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EPHM Lab Code



Current EPHM Lab Projects

Troups Creek Wetland and Stormwater Harvesting Project

The overarching aim of this project is to improve the planning and design of future stormwater harvesting systems by furthering our understanding of stormwater hazards (i.e. pathogen levels) and determining the roles that passive treatment systems can play in mitigating these hazards. The project uses the Troups Creek system as a case-study and the following objectives to achieve this aim: (1) characterisation and quantification of human health hazards in a mixed land-use catchment, (2) understanding the key sources of these hazards within a mixed land-use catchment, and (3) understand the potential of natural treatment systems to reduce sediment and pathogen levels.

Funding bodies: Smart Water Fund, South East Water and Monash University

Research organisations: Monash 

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Safe to swim with the bugs? From hazard identification to risk management (link to further details)

This project will advance our knowledge on the risks posed to recreational users or urban river systems, and specifically how to manage these risks, enabling our partner organisations (POs), Melbourne Water and EPA Victoria, make evidence-based decisions to enhance riverine recreation. This project leverages our previous work to address critical knowledge gaps to: (1) confirm whether our high levels of Campylobacter spp. in Melbourne’s waterbodies are cause for concern, by determining the infectivity of waterborne strains from three international rivers, (2) determine whether other bacterial pathogens (other than Campylobacter) can cause risks to recreational users, (3) assess the ability for sediments to harbour infective bacteria, and hence whether they contribute to risks to recreational users, (4) understand pathogen variability at key recreation sites, resulting in better models and site-specific QMRAs; and, (5) deliver MST methods which use multiple lines of evidence to attribute sources, delivering accurate mitigation to best manage the identified sources of contamination.

Link to this project's webpage

Funding bodies: ARC Linkage Project, Melbourne Water, EPA Victoria

Research organisations: Monash University, Massey University, iFremer, University of Melbourne

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Interactions between plants and faecal pathogens in urban water treatment: significance of soil microbes, plant debris, root exudates and rhizosphere (link to further details)

This project aims to understand the biotic processes which govern pathogen removal in planted passive urban wastewater and stormwater treatment systems, addressing the significant knowledge gap surrounding the interactive role that plants, their exudates, their debris and their rhizosphere play in faecal pathogen reduction. This information can be used to optimise existing, and develop new, passive treatment systems which can effectively remove pathogens, thereby avoiding high-cost, high-energy and high-maintenance systems.

Link to this project's webpage

Funding bodies: ARC DECRA

Research organisations: Monash University

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Past EPHM Lab Projects

Sources, sinks and processes of faecal contamination in urban estuaries; a case study of the Yarra

This project combines process studies, field monitoring and hydrodynamic-microorganism modelling to provide insights into the sources, sinks and processes of faecal microorganisms in urban estuaries, thus ensuring well-informed future mitigation strategies. The key objectives are: (1) Understand levels of pathogens and their indicators in the Yarra estuary; (2) Identify key sources, sinks and processes that govern these levels; and, (3) Develop a mathematical model of the pathogen behaviour in the Yarra.

Funding bodies: ARC and Melbourne Water

Research organisations: Monash University, University of Melbourne, University of California

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