Emily Dudley, ‘12

Major: Civil Engineering

A Chlorination System for the Scum Manhole at the Sturbridge Wastewater Treatment Plant. The goal of this project was to design a system for reducing nocardioform bacteria within the Sturbridge Wastewater Treatment Plant in Sturbridge, MA. Nocardioform bacteria at the plant cause foaming in the clarifier and reduce the ability to recover ballast from the foam. Foam samples from the surface of the aeration basin were chlorinated and then analyzed for settleability and cell characteristics via microscopy. A hypochlorite feed design option was chosen to inactivate and separate nocardioform bacteria within a concentrated scum manhole after aeration basin surface wasting. We were able to make recommendations for system run time, the installation of the system, and measuring the success of the system once implemented.

Why I chose this project:
This project idea was presented to our group by Tighe & Bon Inc. in Worcester, MA. We chose this MQP because it gave us a chance to work on a project related to our coursework in Environmental Engineering classes and provided us with some real-world experience.

What I learned from my MQP:
My MQP further expanded my knowledge of wastewater treatment processes. I learned proper analytical methods and got firsthand experience in environmental consulting.

How I have benefitted from my MQP as a person and a student:
Through my project, I learned the importance of communication. Communication was key within our group, with our advisors, and with our project sponsor. Our group learned that social aspects were just as important as the technical aspects of our project.

How this experience made me stronger in my field:
As with any project work, my MQP expanded my knowledge of my field from outside textbooks and homework problems. Meetings with advisors and sponsors helped me gain confidence when speaking about my major and definitely helped out during interviews for full-time work.

What I accomplished:
I feel that our MQP group accomplished the goals we set out for in the beginning of our project. Along the way, I expanded my knowledge of my field and also of an environmental consulting career.

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