since 1965  (really?)

Cal Environmental Team

This course listing applies to a Spring 2016 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2016
CE 98/198
1-2 Unit(s)

Human friendly URL (OBSOLETE)


About the Course:

About the Team: Cal Environmental Team is a civil & environmental engineering competition team that participates in the annual water treatment competition at the ASCE Mid-Pacific Student Conference. Participating universities include California state schools, UC Davis, Tongji University (China), and Laval University (Canada). We placed second last year and are aiming for first this year, Go Bears!

Task: From a predetermined list of materials, the team must construct a robust water filter that can treat wastewater to target water quality parameters. The scenario this year involves treating contaminated sewage after a hurricane for non-potable use. We are tasked with treating 9 gallons of water containing: potting mix, salt, oil, yeast, corn starch, fruit punch, and vinegar. The treated effluent must also maintain a chlorine residual of 4 ppm. After we finalize a design for the competition, we prepare a technical report, presentation, and poster. This year, the competition will be hosted at the University of Nevada, Reno; attached rules can be found at the bottom. 

About the Course: In the Spring, we will be building upon the design we've prototyped from the Fall semester, and refining the precise concentrations of chemicals to add for treatment. Our current challenges include: clogging, filtering out oil, and settling out suspended particles while maintaining a high flow rate. Meetings consist of lectures, build sessions, and lab testing. The deadline for the project report submission is in March and the Mid-Pac competition itself is during the first week of April, so we will be working at a fast pace. There are no papers or exams, we want students to be motivated by the prospect of curiosity, science & engineering, and competition. Assignments will be given weekly in the form of "objectives" in which a target for a water quality parameter will be set and students will have to find ways to meet the set target. For example, if the starting pH of the wastewater is 4.14, an objective would be to reach a pH of 7. Due to the amount of materials to be prepared for test trials and the rigor of the actual lab testing itself, students will be expected to devote at least 1 hour per week outside of Decal to help the team stay on schedule.

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Attendance: To pass: 1) attend all meetings with the exception of 2 unexcused absences, or 2) make up absences by doing additional lab testing, materials prep, and report drafting sessions

How to Enroll:

The team meets on Mondays 6-7:30 PM and Wednesdays 6-7 PM in 212 O'Brien Hall in the Spring. Our first meeting is January 20th, CCN's will be provided then. Outside meetings will be scheduled for lab testing and materials preparation. All majors welcome. The class focuses on water chemistry, engineering design, and sustainability. Feel free to email us if you have any questions.

Course Contact: calenviroteam AT


Faculty Sponsor: Khalid Kadir

Time & Location:

Section 1John Law
30212 O'BrienMW 6p-7:30p1/20started

Uploaded Files:

Syllabus: Enviro Spring16 Syllabus.pdfDec 10303kbAdobe PDF (Viewer)View Download
Course Material: Water Treatment Competition Rules 2016.pdfNov 30192kbAdobe PDF (Viewer)View Download

Course info last modified November 30, 2015. This page has been viewed 1991 times.

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