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Water Quality and Human Health Protection

Photo of water


To minimize human risks from contaminated air, soil, snd water.


ERL conducts toxicological and environmental studies to minimize human risks from contaminated environments. Projects include remediation of co-contaminated soils, and phytoremediation. We also develop molecular methods for the detection of emerging pathogens.

Water and Environmental Technology (WET) Center


ERL is the home of the Water and Environmental Technology (WET) Center.
Additional information about the center and the benefits of membership can be found at

Research Projects

Microbes and Disinfection

Electrochemical Ozone Generation for Water and Wastewater Disinfection

This project evaluates a new electrochemical process of ozone generation to disinfect tap water and secondarily treated activated wastewater. The photo shows protozoan parasites detected using fluorescence microscopy.

take photo of sponge and spray bottle

The Impact of Disinfectants on Microbial Populations in the Home

This project evaluates the presence of pathogens in the home environment and the impact of home hygiene

Municipal waste treatment and reuse

Transport of Viruses from Land Applied Biosolids

Fate and transport of viruses from land applied biosolids determines the potential for groundwater contamination.

Photo:Graduate student with a laboratory column set up to study virus transport


Evaluation of Chemical and Biological Aerosols from Land Applied Biosolids


Water Security

Molecular Detection of the Emerging Pathogen: Microsporidia

Microsporidia are human protozoan pathogens that have recently been identified as a potential waterborne problem


Tracking Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) Bacteria from the Source Waters to Household Taps

This project demonstrated that Heterotrophic bacteria are not a public health problem, and that all water distribution lines contain these bacteria.


Biosolids Applications Onto Mine Tailings and Agricultural Land

Here the addition of biosolids stabilizes the tailings, enhances revegetation and reduces air pollution

Potable Water Quality

Comprehensive Watershed Management for the Valley of the Sun

We are examining several water quality issues simultaneously from all of the major watersheds, including 6 reservoirs, in Central Arizona

Characterization of Natural Organic Matter in CAP Water as Influenced by Recharge

This project evaluates the potential for long-term recharge of Colorado River water




The University of Arizona Environmental Research Laboratory
2601 E. Airport Drive Tucson, Arizona 85756 (520) 626-3322