The winners of the Cleaning Dirty Water Competition are no surprise! They are three members of the Society of Environmental Engineering student chapter at Michigan Tech–seniors no less— Joseph Doyle, Kyle Mischler, and Jeremy Luebke.
They had stiff competition from the runner up team “The Insolubles”— three students from a high school chemistry class at Hancock High School (Mike McParlan, Murphy Mallow, Shannon Nulf) taught by a Michigan Tech grad.
Other teams that competed included Quantum Huskies, a group of international students from MTU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Whiz Kids– a group of three 8th graders from Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School, and three members of the Copper Country Recycling Initiative task force.
The competition was held in recognition of World Water Day, March 22, 2017. This year’s theme is wastewater, hence the competition!
Event coordinator, Joan Chadde, made the wastewater right before participants’ eyes, as they listed all of the household items that go down the drain. Each team was given a cup of wastewater and directed to clean it as best they could using only the materials provided– screen, sand, gravel, activated charcoal and alum. After 20 minutes, the results were in!
Chadde is the director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and a member of the World Water Day planning committee.
Dr. Marty Auer, a local wastewater treatment expert from Michigan Tech, served as judge.
All members of the winning team received $25 MTU gift certificates, which they generously handed off to the 2nd place Hancock High School students, explaining ‘they didn’t have time to spend it, since they’d be leaving Houghton soon with graduation just a few weeks away!’
Globally, 2 billion people are without clean drinking water and 3 billion are without wastewater treatment.
After treatment, wastewater is a valuable resource that can be returned to cities for drinking water!
Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events are sponsored by the following Michigan Tech departments and research centers: The Great Lakes Research Center, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, the Ecosystem Science Center, the Sustainable Futures Institute, Visual and Performing Arts, and The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.