Cleaning up after the cleaners

Using a solar-powered water pump, Erica Collins, GeoE’10, is cleaning up contamination left behind by a local dry cleaner. She has already cleaned more than 70,000 gallons of water. You could call the project her mission.


For decades, dry cleaning operations, like Busy Bee in Rolla, poured chemicals down the drain. Unfortunately, some of those chemicals ended up contaminating groundwater.
Collins, a graduate student in geological engineering, is working on a comprehensive cleanup of the Busy Bee area. She installed a pump powered by solar energy at the site to pull the contaminated water from the ground. Collins checks on it multiple times a day. The water is treated or “cleaned” and then safely put back down the drain.
Collins says the contaminated water, while an environmental problem, never posed a threat to people. “It’s 5 to 15 feet into bedrock,” she says. “It was not going to make people sick.”
Working with Collins on the project are Curt Elmore, GeoE’86, associate professor of geological engineering, and John Cable, president of Triangle Environmental Science and Engineering and an adjunct faculty member in the geological engineering department.
Elmore says that drinking water in the United States is among the best in the world, thanks to regulations, monitoring and clean-ups when there is a potential problem.
“Rolla’s drinking water is safe from the tap,” he says. “You don’t have to worry about it.”
The project is being funded by Busy Bee owner Harold Robertson. He will be reimbursed through the Dry Cleaning Environmental Response Trust Fund, which is administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

[Read More...]

Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

[Read More...]

Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

[Read More...]

Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

[Read More...]

Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

[Read More...]