Writing Contest Winners 2016-2017

First Place, Grades 6-8

Nicholas Murray
Grade 8, Linden STEAM Academy, Malden
Mrs. Katrina Bryant, Teacher


H20 Man has been on a three-year break, and now he decides it's time to return to Massachusetts. He finds himself missing his friends over at the MWRA. They've been through a lot together over the years. With the help of the MWRA H20 Man was able to get the message out to people to conserve water, not use so much plastic and to be careful what they flush. He decides it's time to go pay them a visit.

H20 Man finishes his breakfast, brushes his teeth (without leaving the water running, of course) and checks the weather before heading off to Deer Island. The forecast does not look good. In fact, there is a pretty nasty Nor'easter coming, packing a lot of rain and it looks like it may have the potential to cause some problems for his pals at the MWRA. He needs to inform them as soon as possible, so he flies out the door, forgetting to shut the television off (he hasn't met anyone at NGrid yet).

When he arrives at the gate of Deer Island he's informed that most of his buddies are in meetings. He is very curious, so he flies over to one of the windows to take a peek. It seems as if it's a storm preparation meeting. They already know about the Nor'easter, they've already been in contact with MEMA and local officials regarding the impending rain and have 24 hour staffing in place. This is amazing; they plan on working the entire time! H20 Man overhears them talking about the reservoirs and places like Cambridge and Melrose, so he decides to fly around the MWRA area to see what else is going on.

As he starts to leave Deer Island he notices that maintenance crews are checking equipment and preparing things just in case a situation may arise during the storm. H20 Man takes a moment to reflect back to 2010 when there was a massive rain storm which caused many problems for the MWRA even forcing them at one point to release untreated sewage into Quincy Bay so that it wouldn't back up into people's residences and businesses. They worked around the clock then too, always doing their part to keep all water and sewer situations in check. The worst problem they encountered was a water pipe breaking in Weston which at one point was leaking 8 million gallons of water per hour into the Charles River. What a nightmare that was!! But, he recalled, they worked around the clock, didn't matter what the weather was, they handled it like bosses!! H20 Man tries to shake off the stress of those memories and continues out to see what's going on.

Flying over the MWRA areas H20 Man observes so much happening ahead of the gloomy forecast. The reservoirs levels are being checked and lowered to prevent overflow. Generators are being tested throughout the area. Sandbags are being filled where they may possibly be needed. There are portable pumps being positioned in places like Melrose, just in case. These folks have thought of everything and they are prepared to work!

H20 Man feels a few drops of rain and decides it's time to head home and wait out the storm. He isn't worried about his precious water, knowing his pals at the MWRA are handling everything water related. They have staff in place to continue working throughout the storm, just like they do in all-weather situations. He realizes that they are so reliable that "regular" people don't even think about the water and sewage during bad weather.

He settles down back in front of the television and dozes off until a noise startles him awake. "Nicholas! School is cancelled tomorrow due to the Nor'easter coming!” yells his mom from the other room. Did she NEED to wake me up for that? Wait! Was this another dream? I keep dreaming of the MWRA year after year. I really need to figure out how to start a career with those guys.

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