Identifying High Priority Areas for Addressing Lead-in-Water Potential in Fort Worth Class of 2017

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Annaliese Miller, Class of 2017


In this project, data about lead testing of drinking/drinkable water in the Fort Worth Independent School district was combined with infrastructure-related data, spatial analysis, and spatial statistics techniques to identify potential high priority areas for the city's lead pipe replacement project and for residential plumbing rennovations. 


Click the image below to listen to our interview with Annalise Miller on SoundCloud.


Comments from Mentors

"Lead-bearing pipelines have been shown to be a primary source of lead-in-water crises in cities like Flint, Michigan. In 2016, the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) conducted a survey of lead-in-drinking-water at schools across the city.  In addition to being proactive, the dataset resulting from FWISD's efforts represented a great scientific/educational resource. With nearly 2000 data points of lead levels across the city, this dataset provided an opportunity for students to practice the scientific method and address a myriad of relevant scientific questions through data analysis.  Following a self-initiated meeting with the Fort Worth Water Department, Annaliese decided on combining the FWISD dataset with census and construction data to predict neighborhoods with lead-bearing water pipelines and then prioritizing pipeline removal activities.  Annaliese hypothesized that since neighborhoods are co-established with schools then, neighborhoods of schools with the highest lead-in-water levels are most likely to have lead-bearing pipelines. She also felt that since the health effects of lead are greatest in kids then priority for removing lead-bearing pipeline should also be based on vulnerability of neighborhoods population. Under the supervision of myself and Prof. Tamie Morgan, Annaliese worked assiduously to complete the project in one semester. To put it simply, she hit the project “out of the park.” Annaliese’s empathy, work ethic and willingness to think outside-the-box makes her a really special scholar and person. I think I am echoing the sentiments of many colleagues in saying that Annaliese is the full embodiment of TCU's mission and core values."

--Dr. Omar R. Harvey


"Teaching and working with Annalise was one of the great pleasures of my career at TCU.  She was a kind, gracious and eloquent student who was always very attentive and diligent.  Annalise was just a natural spatial thinker who very quickly mastered the use of geographic information software to analyze and manipulate data. She performed a sophisticated scientific analysis of a very current and sensitive issue regarding lead in drinking water at elementary schools.  She initiated all of the discussions and inquiries as the analysis progressed.  She considered several hypothesis and worked diligently with the data as she considered all the variables.  She developed a thoughtful and well-crafted presentation to show case her results.  As a teacher who has known Annalise since she was a sophomore, it was a very rewarding experience to  be part of her journey at TCU."

--Dr. Tamie Morgan 

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College of Science and Engineering