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.
- 1500 ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
- 1501 Water quality, pollution
- Sarah Dorner | Chairholder