Our plan is to assist in the construction of the rainwater treatment system and to put it in the lobby of the new population health building. We would include some sort of animated display, possibly interactive, to really involve people and show them how the water is filtered. We talked with Justin Stenkamp of PAE engineers and he believes that a great addition would be for EWB to design and create further filtration for the system that could be used for testing and research by faculty or other engineers. This further filtration could also make it possible to allow people to directly drink the water from the system if legislation for this is passed in the future. The research would be very beneficial and add a further academic component to the building opening up opportunities for testing and advancement in rainwater treatment technology. If we could design a system like this it would be great experience for EWB as well because it relates to projects we would do in our partner communities in other countries. This project will provide a learning aspect that is a very important part of the new building. It will show people the impact they’re having with a direct engineering display.
There will be some water savings for the whole building due to the fact that we won’t be drawing from the city, but the primary impact will be educational. The system will be used for the toilets as well as potential landscaping so there will be some water saved from that.
Student Leadership & Involvement:
Our project will have a ton of student involvement, we will be working with a portion of the EWB local projects team as well as opening it up to any students who want to be involved.
Education, Outreach, Behavior Change:
This is where our project shines, EWB students will be researching and building this system which will provide them with an excellent experience. They will be able to apply this experience both to their resumes as engineers but also to the projects we take on in other countries which often involve rainwater purification. Students would also be getting experience working with professional engineers as we would work with PAE engineers to build the system. This will be very beneficial for the students regarding professional experience as well as networking. This project will also show every person who walks through the building the power of rainwater purification presenting it in an easy to understand and appealing way. We will also include a display to show how the system works.
Feasibility, Accountability, Sustainability:
We would have the guidance of professional engineers from miller hall on the design and building of the rainwater system. We have the long standing EWB structure to guarantee completion. We don’t envision any particularly unsustainable parts or processes.
Justin’s rough estimate for the project was about $30,000 - $35,000. This is if we decide to go the route of adding extra filtration to the treatment system. Justin estimates that the extra filtration would cost a rough estimate of $25,000. The extra $5000 - $10000 would be in an animated display, potentially interactive, showing the impact and technology of the system.