Real world problems gives an opportunity to apply our knowledge and perspective to solve them. It requires resourcefulness, resilience and an analytical approach. I got a chance to solve the problem of water adulteration in my residential society. We had a flow of brown muddy water from the taps on daily basis. As the issue was not being resolved for a very long time, I decided to address the problem. To troubleshoot the problem, I aimed to study the end to end ecosystem of the entire water storage and distribution system by inspecting every critical point.
I decided to collect water samples from each side of the building that is 6 sides to find out if the problem was confined to one or more sides of the building. Samples of water were sent to National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) which is registered Industrial Testing and Analytical Laboratory (ITA) . The samples were examined for turbidity, pH, colour, odour, presence of bacteria and presence of metals like sulphates, calcium, flouride and iron. The working conditions of the overhead and underground tanks and the borewell situated in the building premises,was examined. Inspection of the distribution system was done by examining the Galvanized Iron pipes which transported water from the underground tanks to the overhead tanks and distributed water to all the flats.
From the reports it was evident that the problem was majorly due to under-maintenance of the entire water storage and distribution system. The reports stated that accumulated dirt, mud and corroded material from tanks and pipes was mixing with the water. To fix this, recasting of bars and minor repairs were required as there was no maintenance since past 20 years. Similarly, the borewell, GI Pipes and the filter were not maintained leading to further contamination. While the pH was within range, the water had high turbidity and iron factor with water discoloration higher than prescribed limits. However there was no presence of bacteria and micro-organisms in the water.
On learning the causes of the water adulteration, I communicated the problems and solutions to the managing committee of the society. Immediate actions were taken by the committee members to address the problem. Both the tanks and the borewell were cleaned. A high technology filter was installed which has the ability to filter out the microscopic impurities. These measures helped the purification process.
Water contamination problem helped me study the entire end to end ecosystem of the delivery of water right from a public municipal treatment system to a tap. I also learned how to trace, diagnose the problem and repair it. The residents were very happy and grateful for the efforts and detailing and the constructive solution provided by me which enormously developed my confidence. Developed my soft skills and leadership qualities as I approached my society members and also the official authorities.
Gold CREST Award and Water Purification Project
Jahnvi Shah of Dhirubhai Ambani International School won the prestigious CREST GOLD AWARD for “WATER CONTAMINATION AND PURIFICATION PROJECT” by the British Science Association (BSA)
What is CREST?
CREST is a scheme that inspires young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers. CREST is an internationally recognised scheme for student-led project work in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).
The British Science Association (BSA) instituted this award to diversify the community of people engaged with science.
A consistent and high standard of assessment and moderation is achieved for the scheme via network of industry experts from the STEM and education sectors. It has been running since 1986 and sees tens of thousands of young people taking part each year.
Gold CREST Award
Students are encouraged to use their investigative skills and employ the scientific methods to conduct their own piece of research, making an original contribution to a STEM field of study. CREST Gold award is recognised and respected by universities and employers.
Gold levels are designed to stretch students typically of age 16+ and these projects are longer projects that immerse students in real research for over 70+ hours .They are long-term, in-depth projects that are run by the students themselves. Students choose the topic and type of project they want to run. The CREST assessors are trained experts across all areas of STEM and assess the projects online against the CREST assessment criteria.
Water Purification Project
- Conducted a study to highlight the problems related to improper water hygiene which led to dirty muddy water supply to the building residents.
- Collected samples from every critical point and sent it to Industrial testing laboratory to detect turbidity, colour, Ph factor, presence of bacteria, presence of metals like Sulphate, fluoride and iron if any.
- Studied the entire end-to-end ecosystem, diagnosed the problem from the delivery of the water right from a public municipal system ,underground Tank, Borewell ,Filter Plant Overhead Tank ,GI pipes that is the entire distribution network of water system of the building.
- Actions taken were: Got overhead and underground tanks cleaned, flushed borewell, got better technology filter installed and got rusted GI pipes replaced with CPVC Pipes.
- Learnt the significance of debugging the right points to fix problems in the system to prevent incorrect operations or unexpected crash of system.