L-R: team members Brad Jenks, Kit Caufield, Jenikka Javison, Tim Burton; Tom Kunetz (WEF vice president). Not pictured: team members Antonio Castro and Gregory Vettese.
The UBC Student Chapter of the BC Water and Waste Association placed second in the Student Wastewater Design Competition at WEFTEC 2017, the Water Environment Federation’s annual Technical Exhibition & Conference. The competition drew student teams from a record 17 universities to tackle a design problem related to wastewater or the water environment. The UBC team designed an upgrade for the existing wastewater treatment plant belonging to the Tsawout First Nation on Vancouver Island. Their selected upgrade was a moving-bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) which was designed to be robust, simple to operate, and easy to maintain. The team paid special attention to the social impacts of the upgrades, with the goal of re-establishing the traditional shellfish harvest which had previously been closed in part due to high coliform counts caused by the existing wastewater treatment plant. Congratulations to the team on a strong showing!