Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.


Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering

First Advisor

Aria Amirbahman


Year after year, forest fires continue to decimate the west coast at an increasing rate. As a result of these fires, natural organic materials (NOMs) are contaminating California’s water supplies. Many treatment plants do not have systems in place to deal with these unprecedented and wide ranging contaminants in the water supply. The St. Helena Water Treatment Plant in California has had issues with increased levels of Trihalomethane’s (THMs) in their water supply in recent years, most certainly caused by the increased magnitude of forest fires nearby. To counteract these alarming and increasing rates of THMs, measures need to be taken to ensure the future of safe drinking water for the St. Helena community. This team created four (4) different potential solutions to help the St. Helena Water Treatment Plant combat the effects of climate change, specifically forest fires. In this report lies four potential additions to the St. Helena Water Treatment Plant to ensure its future functionality as the effects of climate change increase. Without addressing this problem, forest fires can make water treatment plants ineffective and limit affected areas’ access to safe drinking water. This report aims to reveal water treatment solutions that would be a viable addition to a water treatment plant in Northern California that is encountering problems due to a contaminated watershed. These solutions are: Ion Exchange, Air Stripping, Granular Activated Carbon, and Powdered Activated Carbon.

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