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Keeping beaches safe from runoff pollutants

When it rains, untreated stormwater can sweep pollutants into coastal waters, potentially endangering public health. Now researchers and Cooperative Extension engineers from N.C. State University have developed low-cost filtration systems that are concealed beneath sand dunes and filter out most of the bacteria that can lead to beach closures.

“It was not economically feasible to use a tract of beachfront property to treat stormwater. Instead, we were able to devise a system that could be installed in an area that was not developable – underneath the dunes,” says Dr. Michael Burchell, an assistant professor and Cooperative Extension engineer from the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Burchell is senior author of a paper on the research.

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