Runoff during storms moves sediment and various water pollutants Benton Harbor’s Ox Creek. To help reduce this material, known as Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Professor Branko Kerkez and his team are using wireless sensors to monitor water quality and flow conditions and to control drains.
Size of the Ox Creek drain
Macroinvertebrates reason the creek is not meeting federal Clean Water Act requirements
Number of feet the creek can quickly rise during rainfall
To improve water quality, alternative drain techniques to reduce Total Suspended Solids (TSS) have been recommended. This project focuses on the innovative deployment of a sensor network to measure the water and sediment balance of Ox Creek. The project will directly contribute to the goal of the restoration of Ox Creek, through the development of alternative management strategies for agricultural field runoff.
Using autonomous sensors and valves to create “smart” stormwater systems to reduce flooding forecasting, and improve water quality.
Optimizing phosphorus removal at Detroit’s water treatment facility, to keep it out of lakes and rivers.
Investigating the use of cutting-edge molecular tools that characterize and optimize water quality process performance.
Improving Benton Harbor’s aging water system using risk assessment and risk analysis techniques, as well as mobile sensors.
Limiting the volume of stormwater in the Detroit system to prevent untreated sewage from being released into the Detroit and Rouge Rivers.
Using big data, data mining, and artificial intelligence to improve performance of the highly advanced Grand Rapids Water Resource Recovery Facilities.
Application of real-time sensing and dynamic control on existing wastewater infrastructure to reduce the frequency and volume of Combined Sewer Overflows.
A grassroots train-the-trainer program on how to install, operate and maintain faucet-mounted point-of-use filters to protect for lead in drinking water.
The Great Lakes Water Authority is looking for ways to rehabilitate large diameter water mains without actually having to dig up city streets.
A PFAS treatment approach for groundwater using low-temperature plasma with a concentration phase
The University of Michigan is developing a structural reliability framework to quantify the probability of failure of pipe segments throughout the GLWA system.
The goal of this project is to develop a data-driven asset management framework that quantifies risk in the water distribution network for southeast Michigan.
The city of Benton Harbor wishes to transform Ox Creek into a residential, recreational and commercial centerpiece linking important segments of the community.
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Branko Kerkez an assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the University of Michigan. His research interests include water, data, and sensors. He heads the Real-time Water Systems Lab, where his group is presently conducting fundamental research on “smart” water systems. Dr. Kerkez is the founder of Open-Storm.org, an open source consortium dedicated to freely sharing technologies and lessons for the sensing and control of water systems. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, all from UC Berkeley.
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Avery H. Demond is a professor in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the University of Michigan. She holds a B.A. in Biology from Williams College (Williamstown, MA) (1977), a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1980 and 1982), and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University (1988). She was instrumental in developing the BSE in Environmental Engineering degree program at UM and currently serves as its chair.
Dr. Demond’s research is in the area of hazardous waste and the rehabilitation of contaminated industrial properties; she has published on a variety of topics including the effect of contamination on soil transport properties, the leaching of contaminants from aging infrastructure into the water supply, and the impact of historic soil contamination on human health. She served as a coordinator of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Subsurface Science Program’s Multiphase Fluid Flow Subprogram for five years. Furthermore, she has served on a number of National Research Council boards and committees, including the Board on Engineering Education and the Committee for the Review of the DOE Environmental Restoration Priority System. She has received numerous awards for her service. She is a professional engineer, licensed in the State of Michigan.