As the largest river in North America in length and flow, the Mississippi River plays a critical role as a water source for the US.
As a municipal water source, the water quality of the Mississippi River is generally acceptable and conventional water treatment processes can readily produce potable
However, nutrients buildup in the water can cause water quality issues, such as algal blooms in backwaters and in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).
The discharge of the Mississippi River into the GOM creates such a high concentration of nutrients and algae/cyanobacteria that it annually causes a “dead zone”, and there are concerns that projects designed to address other concerns may result in increased algal blooms.
Continued interest in learning about dynamic processes within backwater areas (lakes, ponds and wetlands hydrologically linked to the river) of the Mississippi River is expressed by The Water Quality & Engineering Research Team, as well as those interested to determine if such processes can be manipulated to remove or sequester nutrients from downstream flow.