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WEF Team Wins WEFTEC Design Contest

A team of ten students from North Dakota State University (NDSU) has won the third place in the Environmental Design Competition at the 84th Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) at Los Angeles (October 2011). Team members Jason Baker, Clifford Halvorson, Steven Jensen, Anthony LaFontain, Abdul Namrou, Joseph Rezac, Leslee Storlie, Jacob Strombeck, Tanush Wadhawan, and Kevin Young worked on “Water and Environmental Issues Due to Oil Production in North Dakota”. The project involved solving problems associated with water use during hydraulic fracturing in Western North Dakota oil fields. Hydraulic fracturing is one of the advanced oil drilling techniques presently used. However, the technology uses enormous amount of fresh water to recover oil. In addition, a large number of trucks are required to haul water which cause more environmental problems and infrastructure damage. The NDSU student design team’s target was to reduce the consumption of fresh water by reusing water during fracturing. Eight of the design team members represented NDSU at WEFTEC at Los Angeles. NDSU’s project was well received by a panel of judges comprising of professional engineers and consultants, and the team was awarded third place in the competition and a cash award of $1,000. The competition is open to all universities in the United States. The design team’s activities and travel were supported by North Dakota Water Resources Research Institute, NDSU Student Government, Moore Engineering, Inc., Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc., and the department.