As a thunderstorm passes through the area, graduate students are busy collecting stormwater samples from all over the Greater Philadelphia region. They drop their sample bottles on the benchtop in the Water Resources Lab where the team will then test the water quality.
The team of over 15 graduate students diligently collect stormwater samples from a storm or a baseflow event every month for Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) that are located on Villanova’s campus and across the Philadelphia Metro area. The stormwater is tested for nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous which are vital for plant growth but considered pollution in streams and rivers. Some stormwater samples are tested for heavy metals such as lead and chromium which are pollutants that come from cars and are often found in stormwater.
The Water Resources Laboratory processes stormwater samples for the Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems which provides undergraduate and graduate students with invaluable research and experience with different engineered solutions and how they can improve water quality.