The Water Treatment Competition (WTC) at the 2015 Mid-Pacific Regional Student Conference tasked students to design, develop, fabricate, and present a small-scale raw water treatment system. The influent contained 9 gallons of simulated agricultural run-off. Teams were allocated 30 minutes to construct a filtration system onsite. Water quality scores were determined by measured: turbidity, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, free chlorine, pH, and recovered volume.
|Cross section of dual media filter|
|Peroxide and acetic dissociation|
|Conductivity increasing with chlorine|
|6 points for both bleach and no-bleach scenario|
The team placed 4th of 14. Turbidity performance was significantly worse than in lab trials. A construction issue likely created a short circuit in the filtration column. This experience demonstrated two engineering lessons. First, specifications and requirements are the starting point for any design. Their interpretation drives the final output, so clear understanding between the client and consultant is essential. Second, preparation and research will be challenged by problems in the field. These lessons can be carried forward to make next year’s project even more successful.