Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Sarah H. Ledford

Second Advisor

Richard Milligan

Third Advisor

Christine Stauber

Abstract

Bacterial contamination from sanitary and combined sewer overflows, leaking sewer infrastructure, and stormwater runoff decreases urban surface water quality. This research investigates a bioremediation technique, mycofiltration, to mitigate episodic bacterial contamination in first-order urban streams, which has previously been demonstrated to work in lab experiments. The objectives are: (1) establish the spatial distribution of E. coli in the Upper South River watershed, and (2) evaluate the potential for Trametes versicolor fungal spawn to decrease E. coli concentrations when accounting for short hydrologic retention and surface water-groundwater interactions inherent in streams via a stream table experiment. The Trametes versicolor mycofilter overall reduced concentrations of E. coli, but no more than was reduced by stream sediments alone. These findings suggest the usefulness of mycofiltration may be limited by decreased contact time or hyporheic flow paths that bypass the mycelium installation.

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