Pollution is the introduction of substances (pollutants) in the environment which cause instability, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem (humans and other living organisms). Pollution can be generated by natural events (for example a Volcano eruption) but nowadays the main concern is the human induced pollution in the air, soil and water. In the last fifty years the knowledge of the phenomenon has been considerably improved, together with the solutions oriented to minimize the impact.
Our interest is mostly focused on the surface water pollution (e.g. river, lake, and ocean) and groundwater pollution. Surface water pollution can be caused by point sources (e.g. pipes and ditches) or by diffuse sources (e.g. leaching of the nutrients from fertilized agricultural land). Groundwater pollution is typically caused by the accidental spill of contaminants in the soil and the consequent leaching in groundwater. We are studying the techniques to reduce the pollution in rivers and groundwater systems using numerical models from USGS and Deltares. For the groundwater pollution passive remediation technologies, such as permeable reactive barriers, are modeled in an active industrial site contaminated with volatile chlorinated compounds (VOCs).