Author Archives: Alma Rocha

Green Infrastructure Students Target Tennessee River

Implementing green infrastructure often provides a diverse range of benefits, from keeping stormwater contaminants out of waterways to improving property values. For a group of seven University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA; Knoxville) students who designed, constructed, and released floating wetlands in a tributary of the Tennessee River this semester, pursuing green infrastructure came with an additional reward: class credit.

Collections Systems Professionals Invent New Tools for Battle Against Non-Flushables

Written by: Justin Jacques Flushing household products – such as wet wipes for restroom use or cosmetic wipes for removing makeup – is a global issue for the wastewater sector. These products are often mislabeled as “flushable” despite their inability to disperse in conventional collections systems. Flushing them can result in costly and messy septic …

University OF Hawai’i Program Schools Young Engineers in Stormwater Management

Population density on the Hawaiian Islands is growing rapidly, with figures from the 2020 U.S. Census suggesting more than 100,000 people have immigrated to the state since 2010. At the same time, research from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UH; Honolulu) indicates that the effects of climate change are manifesting as lower overall rainfall volumes, but more frequent intense downpours across the archipelago in recent years. For these reasons, attention to stormwater management is growing among Hawaiian conservationists, municipal governments, utilities, and researchers. The City and County of Honolulu, for example, is in the process of establishing a new stormwater utility that would join more than 2,000 U.S. municipalities in charging user fees based on the impervious space of their property, with proceeds funding new stormwater-management improvements.

Getting Ready for Operations Challenge 2021

WEFTEC 2021 will host the 34th annual Operations Challenge. This five-event competition demonstrates the precision, speed, and safety of the wastewater sector’s most elite specialists. Teams of wastewater collection and treatment operators are sponsored by a WEF Member Association or recognized Operator Association. They will face off in the Laboratory and Process Control events on …

Jumping into a Wastewater Apprenticeship

Have you read the Wastewater Treatment Fundamentals series published by the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Virginia)? I served as a development editor for the second book in the series. My time researching wastewater operations from a distance eventually compelled me to jump into the trenches. Today, I am an Operator-in-Training (OIT) for Maryland Environmental Services.