The mission of the Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission (MWMC) is to protect our community's health and the environment by providing high-quality wastewater services to the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area in partnership with Eugene, Springfield and Lane County.
In this month's issue:
Hooray for Engineers!
Saving Energy at the Plant
Local Pollution Reduction Efforts
Did You Know??
We grow roughly 88,000 poplar trees at our Biocycle Farm
in north Eugene! Learn what we're doing with all these trees:  
Engineers Week 2020!
This month we celebrated Engineers Week (February 16-22) by sitting down for some Q&A with Mark Van Eeckhout, one of our MWMC engineers.

What got you interested in engineering?
I became interested in studying water when, in high school, I toured Glen Canyon Dam. I found the engineering and ingenuity of the structure and workings to be fascinating and the idea that we as a human race can build such amazing things. Following this tour I spent the next two weeks in the canyon seeing the amazing environment and realizing that the dam had flooded miles and miles of similar river environment on the upstream side. 
The juxtaposition between the built and natural environment is one that is complicated and worth spending time learning and understanding. This is why I went into engineering and water.
What types of projects are you working on for MWMC?
My most recent project was the management of the design and construction of a new, expanded Water Quality Lab and Maintenance Facility, located at the wastewater treatment plant. These two structures were designed and constructed to help support the MWMC’s staff by providing space necessary as our organization grows. We added more than 17,000 square feet of space in these new facilities for the sampling of water and for crews that maintain our regional facilities. My hope is that these facilities provide necessary working space needed to meet our goals of cleaning water.
What would you tell a young person who’s thinking about getting into the
engineering field?
It is a long road to become an engineer. Remember what got you interested in the career path in the beginning and continue to come back to that understanding as you progress through school and job growth. Don’t go into Engineering just because you are good at math and science and that is what is expected of you by your teachers.
Reducing Our Energy Use
The wastewater treatment facility is continually seeking new opportunities to reduce its impact while also fulfilling all
environmental management standards as required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Recently, 27 high-pressure sodium lights were replaced with light emitting diodes (LED) at the secondary treatment section of the plant (closer to the east end). The projected annual energy reduction is 7402 kWh with an estimated annual utility bill savings of $522. For making this upgrade, the MWMC expects to receive a one-time rebate of $1,512 from utility provider, Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) through their Commercial Lighting Program. 
Preventing Pollution Locally
Did you know that MWMC is a part of the local Pollution Prevention Coalition (P2C)? This coalition of partners works throughout Lane County to educate citizens and businesses on their role in reducing pollutants in our air, water and soil. Visit their website to learn about this coalition and the individual partners that make up this collaboration. There, you’ll also find information on reducing sources of pollution around your house, in your garden or at work: . P2C will also be at the Lane County Home and Garden Show, March 12-15 at the Lane County Fairgrounds.
Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission
225 5th Street, Springfield, Oregon 97477