Lab and Research Subteams

Particle Removal

StaRS Filtration Theory

StaRS stands for Stacked Rapid Sand, which is the kind of filter used in AguaClara plants. This team aims to understand the physics of filtration and the failure mechanism in Stacked Rapid Sand Filters in order to model the performance of the filter through observation of interactions of influent turbidity, PACl dosage and floc size.


  • Dhruv Misra | dm668
  • Isabelle Breedveld | ikb22
  • Rachel Lai | rml267

Dissolved Species Removal

Humic Acid Removal

Determine the optimal coagulant dosage to remove humic acid from influent water with low turbidity. Investigate the effluent HA concentrations as coagulant dosages increase for certain HA influent concentration using spectrophotometer. Design experiments to compare HA effluent concentration trends for different HA influent concentations.


  • Malini Balachandran | mvb37
  • Joseph S. Nocua | jsn74
  • Kaleigh Soucy | krs258

Activated Carbon

We aim to design a system that removes excess dissolved gas from influent water prior to entry into an AguaClara water treatment plant.


  • Nathan Catoera | nlc63
  • Christopher Chan | cmc455
  • Samantha Wang | mw842

Wastewater Treatment

Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB)

What is a UASB: a form of anaerobic digester that is used for wastewater treatment.

Wastewater enters the reactor from the bottom, and flows upward. A settled sludge blanket filters and treats the wastewater as the wastewater flows through it.

The team is testing a gravity-powered reactor for wastewater treatment at the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility (IAWWTF). Although the team primarily works at IAWWTF, it uses the AguaClara Cornell lab to store materials (such as 10” PVC pipe), to fabricate new reactors, and to conduct lab-bench scale research.


  • Katrina Chen | kc778
  • Mohamed Aden | mya27
  • Ahad Ishfaq | ai274
  • Erica Ruan | er439
  • Emily Wood | ew465

String Digester

The team's goal this semester is to determine if ideas about using strings as media for trickling filter based design are a feasible component of a future AguaClara wastewater plant.


  • Jing-Shan Hsu | jh2226
  • Maya Shanti | ms2664
  • Nayal Zaidi | nz62