Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Information

Kaven Hall, 106
Phone: +1-508-831-5142
Fax: +1-508-831-5808

Jeanine D. Plummer

My teaching and research interests focus on water quality and the safety of drinking waters. I study water from source to tap: where do contaminants originate from, what is their fate in the environment, and how do we engineer treatment processes to protect public health? I am particularly interested in preventing the transmission of pathogens through water. In source waters, I aim to identify sources of pollution and understand the fate, transport, and survival of those pollutants in the environment. We are interested in waters used for potable drinking water as well as recreational water bodies. On the treatment side, I have conducted research on alternative disinfection strategies that inactivate microorganisms while also reducing the formation of potentially harmful disinfection byproducts. Lastly, I work to improve water and sanitation options around the globe. My students have studied disease transmission in Africa, drinking water treatment options in Central America, and provision of water and sanitation in impoverished communities.

At WPI, I work with undergraduate and graduate students to explore water quality issues through classroom activities, project work in the field and laboratory, and funded research. I enjoy bringing students to regional and national conferences to present their work, and to give them exposure to the broader water quality profession. Collectively, we can work toward a goal of providing safe water to people in the U.S. and globally.

Research Interests

  • Water Quality
  • Non-point Source Pollution
  • Fecal Source Tracking
  • Drinking Water Treatment
  • Sanitation in Developing Countries


  • BS, Cornell University, 1993
  • MS, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1995
  • PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1999

Featured Publications

  • Plummer, J.D.; Long, S.C.; Charest, A.J.; and Roop, D.O. 2014. Bacterial and viral indicators of fecal contamination in drinking water. Journal of the American Water Works Association, 106(4): E200-E211.
  • Kosinski, K.C.; Adjei, M.N.; Bosompem, K.M.; Crocker, J.J.; Durant, J.L.; Osabutey, D.; Plummer, J.D.; Stadecker, M.J.; Wagner, A.D.; Woodin, M.; and Gute, D.M. 2012. Effective control of Schistosoma haematobium infection in a Ghanaian community following installation of a water recreation area. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 6(7): e1709 (1-10).
  • Long, S.C.; Stietz, J.R.; Olstadt, J.; Hedman, C.J.; and Plummer, J.D. 2012. Characterization of paper mill effluent using indicators and source tracking methods. Journal of the American Water Works Association, 104(3): E150-E161.
  • Bloetscher, F. and Plummer, J. D. 2011. Evaluating the significance of certain pharmaceuticals and emerging pathogens in raw water supplies. Environmental Practice, 13:198–215.
  • Plummer, J.D. and Long, S.C. 2009. Identifying sources of surface water pollution: A toolbox approach. Journal of the American Water Works Association, 101(9): 75-88. Awarded 2010 Division Best Paper Award, Water Resource Sustainability Division, American Water Works Association.

Professional Highlights

  • McGraw-Hill/AEESP Award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science (2010)
  • Water Resources Sustainability Division Best Paper Award, AWWA (2009)
  • Professor of the Year for Massachusetts, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (2008)
  • WPI Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Teaching (2006)
  • WPI Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Advising (2005)
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