New Jersey Student AWWA members help weather-proof streets
October 9, 2018

Enthusiastic student members of the New Jersey Section of the American Water Works Association were honored by the City of Newark’s Office of Sustainability and Mayor Ras Baraka for their successful “Adopt a Catch Basin” clean-up project.
Student volunteers
Eight engineering students from the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s AWWA Chapter in Newark cleaned and maintained several of the city’s curbside catch basins -- storm drains – near their campus to prevent potential street flooding and clean and recycle litter. (Photo credit: New Jersey AWWA)

The project was launched last spring in conjunction with Newark’s Prepared Together program, which engages citizen volunteers to better prepare the city for weather-related disasters. Every couple of weeks the student volunteers cleared litter from the drains to prevent water blockages. They prepared a video about the project to share their experience. 

The chapter is continuing its work this fall by painting the catch basins to raise public awareness about pollution control efforts and volunteer opportunities. 
NJIT student volunteer
Newark is particularly susceptible to flooding because of its wide expanse of impermeable surfaces such as roads and housing developments.

“As future leaders we want to bring people together to play a role in caring for their communities,” said Paula Andrea Heredia Guerrero, president of the campus AWWA chapter. 

“This is something that should be done in every city,” she added. “It’s a great way to raise awareness for taking care of our environment and volunteering for a role in your community.”