I am extremely passionate about researching aquatic pollution from wastewater treatment storm overflow discharge. I graduated with a Distinction in MRes Environmental Science (2020) and a First Class in BSc (Hons) Environmental Science (2019), both from the University of Portsmouth. My MRes thesis was titled “Assessing nutrient pollution by wastewater treatment storm overflow discharge in Langstone Harbour estuary and the River Thames catchment, UK”. Through this project, I developed a keen interest in Catchment Science and observed the sources, pathways, contamination, and ecotoxicological consequences of nutrient pollution, with focus on storm overflow discharges.
This project was designed to determine whether, and to what extent, storm overflow discharge events cause nutrient pollution, and to highlight its importance in the aquatic environments. The goals of this study were to determine the short-term variability of nutrients in the context of high nutrient loads, and to examine the impact of storm overflow discharge events. From my results, it became clear that the untreated sewage in storm overflow discharges likely caused the fluctuating nutrient concentrations near the storm outfalls.
After graduating from my MRes, I worked as a Science Graduate for 2 years at Thames Water where I managed various projects. This includes monitoring and interpreting storm overflow discharge data and managing the Unconsented Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) programme. My varied roles not only gave me the opportunity to become well-rounded in the water industry, but also to develop strong data management and interpretation skills.
It is from my industry experience and MRes project that I have found the excitement to explore the potential hotspot of riverine plastic pollution by CSO discharges.