The University of Pittsburgh hosted the 2015 Donor Reception at the University Club on September 22. Kellie Anderson, Executive Director, Central Development, Medical and Health Sciences Foundation, University of Pittsburgh welcomed all. Dr. Alberta Sbragia, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, spoke about the collaboration between Pitt and our ARCS Pittsburgh Chapter and the importance of private funding for research with the reduction in funding from public sources such as NIH and NSF. The scholars then introduced themselves and gave brief descriptions of their research. Third year scholars, Joseph Tassarotti of the Computer Science Department, Carnegie Mellon University, and Michelle Guaragno of the Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, spoke eloquently about the importance of ARCS funding to assist scholars in their research.
Last week, thirty enthusiastic ARCS women toured the ALCOSAN facility in an event organized by Jennifer Martin.
Engineer and guide John Findley explained that, until 1959 when ALCOSAN began cleaning wastewater, all Pittsburgh sewage went directly into our rivers. Today, ALCOSAN covers 300 square miles and serves approximately 900,000 people. “Due to the topography of Allegheny County, if the marble rolls one way,” said Findley, “the wastewater stream comes to us. If it rolls the other way, it goes into a municipal or other wastewater cleaning facility.”
As we walked through the plant, Findley noted that ALCOSAN maintains 90 miles of pipeline along the rivers and processes up to 250 million gallons of wastewater a day. Below, Debbie Scully and Linda Ban gaze over the river where the processed wastewater spills back into the Ohio River – at that spot, approximately 120,000 gallons a minute.