Getting to the end of the taught modules period of my Water and Wastewater Engineering MSc, my class had a slightly different touch to it; on the last day of a very important module (Physical Processes), we had a lab session. This lab session was to help us understand better the sedimentation process that takes place for the removal of flocs during water treatment.


WWE lab 1
Picture 1. Half of the class experimenting with jar tests.

This lab session was rather challenging as we were required to be fast and precise when taking samples and measuring settling speeds, but it was also quite entertaining. Working in small groups contributed to a good balance between being “professional” and having fun.


formation experiment
Picture 2. Formation and sedimentation of flocs.

One of the most interesting parts in this session, apart from using in practice the mechanisms that we had been learning about in our lectures, was the opportunity to observe our “creations” using a high-tech microscope and taking photographs of them! Undoubtedly, my team got the most creative in that, having captured the image of the following floc, which looks also like a sketched lateral view of a human face.

WWE lab 2 WWE lab 3
Picture 3 & 4. Others having fun, others being more “scientists”.

All in all, it was a very educative experience since we got to use several lab-based measuring devices and we learnt how flocculation, coagulation and sedimentation work in reality. Being able to appreciate the sunny day through the wide glass windows of the top-floor lab throughout the whole lab class, rendered this session as the best one to date!

Floc
Picture 5. Creativity in science 101.

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