Groundwater pollution by nitrate and other nutrients is an important problem worldwide, with the main source being organic or inorganic inputs from agriculture. This can result in long-term pollution of drinking water, with loss of a valuable resource. Treatment methods for such problems should be low-technology, low-cost, practical to apply and community-based to be sustainable, particularly in rural areas. The proposed project will develop and field-test a novel in situ approach to treat groundwater contaminated by nutrients using devices installed in drinking water boreholes. In brief the device is installed vertically within a borehole and contains low-cost natural materials designed to enhance the biotransformation and removal of nitrate as the groundwater is pumped from the borehole. Using an appropriate engineering and process design the treatment efficiency can be optimised for different contaminant loads to provide treated water at the point of use. The research requires lab studies to understand the relevant biogeochemical processes involved, investigate different treatment media and field-scale pilot tests to evaluate the performance for different operational conditions.
Interested candidates should apply online via the weblink: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/apply . Applicants should submit a research proposal with their online application, based on the project description, that outlines the background to the research, proposed research questions and the methodology that you would follow to complete it. For information and informal enquiries contact: Prof Steven Thornton ([Email Address Removed]).
Applications can be made at any time. This post will remain open until filled.