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Town of Brookhaven and CCWT Funded to Install and Monitor a Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB) at Fire Island’s Davis Park Marina

The Town of Brookhaven in collaboration with The Center for Clean Water Technology (CCWT) has been awarded a $313,401 grant to construct a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) at Fire Island’s Davis Park Marina. The 100 foot long PRB will be constructed in parallel with a bulkhead replacement. A mixed woodchip aggregate layer on the landward side of the bulkhead will serve as a “denitrification wall” that intercepts the groundwater flow and promotes nitrogen removal before the groundwater enters Great South Bay. Once established, sampling ports within, upstream, and downstream of the PRB will be used to monitor nitrogen removal performance over the next few years.

Previous work conducted by CCWT researchers in collaboration with researchers from Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) at a PRB test cell in Hampton Bays has demonstrated the potential of bulkhead PRBs as a cost efficient way to remove nitrogen from groundwater before it seeps into coastal waters. The 100’ bulkhead PRB at Davis Park Marina will be one of the first of its kind in the country. Through the collaborative effort of CCWT, CCE, and the Town of Brookhaven we expect new insights into bulkhead PRB performance to help optimizing PRB constructions in the future. The Davis Park PRB project is one of 124 projects funded through DEC's Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grants program to improve water quality, reduce the potential for harmful algal blooms (HABs), and protect drinking water across New York State.

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Images: CCWT PhD student Molly Graffam (Volkenborn Lab) during field work at a bulkhead permeable reactive barrier test cell. Peristaltic pumps are used to pump water from the PRB. Water chemistry is measured on-site as well as in in the CCWT analytical lab to determine nitrogen removal while the groundwater is flowing through the PRB.