News Release

Jones and Van Aken to receive funding for Fairfax water quality monitoring work

Grant and Award Announcement

George Mason University

R. Christian Jones, Professor/Director, Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center, Environmental Science and Policy, and Benoit Van Aken, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, are set to receive funding from the City of Fairfax to conduct water monitoring. The goal of their work is to provide city officials with data on pollutants of concern (POCs) during wet weather events at six sites.

Pollutants of concern for this sampling work include sediment and E. coli.

Sampling sites include: an area near Paul VI High School, an area near the Mews, an area near Tedrich Blvd., an area near Artie's Restaurant, an area off Jermantown Road, and an area near Mason's West Campus parking lot.

Researchers will collect samples on two dates, one in late May/early June and one in October/November. However, the work cannot start until Mason reopens following its closure for COVID-19. At that time, the researchers will regroup with the sponsor.

To select exact sampling dates, the researchers will identify a two-week period during which they intend to sample. To prepare for the actual sampling date, the researchers will monitor weather forecasts to determine the earliest date for which significant rainfall is likely.

Three two-person crews will then be placed on alert and will assume their pre?arranged staging locations as the storm approaches. Each crew will be assigned two outfalls to sample. Crews will collect all samples within the first hour of the storm event to ensure that the first flush of potential POCs is captured in the samples. Researchers will then convey all samples on ice to the Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC) in Woodbridge, VA for analysis.

The researchers will provide city officials with results of the sampling within 30 days of each sample collection.

Jones and Van Aken will receive $7,100 from the City of Fairfax for this work. Funding will begin in May 2020 and will conclude in late December of this year.


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