Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering


College of Engineering


Rebekah Oulton

Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


Diclofenac (DCF) and other emerging contaminants have been found in environments worldwide. These contaminants may enter the environment due to the application of treated wastewater, biosolids and direct excrement related to veterinary application. Leakage from the soils toward the groundwater is largely controlled by sorption and microbial degradation. Most studies on the environmental fate of DCF have focused on degradation during wastewater treatment processes. However, little is known about their behavior in soil. In this study, the combined effect of adsorption and degradation of diclofenac has been investigated in four (4) 24 ft3 agricultural soil-filled beds designed to mimic natural vegetated soil environments, enhanced via controlled wetting and drying cycles. Contour bund installation on slopes of 5, 10, 15 and 20° were mimicked in the beds. Results showed that the soil environment was a strong inhibitor to the leaching of DCF through the soil. Saturating slopes via contour bund application however can lead to landslides that may impact structures and human life. A feasible contour bund installation site was investigated and found that 20° slopes under saturated conditions resulted in an unsafe factor of safety and is not encouraged as a solution for stormwater management. The effect of contour bund application on slopes under 15° at the installation site can potentially increase removal of emerging contaminants, thereby protecting groundwater resources without endangering life or property.