A CLOSER LOOK AT THE EFFECTS OF IMPROPER WASTE DISPOSAL ON THE GROUNDWATER/POTABLE WATER SYSTEMS ALONG THE BASE CAMP HIGHWAY OF MT. EVEREST
Our project will focus specifically on fecal matter in water by analyzing water samples for coliform bacteria. This research is significant because it will be the first study of its kind in the Everest region, and will be one of few studies, which addresses fecal contamination at such high altitudes. Our results should also help to identify areas of high waste accumulation/contamination down-stream of Gorak Shep and Mt. Everest Base Camp.
Fieldwork will begin in 2014 and will take place over 4 weeks. Sampling will begin immediately and will continue every other day, alternating with days dedicated to analyses (i.e. 18-24 hour incubation and samples must be analyzed within 30 hours of collection). The results of our research will be used to correlate a map of water contamination with contaminated sites, which could be then used to initiate sanitation and prevent further waste disposal problems for the people of the region.