Unique within the CENSAM program, a key goal of the nonpoint-source water-quality project has been practice-oriented graduate education through the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. The M.Eng. program is a professional educational program established in 1995 to prepare students for engineering practice. M.Eng. students complete their theses through participation in team projects—these projects not only provide subject material for theses but also good preparation for engineering practice, which is typically completed by project teams. The nonpoint-source water-quality project, owing in part to its practical nature, were conceived from the start as projects to be completed by M.Eng. students.
Sampling of stormwater drains for indicator bacteria over 24-hour periods has revealed a typical contamination pattern of low concentrations during the night with higher concentrations during the mornings and evenings. These time patterns suggest leakage from the sanitary sewer system as a possible source of bacterial contamination to Singapore’s surface waters. Additional studies will focus on using chemical and DNA tracers as alternatives to indicator bacteria.
Learn more about this project by reading 2013 staff brochure (Eveline EKKLESIA).