Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Transporting Wastewater at UWA

I'm doing a unit called Engineering for Sustainable Development, which is in fact a mechanical unit, but I had to do it anyway due to timetable issues. It's one of those fluffy units that's not very well defined, and where lectures are guest lecturers from industry, and I haven't quite figured out how to enjoy it yet.

Although, it does have it's moments. One of the major assignments for the unit was a Wastewater Transport Project. There was a company, JAMARG, who was producing a bunch of wastewater (i.e. water from a hose) that needed to be transported through the Fiefdoms (different regions of the campus) by the 9 transport companies A-I (we were Transport Team I - iTransport) to UniTreat, the wastewater treatment plant located on the opposite side of uni.

The lead up to the practical was to write a huge management plan involving a risk assessment, communication plan, forms, procedures, policies, etc. That... was not fun, and turned out to be a huge time sink which is not good in final year. However, the day was pretty awesome!

We were given a wheelbarrow and 4 buckets, and we had to physically transport the 220L of wastewater (per transport company) with a wheelbarrow via our secure transport system. Some teams went all out and bought paint buckets as enclosures. We went for the cheap option - put bags in the buckets and fill those up instead, then tie them up with a knot to prevent spillages. By the way a spillage is penalised by a 10minute wait and some money loss too.

We didn't do too badly - we only had one minor spill, but didn't manage to deliver our full consignment. This was relatively minor compared to UniTreat who managed to have two fatalities; a mother pushing a pram wandered into the wastewater treatment area and became contaminated, and promptly died.

So after all my complaining I managed to have a pretty good time! Going down to the tav with our blue suits on was a nice end to a hard days work hauling hazardous waste.
Wastewater Transport

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