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Civil Engineering Students Visit Binney Water Purification Facility

On Saturday 4/9/2022, nine students visited a state-of-the-art water treatment plant in neighboring Aurora, Colorado. This field trip, organized through CVEN-4426/5426 Pipe Network and Sewer Design, was hosted by Aurora Water’s Ann Malinaro, a chemist who is responsible for the optimization of numerous water treatment processes in the plant. Here are some of the student responses:

  • “I found the field trip super interesting to me since this was the first time for me to visit a water treatment plant. I was surprised by how mechanical and electrical engineering are a big part of the process of water treatment.” Zainab Alhaddad
  •  “I was most surprised that water from the South Platte was pumped all the way to the treatment center because I didn’t know that the water source can be so far away from the treatment centers.” Jackie Norris
  • “I found the lab (aka the Mini-Binney) to be fascinating. It was incredible to see all treatment processes scaled down and tucked into that single corner of the facility.” Kayla Soriano
  • “This was a fun and informative field trip that I would not have experienced if I did not pursue a Civil Engineering degree. I respect all the workers who ensure that we can have clean water to consume.” Eric Sherman
Top row: Anna Li, Jackie Norris, Zainab Alhaddad, Mark Suter, Eric Sherman, Jayden Sanford. Bottom row: Erika Adams, Kayla Soriano, Ritzwi Chapagain, Ann Malinaro. Photo credit: Professor David Mays
South Platte River water arrives at the Binney Water Purification Facility at the southern terminus of the Prairie Waters Project. The plastic hexagons floating in the foreground reduce evaporation and block sunlight, which in turn reduces algal blooms. Photo credit: Eric Sherman
South Platte River water undergoes coagulation prior to settling. Photo credit: Jackie Norris
A massive array of water pumps and air compressors feeds a network of large-diameter pipes in the basement of the filtration building. Photo credit: Zainab Alhaddad
A bank of ultraviolet (UV) lights. When installed into a pipe and switched on, the UV light provides disinfection against microbial pathogens and abiotic destruction of organic contaminants. Photo credit: Kayla Soriano

CU Denver Engineering, Design and Computing View All

At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.

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