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Environmental Engineering is the part of engineering that protects people from conflicting effects like pollution while improving environmental quality.  Environmental engineers work to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control. 

Environmental engineering has been around since people began living in semi-permanent settlements have had to deal with the challenges of providing clean water and disposing of sewage in their villages.  As cities started to grow, larger farms and manufacturing industries developed and people have had to worry about poor air quality and contamination of soil.  Joseph Bazalgette, is known to be the first environmental engineer and oversaw the construction of the first large scale municipal sanitary sewer system in London in the mid 19th century.  Cholera was prominent during this time and raw sewage was being dumped into the Thames River, which was the main source of drinking water.  The stink of the sewage was so bad that Parliament had to evacuate Westminister and gave Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli permission to ask for money to improve the sewage disposal system. 

Some other famous environmental engineers include:

  • Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards – the first woman admitted to MIT who became an instructor in sanitary chemistry and worked with many local and national groups dealing with water supplies and public health problems
  • G.D. Agrawal – an environmental engineer in India who worked to clean up the Ganges River and fasted to protect a dam being built on the Bhagirathi River
  • Marc Edwards – a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University who was one of the first to detect and reduce lead in drinking water
  • Joseph Lstiburek – a leading authority on building science and indoor air quality
  • George Pinder – a professional of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Vermont known for his expert testimony regarding environmental contamination at Love Canal, NY and Woburn, Massachusetts

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems.  One of the most important responsibilities of environmental engineers is to prevent the release of harmful chemical and biological contaminants into the air, water and soil.  This requires extensive knowledge of the chemistry and biology of potential contaminants as well as industrial and agricultural process that might lead to them releasing.  By being well versed in this knowledge, new processes can be designed and existing processes can be modified to reduce or eliminate pollutants. 

An environmental engineer detects the presence of pollutants and tracks them back to the source.  Once the source of contamination has been identified it must be stopped or visibly reduced.  Environmental engineers often work with. Businesses to determine ways to avoid or reduce the production of pollutants so they can be disposed of safely.  Skills that an environmental engineer needs to possess is a working knowledge of chemical engineering, fluid dynamics, geography, geology and hydrology.  Environmental engineers must be familiar with applicable laws because of legal issues and litigation in environmental issues.  Many environmental engineers are also attorneys. 

Environmental engineers design, plan and implement measures to prevent, control or remediate environmental hazards.  They may work on waste treatment, site remediation or pollution control technology.  BE3 Corp environmental engineers are knowledgable and experienced in a wide variety of environmental engineering requirements and conditions.  If you need guidance on a project call us today at 716-362-6532

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