Organic life on planet earth requires water to survive and thrive, which requires us to clean and disinfect water of contaminants. Our infrastructure heavily relies on clean water to be provided and our way of life takes this fact for granted. Through the use of coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection, humans are able to sustain our way of life with a low environmental impact.
With this process in mind, our team is given challenges that replicate this design and process in a miniature scale. Past projects have been given dirty water that replicated a night of "Taco Tuesdays" and a spill of house cleaning chemicals. The design of each treatment system varies wildly both in construction style and selection of materials. All of the systems are gravity fed and many include nesting totes inside of each other with various layers of filtration. Teams may build frames using wood and nails, but the wood must be cut on site with a hand saw. Some of the different treatment systems are shown in the photos below. Depending on the challenge, we have used burlap (a common material for filtering large particulates from the water) and chemicals (such as pickled lime or alum) to the water during the treatment procedure.