Undergraduate Students Win Water Environment Association of Utah Student Design Competition

Team members Dani Zebelean, Jenny Calderon, Heather Christensen and Collin Miller.

Each team was given a problem that required students to design a Water Reclamation Facility as well as a secondary distribution and sanitary sewer collection pipeline to service a new community that is expected to develop at the base of the Oquirrh Mountain Range in Magna, Utah. Their design aimed to promote a paradigm shift from “wastewater” treatment to reclamation, conservation, and reuse.

To do this, the team designed a system that produced a Type I Reclaimed Water effluent that can be used for landscape and agricultural irrigation. Additionally, the Water Reclamation Facility was designed to produce Class A Biosolids to be used as fertilizer for agricultural land application. On top of all that, the final treatment facility utilized the reuse of high-quality methane gas produced by the solids handling process as an alternate energy source to help reduce operational costs and energy consumption at the plant. 

Their design was also unique in that the secondary water storage method consisted of cascading reservoirs within a an aesthetically pleasing community park to be built within the new development area. This aspect of the design aimed to alter the traditional societal perspective on “wastewater” treatment process to make a more accepted and transparent connection between the community and water reclamation efforts.

By winning this competition the students are awarded a fully-funded trip to the Annual WEFTEC Water Quality Conference of 2017 in Chicago to compete at the National WEFTEC Student Design Competition in September of this year.