Many people world-wide are beginning to question these actions, and are starting to look for appropriate and sustainable water practices that protect the environment and human health. As part of several environmental engineering classes, we have worked with community and NGO partners in Mexico, Honduras and Italy on sustainable water and wastewater projects. One of the projects for our senior capstone design course a few years ago investigated an existing wastewater treatment plant in Taulabe, Honduras. Taulabe is a small city in south central Honduras. Officials there have been working with UVMís Department of Community Development and Applied Economics on various projects and thatís how we became involved. Water quality issues in the area are of major concern because of widespread gastrointestinal illnesses that affect the population. Both drinking water and wastewater have been identified as potential problems, and engineering projects related to these issues were developed in two different civil and environmental engineering classes.
In other courses and other projects, wastewater and environmental issues in Akumal, Mexico were investigated. Some students visited the site and performed preliminary testing and evaluation of the existing wastewater subsurface flow treatment wetland.
- Whitney, D., A.J. Rossman, N.J. Hayden. 2003. Evaluating the Efficiency of a Subsurface Flow Wetland in Akumal, Mexico. J. Ecological Engineering 20:105-111.