The Pursuit for Clean Water: Students Participate in Water Treatment Design Competition
By Timothy Lum Yee
Imagine…a tropical storm has hit the Hawaiian Islands and has affected the islands’ water supply. Now, with limited resources, you and your team have 90 minutes to treat the contaminated water. Go!
This short prelude set the stage for students participating in the ASCE Pacific Southwest Regional Conference, Environmental Design Competition, organized and judged this year by the AWWA/HWEA Young Professionals (YP) Committee. On Thursday, April 2, 2009, teams from 16 colleges and universities brought their pre-designed mechanisms, wits, and skills in efforts to “treat” a gallon of contaminated water to produce clean, clear water.
The YP Committee coordinated early on and set up a judging criteria which included the quality of teams’ poster presentation, economy of the treatment system, quantity of treated water produced and, most importantly, water quality as characterized by turbidity, absorbance, and ammonia removal.
The morning of the competition, YP members made its “wastewater” concoction from various household products. As the competition commenced, it was clear how each school had prepared. Systems varied from unique filtration systems, elaborative mechanics, pressure-driven apparatuses, none of which, however, overshadowed each team’s evident enthusiastic efforts.
The YP committee is pleased to announce the schools that placed in the top 5, but congratulates all teams for their commendable efforts.
First Place: Northern Arizona University
Second Place: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Third Place: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Honorable Mentions: University of Southern California and California State University, Fullerton.
Special thanks go to the staff and research assistants of the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) for helping with water quality testing and to fellow judges YP member Kristen Au and incoming YP co-chair Dayna Fujimoto.
YP’s Volunteer for Hawaii Trail and Mountain Club Trail Maintenance
By Dayna Fujimoto
On Sunday, September 13, 2009 AWWA|HWEA Young Professionals (YP) members volunteered to help the Hawaii Trail and Mountain Club (HTMC) do maintenance work on
the Wailupe Loop hiking trial in Aina Haina. HTMC is a community based, volunteer hiking club on Oahu. Led by experienced and knowledgeable hikers, the club hikes one of the 80+ trails on Oahu every weekend, providing a means for people to explore and enjoy Hawaii’s natural environment.
In addition to leading hiking trips,HTMC has a trail maintenance group which goes out every Sunday to do maintenance on the hiking trails. Six YP members geared up with loppers and clippers and joined 20+ other HTMC members to hike and take on the day’s work. The goal of these trail maintenance outings is to clear the trails of overgrown branches, ferns, and other plants while being careful not to cut the native vegetation such as koa trees and lehua plants.
On the trail, volunteers learned from the other experienced hikers how to identify some of these native plants. We also learned that hikers come in all ages and from different backgrounds. We hiked alongside hikers well into their 60’s who were doctors, lawyers, and even retirees. Overall, the hike offered us a great opportunity to give back, and in return, our lungs and legs had a great workout.
Thank you to Troy Ching, Timothy Lum Yee, Staci Kunitake, Chi Du, Lauren Arizumi, and Dayna Fujimoto for all their hard work in helping HTMC on one of their trail maintenance outings. If it were not for the diligent and committed trail maintenance work this group does, all of Oahu’s hiking trails except the handful of Stateowned trails would not be hikeable and available for the public to enjoy. We are very fortunate that such a dedicated group of trail clearers exists, and we were happy to lend a helping hand that Sunday.
He’eia Fishpond Community Work Day
By Lara Karamatsu
On Saturday, October 12, 2009, ASCE YMF and AWWA|HWEA YP members volunteered at the He’eia Fishpond Community Work Day. He`eia Fishpond was constructed over 600 years ago by the Native Hawaiian people. The kuapā (seawall) of He`eia Fishpond encompasses an area of 88 acres. He`eia Fishpond is currently the second largest fishpond on the island of Oahu still in use. In 1965 a section of the fishpond’s kuapā (seawall) fronting Kaneohe Bay was washed away during a flood event. Since then a temporary seawall has been constructed in place of the missing wall consisting of 12 inch concrete cylinders approximately 4 inches in diameter.
The goal of the community work day was to help in the construction effort to restore the segment of kuapā that was destroyed in the 1965 flood by moving various sizes of coral and rock from the shoreline to the work area.
The work day began with a safety briefing and tour of He`eia Fishpond. Upon completion of the tour, volunteers were split into three groups. The first group loaded coral and rocks into the bed of a John Deer Gator which was driven from the shoreline to the work area. The second group loaded the rocks coral from the John Deer Gator onto a pontoon boat. The third group would then move the pontoon boat across the missing segment of the kuapā to the opposite end of the wall opening. There the third group would unload the material, forming a base to be used for the future construction of the replacement kuapā.
Once the work was done, volunteers enjoyed a delicious lunch of chicken luau, salad, and kalua pig. Thank you to Aaron Erickson, Kim Kido, Troy Ching, Dayna Fujimoto, Sara Toyama, Lance Okuada, and Lara Karamatsu for coming out to help in the restoration effort of the He’eia Fishpond kuapā and to Troy Ching for coordinating this event with Keli’i of Paepae o He`eia.