eaux potables.