Environment and Water Resource Group

The newest addition to Portland State ASCE, the Environment and Water Resource Group (EWRG) focuses on environmental and water resource related projects and competitions to give students pursuing a career in these fields the opportunity to gain hands-on skills. Opportunities range from developing stormwater management and design plans in the EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge to competing in the annual ASCE PNW Regional Conference Environmental Competition. If you are interested in participating in these or other opportunities, please contact the Environmental Team Captain at pdx.ewrg@gmail.com. You can also sign-up for more information HERE.
Times for the meetings will be up soon.

EPA RainWorks Competition
This competition runs from September 1 – mid-December annually. The EPA RainWorks Challenge is a competition for universities nationwide to design green infrastructure for campus spaces.  The deliverables are two design boards and a narrative. There are cash prizes and grant opportunities for the winning submissions – check out the official site for past winners.

Mentoring/Design with the Portland Youth Builders
This is a new project that has been worked on in the past to help local non-profits with designs for green infrastructure projects. An example project would be taking measurements and photos to design an ecoroof that could fit above a dumpster. This would not only lower the amount of stormwater that would hit the street but also reduce pollutant runoff from the dumpster. For more information, please contact pdx.ewrg@gmail.com.

Ecoroof Test Site
We have four 88 ft model ecoroofs set up on campus. These roofs can be utilized for testing many ecoroof design ideas. Recently the roofs were used to test for nutrient leaching, which was found to be occurring. Further testing could lead to ways to reduce or eliminate this so that these loads do not enter the surface water system.

Environmental Competition Team
The details of the environmental competition are released each year and students must work together to create a product that meets or exceeds performance expectations while keeping costs and weight low. One year, the competition had students create a cylindrical water filter that did not include sand, Pearlite, or carbon filters. Two liters of Idaho groundwater mixed with Moroccan red clay were poured into the filter and the one liter of filtered water was collected and timed. The filter was then weighed, and the filtered water tested for pH, conductivity, and turbidity. The teams were judged based on the above categories, as well as filtration weight/rate ratio, cost of supplies, design of filter, justification of materials, and presentation (poster).

  • First Place Team 2015 – Water Filter Design
  • Second Place Team 2016 – Wastewater Design, Practical Application

Congratulations to our 2015 Environmental Team who earned First Place with their water filtration device! 

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2015 Environmental Team: Richard Henry, Raychel O’Hare, Joanna Westrich. Not pictured: Joseph Urness, Raechel Frogner

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Joanna Westrich, Raychel O’Hare, and Richard Henry with their filter and poster at the 2015 conference.

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Richard Henry holds the filter as the untreated water is added.