A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Co-opting Greywater

Aquadoc is on a well-deserved sabbatical from Oregon State University, so his courses have been *reassigned* to other faculty. An undergraduate course - Introduction to Water Science & Policy - is one of the courses that the various deans have bestowed upon me. Big shoes to fill.

I like teaching this class through eCampus, but I have not taught it on campus. The delivery of the courses is not the same. Online teaching is much like a TV sit-com - no audience, canned laughter, time to rehearse, *do-overs*, etc. *Live* performances are like stand-up comedy - timing of punch lines is important, responding to audience *feedback*, hecklers, student drama, etc. And the field assignments have to be developed for a mass of about 100 students as opposed to singular visits to the field by participants scattered across the world.

Corvallis, Oregon is a very *water aware* community. It is not just because it rains all the time. The campus hosts a vibrant Water Resources Graduate Program that typically fields about 200 applicants per year for less than 50 slots. Benton County hosts a small stormwater treatment laboratory profiled in this video made by one of my undergraduate employees - Stormwater Solutions - a 20 minute video posted on the OSU mediaSpace.

Community volunteers, such as the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, have partnered with local businesses and the City of Corvallis to develop demonstration sites. Perhaps the most easily accessible in terms of visiting the activities is the First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op where, as outlined in the video, the OSU *Team Graywater* was assigned the design and installation of the first permitted greywater system in Corvallis.

For the spring 2016 Introduction to Water Science & Policy course (recalling rehearsal and timing is everything in a live performance so the reason for the early start on preparation for the course), I developed *Tour de Agua Urbano* where the participants will trace Corvallis water from *cradle to grave*.

No *Tour* would be complete without a steep climb to *visit* one of the most protected watersheds in the US that serves as one of the sources of the Corvallis water supply (Rock Creek watershed tributary to the Marys River, tributary to the mighty Willamette River). The *finish line* is at the City wastewater treatment plant that also serves as a laboratory to detect *performance* enhancing drugs in wastewater.


One of the *stops* on the *Tour* will be the South Co-Op greywater reuse facility, worthy of a yellow jersey in the Tour de Agua Urbano.

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A man who never lies must have green blood in his veins, or blue or yellow, but definitely not red!
~ Turkish Playwright Mehmet Murat ildan

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