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David McCarthy

Visiting Scholar


905 Ritter Annex
1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19122


  • PhD, "Modeling Microorganisms in Urban Stormwater," Monash University
  • Bachelor of Engineering, Civil Engineering (water), Monash University
  • BS, Mathematics and Physics, Monash University


David McCarthy's research area is the movement of pollutants within urban water systems and the subsequent treatment of storm- and waste-waters for the protection of downstream ecosystems and, most importantly, human health. Much of his work focuses on the harvesting and reuse of urban stormwaters, greywaters and wastewaters. McCarthy's PhD involved the collection of the largest urban stormwater microorganism dataset in Australia, and possibly the world. From this, he created the first model to continuously predict microorganism concentrations in urban stormwater.

McCarthy's PhD is highly regarded in industry; the results have been used and adopted regularly. Melbourne Water has used his data to develop new methods to detect illegal discharges to urban stormwater systems. Furthermore, this same data was used in the “Australian Stormwater Harvesting Guidelines.” This is an exceptional contribution, indicating the quality and significance of his PhD research. During McCarthy's PhD, he also won several competitive and industry grants. As a research fellow, he was awarded funds from industry partners to characterise various urban stormwater systems. At the same time, he also co-led the development of a novel stormwater treatment system (enviss™). This is the first system which can treat urban stormwater runoff to a safe reusable level without pre- or post-treatment and is widely accepted across Australia.

McCarthy is the inventor of two provisional patent applications stemming from this research. As a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and now as an Associate Professor, he has been involved in many successful grants, including a study which understands the sources, sinks and processes of pathogens in the Yarra River estuary. He is a project leader in the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, with a focus on how to effectively remove micropollutants and pathogens from various water sources using passive (or natural) treatment technologies. He established a new microbiology laboratory in the Monash University Civil Engineering Department (Environmental and Public Health Microbiology Laboratory – EPHM Lab), which now hosts two research technicians, two research fellows and 16 PhD students.