Samia Richards

Soil and Water Chemistry Evironmental Scientist
T: +44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

Samia is an Environmental Scientist specialised in point sources of pollution and water quality where septic tanks can act as multiple points of pollutants impacting surface water quality increasing phosphorus, nitrogen and microbial loads to water courses. Samia is also has wide experience in microbiological, physical and chemical characterisation of soil and water of catchment systems.


Samia's current work is focused on Resource Recovery from Wastes, tackling current worldwide sustainability problems (Phosphorus amendment) through the identification of nutrient-cycling pathway to maximise soil quality and crop productivity using wastes (food and crops anaerobic digestates and biomass ash) for bio-fertilisers production.

She is also working on rainwater harvesting system as part of decentralised wastewater treatment – global innovation for sustainable rural communities project. A collaboration project between the Scottish Government and India. As India faces high rain variability, shortage in water availability and over-exploitation of groundwater water, a development of rainwater harvesting system as part of wastewater treatment and recycling system to service a rural school in rural South India. 

Samia's work also is also focused on small point source of pollutants and their phosphorus, nitrogen and microbial contribution to water courses in catchments.  These point sources of pollutants are linked to water quality issues in which phosphorus plays an important role as a major pollutant when it enters fresh water system as a point source discharge. This work involved in finger printing septic tank effluent (physicochemical and microbial characterisation) from residential tanks in the North East of Scotland to determine the ecological impacts from septic tanks acting as multiple points of pollutants. Also, developing source tracers to identify source of pollutant and estimating septic tank effluent relative contribution to catchment phosphorus load to target mitigation measures.

Past research

Samia has also worked on characterisation of organic and inorganic phosphorus in UK soils, investigation P dynamics and mobility in soils and water and its impact on water quality.

Soil erosion control measures and the effect on water quality and natural environment. Investigating riparian buffer strips as a barrier against sediment and nutrients transport into stream waters.

Characterisation of organic and inorganic phosphorous in UK soils, investigating P dynamics and mobility in soils and water and the impact as a pollutant on downstream watercourses.

Investigating the biodegradability of stream dissolved organic carbon exported form upland catchment which is converted to carbon dioxide by biological processing and it role as a climate force effect.

Remediation of stream pollution using low cost biosorbents to sequester heavy metal in aquatic environment.