Gangestad presents water treatment research at the Capitol

Max Gangestad presented his research for Representative Terry Baxter.

Water quality is an important issue both locally and on the state level. Over the last year in Wright County, a new CREP wetland has been created and municipal wastewater plants have been planned and built; in Des Moines, the Iowa Supreme Court decided in favor of drainage districts in the Des Moines Waterworks lawsuit and funds to go toward water quality were debated. Removing and preventing nutrients in streams and rivers will continue to be an issue—but citizens from Wright County are doing their part to help create solutions.

On March 28, the Iowa State House hosted the annual Research at the Capitol event, which allows state legislators a chance to view presentations and discuss research that undergraduates at Iowa’s Regent universities are conducting. Max Gangestad, a Clarion-Goldfield-Dows High School graduate and a student at Iowa State, presented research titled “New Algae Treatment Technology Addresses Stricter Wastewater Regulations for Rural Iowa.”

Since his research addressed water quality issues, Gangestad’s presentation generated a fair amount of interest. “It was exciting to talk to the legislators and hear their opinions,” he said.

Gangestad, a senior agricultural engineering major who will graduate in December, served as the undergraduate research associate for the development of the Revolving Algal Biofilm (RAB) wastewater treatment system. The RAB has a series of vertical, continuous loop conveyor belts which grow a layer of algae. The algae is exposed to the wastewater, sunlight, and air, which allows the algae to take in nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and ammonia) from the wastewater.


For the full story, see the April 6 edition of the Monitor.