Surface Water Infiltration Research Project

Hi Folks,

The students in GL 3044 – Surface and Groundwater Hydrology at Unity College are undertaking a semester-long research project focusing on potential surface water infiltration into the sewer system on campus. This project is being done on behalf of the Unity Utilities District, the town organization that oversees Unity’s sewer system. The work involves a sewer line component and a surface component. You may see small groups of students standing along Quaker Hill Rd. at a manhole cover collecting data. Please slow down and move over. The surface component utilizes an environmentally-friendly red dye to track water movement. Numerous dye packs will be deployed in drainage swales and at water drains around campus. The locations will be marked with flagging. DO NOT DISTURB the dye packs. In the event of a large rainstorm, you may notice the drainage swales and other areas where water tends to pond may appear reddish in color. DO NOT WALK through these areas. Similarly, the retention basin located down near the Maintenance barns could appear red as well. In the case of an extreme runoff event, water from the retention basin may be discharged through the outflow structure and seep toward Sandy Stream. The dye will not cause any harm to plants and animals and gradually breaks down over time.


This project is approved at the state level by the Department of Environmental Protection and was initiated by the Unity Utilities District. The work is permitted under the discharge permit issued to the District by the DEP. Any interference with this project is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.


If you have any questions, please contact me directly.





Kevin M. Spigel, Ph.D.

Professor of Geoscience

Chair, Earth Sciences Program

Director, Undergraduate Research Program

Unity College