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UTSA professors awarded grant to research pollution runoff

SAN ANTONIO – UTSA professors Marcio Giacomoni and Heather Shipley, who work in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, were awarded a grant of $42,800 from the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance and the San Antonio River Authority.

The money is designated for studying how to mitigate polluted stormwater drain-off.

"We are trying to better understand what is the current state of stormwater on campus at UTSA, how polluted it is and how effective we are treating this stormwater," Giacomoni said.

Giacomoni said right now they are in the initial phase, where they spend a year analyzing pollution sediment captured with plastic bottles through a device that is connected to a sand-filter basin on the UTSA campus.

The basin looks like a small reservoir. The device is about half the size of a washing machine. Inside, it has scientific measuring tools, including the two dozen plastic bottles used to capture the filtered sediment.

The idea is to replicate capturing pollution from stormwater runoff before it can make it back into the Edwards Aquifer.

Giacomoni said the studies are ultimately geared toward building greener infrastructures throughout San Antonio to sustain the region's water supply.