I attended Emerging Water Quality Scholars Program with Limitless Vistas, September 29 to October 3rd, 2018. My experience was valuable that just a few words could not express how gratifying the program is and was for me it's truly an experience that I certainly would not have been able to achieve alone.
First, we went to Treme' Community Center where we participated in creating a green infrastructure the project involved reconditioning an old planter box, for the purposes of managing roof and rain runoff. It will aid in diverting excess water from the building as well as the street. Collectively we got the task completed but along the way I was able to learn what and how this green system works, I also meet some peers from my school (Delgado Community College City Park Campus), local high school students, along with many people of the workforce. I learned why there is a need for more green infrastructure especially in the city of New Orleans.
Secondly, we toured the 17th Street Pumping station where we able to see the station equipment. In addition to an in-depth explanation of the logistics of what happens in a state of emergency. I learned which sides were protected along with why there are Chains of Rock Locks and why they are important, simply the rocks assist with the impact of waves, allowing water traffic to bypass in certain areas. Next - why it is important to have grass on the levee’s also there is a special kind of turf used that has a reinforcing mat that assists in protection from potential erosion.
Thirdly, we toured the Carrollton Water Treatment Facility where I learned about the 7 stages of water purification: Coagulation, Flocculation, Sedimentation, Disinfection, pH Adjustment, Fluoridation, Filtration. Once filtration and purification are completed the water is collected and sent to pumping stations where water is delivered to citizens for use. Furthermore, this process is done twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year.
Finally, we toured WEFTEC EXPO/Safety Operation Challenge this where I feel everything came together. For example, vendors explained what their products were used for as well as how they worked. Also, there was a section in the Expo that showcased the history of the Sewage which was very informative because it was evidence of the evolution of the Sewage System. Secondly, I observed an Operations Challenge in which there were teams of four or five. Each member worked together safely to change out some sort of pipe. It was exciting to see them work in-sync, each man played an important position on the team while working quickly and effectively at the same time while practicing good safety.
In Conclusion, I am grateful to have had the opportunity with the Emerging Water Quality Scholars Program / Limitless Vistas because the organization put together an extraordinary experience for the millennium workforce. It was informative, educational, and beneficial because it allowed us to learn networking skills and professionalism. Secondly, Mr. Drew (Lehman) is passionate, positive, knowledgeable, persistent and unshakable. He also reminded me that every person in an organization is important and it takes a team to achieve one common goal and finally that sometimes you start out with one task or goal in mind and you may just find yourself on the opposing side of the spectrum.
And again, words cannot illustrate my experience, I would advise you to seek and apply!
- AKI FRANKLIN