Moving without Wheels
Students observe a simple water cycle model to better understand its role in pollutant transport. This activity shows one way in which pollution is affected by the water cycle; it simulates a point source of pollution in a lake and the resulting environmental consequences.
Once a pollutant is introduced into the environment, it is possible, but generally very difficult, to clean up. In some situations, bioremediation, or cleaning up pollutants through the use of microbes (bacteria, plants), is the best approach. Civil and environmental engineers design the distribution systems and bioreactors to implement the bioremediation process using specific microbes identified by biochemists to remove or neutralize contaminants in soil or water. Similarly, civil engineers design water and waste treatment plants to assure clean water in every community.