Current PhD Students and Projects


Peter Reeve

PhD Candidate

Project Title

Removal of Organic Chemicals from Water by Aquifer Filtration in Managed Aquifer Recharge Schemes


Peter Reeve is a PhD candidate in the Health and Environment Group at Flinders University. He is passionate about environmental science with particular expertise in the integration of water science, environmental health, geology and microbiology. He completed a BSc (Hons) (Environmental Science) at Flinders University in 2016. He received the Chancellor’s Letter of Commendation for his honours year studies which investigated the use of zeolite, a natural, low-cost filter material, to remove pathogenic microorganisms from water. The results of this work were published in two peer-reviewed journal articles. He is keen to pursue further research in this area. In 2017 Peter assisted in writing course notes for the new SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education) subject, Earth and Environmental Science. He now sits on the management committee of the Geosciences Pathway Project, whose aim is to facilitate and increase the study of environmental sciences by South Australian school students.

PhD project details:

Thesis title: Removal of Organic Chemicals from Water by Aquifer Filtration in Managed Aquifer Recharge Schemes

Supervisors: Professor Howard Fallowfield (principal), Dr Ilka Wallis, Dr John Hutson and Dr Michael Taylor



As urban development increases, so too does stormwater runoff and wastewater discharge. Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) schemes, where water is captured and stored in controlled aquifers underground, present an opportunity to utilise this water. Indeed, a number of local councils in the Adelaide region are actively engaged in MAR schemes presently.

Increasingly, the potential risks that water from MAR schemes could pose to public health are being recognised. Such risks may be chemical, in the form of insect repellents, weed killers, legal and illegal drugs, industrial cleaning products and firefighting foams, and microbiological, in the form of microbial pathogens.

This research, funded by the Local Government Association of South Australia and MAR Users Group, aims to determine the ability of aquifer substrates to remove selected organic chemicals from water injected into aquifers as part of MAR. A combination of laboratory based batch and column studies will be used in this investigation. Defining features of this research include the use of authentic aquifer substrates in experiments and consideration of how factors such as biofilms and water composition affect organic chemical removal. The results of this work will be used to inform current and future water reuse management strategies.