Monday, December 7, 2009

Green is the new Adamson Blue

Adamson News/NOV 09 issue/Editorial

In environmental advocacy, there are myriad ways to express one’s statements and convictions. Some bare their flesh to get their eye-popping message across while others invade the streets armed with screaming placards and vocal chords. Still others prefer the quiet but potent tentacles of the www to engage a cyber audience, or lobby in congress hoping that its so-called Honorables will forego their own narrow interests and support what is good for the majority.
Like the poet Carl Sandburg’s fog that “comes on little cat feet,” the formal launch of Adamson University’s latest environment-friendly endeavor resorted to no hype save for a solemn blessing. On a rainy November 5 afternoon, the university’s top and mid-level administrators witnessed the inauguration of the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), said to be the second of only two existing among the schools in the country today.
This Php10 million watershed initiative adds a new badge of honor to the University but for now, the movers and shakers behind this project are content to relish the completion of one that challenged the university’s resources and demanded their resourcefulness and determination to see it finished. Sharing its technological, environmental, economic and even educational benefits with other schools is a future move.
Simply put, the STP collects 250 cubic meters of dirty liquid per day from various septic tanks in the first few chambers of the plant which is located in the narrow strip between the estero and the back of OZ building. As the collected water flows from one chamber to another, it becomes cleaner and clearer until it reaches the final stage wherein it is ready to be sent back to the toilets for reuse in flush tanks or for watering plants. The plant in effect returns 200 cubic meters per day of reusable water - which is the same amount of clean water that will be saved by the university once the STP operates in full. Engr. Merlinda Palencia, chair of the Chemical Engineering department and coordinator of the project, said that the structure is good for some 20 years while the equipment in the adjacent control room will last five years.
There are several messages that this new facility conveys.
First, it shows how resolute the university is in its attempts to come up with a clean campus environment. Late last year, it introduced and encouraged the practice of the 5S program, the Japanese-inspired systematic cleaning up of the workplace and surroundings. To that basic effort, Adamson has now added a higher level of environmentally sound practice that comes close to the kind that some big industries have. It is therefore in solidarity with the bigger national and global push to clean up and preserve the environment.
Second, by virtue of its being built with an all-Adamsonian cast of engineers, consultants and administrators, the project attests to the competency of Adamson alumni engineers and the excellent quality of the school’s engineering education that these alumni went through in their college days. Homegrown technical professionals doing a big project for their Alma Mater, nothing could be more inspiring.
Lastly, although the University is the primary beneficiary of the STP, the outside community will also be able to share in a cognate effect: the minimization of the pollution of the Estero de Balete and of the Pasig River that the former is a tributary of. Wastewater disposal to the estero will be considerably lessened.
As Adamson steps up its green cause, not because it is the hip thing to do these days but because the dangers that can come from a damaged environment are real, imminent and as fearsome as the “2012” flick, it is important that every member of the Adamson community throw in his share. No matter how minimal, the contribution of each will count and gather weight when put together.
As a school, our official colors are blue and white to symbolize our search for excellence but these do not prevent us from going green.

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