Solving the Arsenic Problem in Rural California

Team Members: Dana Hernandez, Siva Rama Satyam Bandaru, Lucas Duffy, JP Daniel
School: UC Berkeley


About 55,000 people in California rely on arsenic contaminated groundwater as their primary source of drinking water. The small water systems serving these disadvantaged communities lack the technical, managerial, and financial capacity to implement a sustainable solution that would provide arsenic-safe drinking water. Thus, there is a need for an affordable, compact, and continuous-flow technology for these communities exposed to arsenic, a potent carcinogen. Air Cathode Assisted Iron Electrocoagulation (ACAIE) effectively removes high arsenic concentrations from synthetic groundwater to levels below EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level of 10 parts per billion. Conducting a pilot study at a school site will demonstrate the technical efficacy and robustness of ACAIE. In addition, an educational campaign will increase public awareness and knowledge on the arsenic problem in rural California, empowering rural communities that currently lack their human right to safe drinking water.