Bristol Community College opens Blue Center for water technologies IN RESPONSE TO GROWING NEED FOR DRINKING WATER AND WASTEWATER INDUSTRY TECHNICIANS
The Bristol Community College Blue Center for Water Technologies has been established in response to the growing need for drinking water and wastewater industry technicians. Serving as an innovative model training center, the Blue Center features a functioning model conventional water treatment plant, a functioning wastewater treatment plant providing clean water for our aquaculture system, and a pond and groundwater monitoring well.
The training facility’s other capabilities include surface water and groundwater sampling, PH testing, groundwater simulators, pump operation and maintenance training, renewable energy training, and chlorine residual analysis, and more.
A lending laboratory at the Blue Center was also created to lend the facilities’ equipment to area high schools and colleges to expand the reach of the mission of the center. Institutions may borrow equipment for a semester or more to help begin their programs and become familiar with the specialized equipment.
The Blue Center was established during a Bristol Community College Presidential Fellowship when a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant proposal was developed and submitted in the fall of 2015. In the spring of 2016, NSF ATE awarded the college $602,0001 for the New England Water Treatment Training (NEWTT) project. The project is designed to develop and/or enhance drinking water and wastewater education programs in community colleges throughout New England. Funding from this grant was used to enhance the Blue Center’s laboratory capabilities.
The NEWTT grant, together with the Blue Center, are working with representatives from the water industry, as well as academia and local and state governments to develop curricula to meet the needs of the water industry. The center’s programs train students to be ready for employment in municipal and privately operated facilities, and include an active internship program for students to participate in tours of these facilities.
For more information about BCC’s Blue Center for Water Technologies, please contact Professor Robert Rak, Environmental Science and Technology Coordinator, by calling 774.357.2771 or email Robert.Rak@bristolcc.edu.