David L. Sedlak

David L. Sedlak
Plato Malozemoff Professor
Co-Director of Berkeley Water Center
Deputy Director NSF Engineering Research Center for Reinventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt)
Director of Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering (IESE)
Environmental Engineering

Environmental chemistry, water recycling, contaminant fate in receiving waters, natural treatment systems, reinvention of urban water systems

Office 657 Davis Hall
Email sedlak@ce.berkeley.edu
Phone (510) 643-0256
Fax (510) 642-7483

Office Hours:

  • Tuesdays 1:30-3 PM
  • Thursdays 3-4 PM
  • by appointment


Professor Sedlak's research focuses on fate of chemical contaminants, with the long-term goal of developing cost-effective, safe, and sustainable systems to manage water resources. He is particularly interested in the development of local sources of water. His research has addressed water reuse--the practice of using municipal wastewater effluent to sustain aquatic ecosystems and augment drinking water supplies--as well as the treatment and use of urban runoff to contaminated groundwater form contaminated industrial sites as water supplies.

In recent years, his research on the fate of wastewater-derived contaminants has received considerable attention. He began this research in 1996 when he developed simple methods for measuring steroid hormones in wastewater. Since that time, he and his students have studied the fate of hormones, pharmaceuticals, toxic disinfection byproducts and other chemicals. His research team has also studied approaches for remediating contaminated soil and groundwater by in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) and advanced oxidation processes.

Currently, his research group focuses on topics including:
-The use of engineered treatment wetlands to remove chemical from effluent-impacted waters;
-The fate, transport and transformation of perfluorinated chemicals
-Development of passive systems for treatment of chemicals in urban runoff.

In addition to his laboratory and field research, Sedlak is interested in the developing new approaches for managing the urban water cycle. He pursues these efforts through research coordinated through the National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center for Reinventing the Nation's Urban Water Insfrastructure (ReNUWIt) and the Berkeley Water Center. He also is the author of "Water 4.0", a book that examines the ways in which we can gain insight into current water issues by understanding the history of urban water systems.


Talks, Media Coverage, etc.









Environmental Science & Technology [Editor-in-Chief]

NSF ERC Re-inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure [Deputy Director]

Berkeley Water Center


Ph.D. - Water Chemistry, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1992
B.S. - Environmental Science, Cornell University, 1986