MWRA 2009-2010 Writing Contest Winners

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Alexa J. Murray
Grade 4, Linden School, Malden


A Bit Challenging but Quite Rewarding

I hear the ring of my alarm clock going off. It is 6:00 AM and it is time to get up. I am extremely exhausted after staying up all night watching American Idol. I'm hoping the drive to work won't be bad. I should have plenty of time to stop at Dunkin' Donuts for a medium regular. I need to make it to my job as an engineer at the MWRA by 8:00 AM.

As I arrive at my building I say hello to the secretary and go up to the 5th floor where my office is. I turn on my computer and hang up my jacket. I check my schedule and see that I have an appointment at 1PM on Deer Island. Then I check my voicemail and find out my meeting with the planning board has been postponed until next week. Once my computer turns on I log into my email account One email is from my boss saying that he needs information on how many gallons of water will be needed at the new shopping mall in Melrose. I also have an email from my co-worker Jenn saying that she needs help designing a new sewer outflow at Revere Beach. I call her back and we decide to meet today since our meeting was postponed. I start looking through paperwork and drinking my coffee. It has a bit too much sugar in it, but the temperature is perfect, not too hot.

It's now mid-morning and time to head out to Revere to meet with Jenn.
Jenn and I discuss some ideas and some past projects that we had done that are similar to this one. We check the water outflow that she had asked about. I take some measurements and pictures that I think could help in the design. Jenn suggested that we go to Kelly's and get some clam chowder and a fish plate for lunch. I think that's an awesome idea.
After I feed the seagulls some of my fries I drive out to Deer Island. Deer Island is where all of the wastewater from the Boston area goes. The water is treated in different ways. Some of the waste is converted into solid form and sold as fertilizer. Other wastewater is treated with chemicals and sent out into the ocean through a 9.5 mile long underwater tunnel, known as the outfall tunnel.

I meet with the plant manager named Fred and we discuss the replacement of several sections of pipe. The pipe had been found out to be corroded. He thinks that the replacement pipe should be made of a different material, one that is less likely to get rusty. I told him I would work on a cost analysis to show him how much different kinds of pipe would cost. I told him that I would have it back to him in two weeks. He then gave me a tour of the facility to show me all the new activity that has occurred since I was there last. He takes great pride being able to treat all the wastewater in an efficient way that keeps
Boston Harbor very clean.

I drive back to my office so I can review some paperwork and return some more emails and phone messages. I start to put together some of the information that I had gathered today for my two newest projects. I'm also wishing I had another coffee, but I'll settle for a bottle of water and a piece of gum. I look up at the clock and realize it's just about time to head home. As I check my planner for the next day I realize it's going to be a busy one. I'll be heading to Boston tomorrow to meet with Public Works. There is a tunnel near Boston Harbor that may need to be reconstructed. I'm thinking of skipping Idol tonight so I can get to bed early.
I have a very interesting job. I'm glad I chose to become an engineer, even though it can be very busy at times. I like working for the MWRA, it is always a bit challenging, but I find it to be quite rewarding.

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