School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Safe Water for All, Forever

Safe Water for All, Forever

Overview

The health, happiness and prosperity of any society is inextricably linked to its ability to protect its water resources and provide clean water for its citizens.

Protecting groundwater and surface water resources, treating it to drinking water standards and assuring bathing water quality is a continuous challenge for high and low income countries.

We work locally and globally to address the policy, implementation and technology challenges of providing safe water for all, forever.

We are one of five UK universities providing a research and training programme for talented graduates in the STREAM Industrial Doctorate Training Centre for the water sector.

We have research collaborations with UK water companies and global partners everywhere in the world.

Current projects

Academic staff

Researchers

Professional support

Ceramic Filters

Ceramic water filters offer great potential for reducing the pathogen intake by people with low-quality drinking water. They are one of the most promising options to address Millennium Development Goals targets for reducing infant mortality.

Project leader

Dr Paul Sallis

Project details

A feasibility project is currently being conducted to investigate the potential for sustainable production of simple ceramic water filters in developing countries. It is sponsored by HSBC bank, and is being carried out in collaboration with Dr Siraj Islam from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Bangladesh.

Batches of filters have been produced under specific conditions (identified during several MSc and PhD projects at Newcastle) by a number of Dhaka and regional potters using only locally sourced materials and existing fabrication methods.

Initial results have shown that a four-log removal of pathogenic bacteria is typical, which equals the performance of commercial ceramic filters that are too expensive for widespread use by low-income families in developing countries.

Further production runs are planned to optimise the kiln-firing process by adapting the local sustainable firing techniques to the temperature conditions that yield the best filtration rates.

Future work will investigate the marketing strategy for widespread production by local small-scale potteries.

Academic staff

Dr Paul Sallis

Sediment Research

Sediments are the ultimate repository of many environmental pollutants discharged into surface waters. Protecting sediment habitats from pollution and remediating pollution where it occurs is a substantial challenge.

Project Leader

Dr David Werner

Project details

Persistent organic pollutants released from sediment can bioaccumulate in the aquatic food-chain and affect humans or top predators.

The comprehensive quantitative modeling of pollutant fate and availability in sediment requires a high number of parameters to properly describe the linkage between:

  • the chemical properties of pollutants
  • the sediment geochemistry
  • biology

Individual investigations have looked into various aspects of this matter, deconstructing over the past decade what used to be standard assumptions (such as the Koc paradigm).

Yet no comprehensive and widely accepted new models have evolved.

A compilation of existing interdisciplinary data in a shared database and identification of the gaps in these data are important.

These are the next steps towards an efficient, full calibration and testing of improved mechanistic models which underpin environmental assessment and sediment remediation decisions.

To meet these challenges, a group of eight universities across six countries have formed the International Network for Sediment Research, funded for two years by The Leverhulme Trust and led by Newcastle University.

Academic staff

Researchers