MWRA 2009-2010 Writing Contest Winners

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Alaina Coakley
Grade 10, Wilmington High School, Wilmington


Helping the World Every Day

When most high school students think of a career in water or wastewater fields, the first thing that comes to their minds may be a job that they hope they will never have to observe or execute. They think of one dirty job that someone got stuck with and has no desire to do. However, this is in no way an accurate portrayal of the field. There is a range of careers that would fall under the category of a water management profession. This type of occupation is not only beneficial to the worker, but to society and the environment as well. High school students should consider a career in the water or wastewater fields because of the opportunities in those lines of work and the satisfaction of participating in providing people with the most important part of life: clean water.

There are numerous types of jobs in the field that would fit almost anyone's interests or desired career. A person who wants to become involved in law can become an attorney for the MWRA; while a person who enjoys science might become a chemist or biologist. A hands-on type of person could become a metal fabricator or a plumber. These jobs are not only intriguing, but offer good pay and are in demand. Some of the careers can allow a person to be outside. A person may have the opportunity to travel around the world, seeing new places and cultures. In the field, a person has the opportunity to discover something new like a more thorough way to clean water or a more cost-effective way to use it in the common household. While helping others in these types of careers, a person helps themselves learn valuable skills and have a job that they can take pleasure in.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority provides clean water and sewage treatment to Boston and its surrounding communities. In total, it helps sixty one towns. On a typical day, 215 million gallons of water are distributed to 2.55 million people. That means that one individual uses eighty to one hundred gallons of water each day. Although that number may seem high, if a person really thinks about it they would realize that they use that water to shower, do the dishes, flush the toilet, and brush their teeth every day. They also use water to wash the laundry, water the garden, and fill their pools in the summer. It is crucial for the public to have a constant supply of clean water in homes and businesses. People working in the water field can take pride in knowing that they help provide vital water to millions of people every day that they go to work. In addition to helping the world today, they aid future generations. They preserve the cleanliness of the water, not leave it for someone else to deal with later. Later generations can also benefit from following the example of taking care of the planet and keeping the water sanitary.

The environment is also assisted by the workers in the water and wastewater fields. 350 million gallons of sewage are treated each day by the MWRA. The MWRA pumps the treated water out into the Massachusetts Bay and the solid waste is turned into fertilizer. In some parts of the US, the treated water is used as irrigation. It has a variety of other uses but is not used as drinking water. If the water was not cleaned, the environment would be negatively impacted.

Fish and other creatures that live in the water would be harmed. Beaches would be ruined, so the tourist industry would suffer. Drinking water could become contaminated and unusable. Therefore, it is necessary for people to become a part of the wastewater treatment field to clean as much water as possible and prevent these disastrous effects.

When choosing their careers, high school students should explore the opportunities in the water and wastewater fields. An occupation in one of the fields is rewarding for the worker, the environment, the citizens of the community, and their progeny. All of these workers can be satisfied in knowing that they help the world every day.

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