Marquette engineers place first in wastewater treatment solutions design competition

Earlier this month, a team of five Marquette engineering students applied their skills to meet the needs of a real community, placing first in a competition to propose wastewater treatment solutions for Bijagua, Costa Rica. Hosted by Central States Water Environment Association (CSWEA), the fourth Annual Midwest Student Design Competition brought together 11 design teams from nine institutions across the United States and Costa Rica. 

Marquette’s team placed first in the Global Water Stewardship U.S. category and tied for first with Universidad de Costa Rica in the overall Global Water Stewardship category. 

For the competition, Marquette engineers had to propose three treatment alternatives appropriate for the community and their climate, while also meeting effluent quality requirements. The project also included an analysis of a sanitary sewer collection system, and the task of identifying and recommending the ideal geographic location for their treatment solution. 

As a winning team, the Marquette engineers will be sponsored by CSWEA to travel to Costa Rica in August 2023 to present their treatment design to the Bijagua community as well as build a rain garden to prevent runoff pollution. The team’s work will also be published in a future issue of Central States magazine. 

This project stems from the team’s work in their senior design capstone course and offered an opportunity to present in a broader professional competition. Their senior design project involves additional parameters, including greater evaluation of transportation, scheduling, cost-estimation and more. The team will not be presenting at Design Day 2023, but will have a public presentation the day before on Thursday, May 4 at 3:30 p.m. in Engineering Hall 136.