Port-OSU partnership improves Port employees’ invention

Last September, the Port of Vancouver USA’s Environmental Team and Oregon State University (OSU) entered into a partnership to help Ecological Engineering students understand the importance of water treatment and management. Port employees Mary Mattix and Matt Graves traveled to OSU to serve on a group of panelists to evaluate the students’ water treatment plans. The plans focused on one of four pollutant streams: rainwater runoff, domestic graywater, nursery runoff or landfill leachate. After receiving feedback, the groups completed their designs and proceeded with testing.

In mid-March, Mattix and Graves went back to OSU to evaluate the final designs and presentations from the students. Presentations included test results, visuals and a Q&A session at the end. Students had to provide support with engineering calculations and consider the life cycle, cost and maintenance of their designs. Students also partnered with local businesses for donations of materials to help build their water-treatment plans.

This partnership with OSU provided valuable feedback for the port with data on different designs for future adjustments to our own Grattix, essentially a rain garden in a box, enginnered by Mattix and Graves.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.