WE&T Magazine

August08Cover.jpgWater Environment & Technology (WE&T) is the premier magazine for the water quality field. WE&T provides information on what professionals demand: cutting-edge technologies, innovative solutions, operations and maintenance, regulatory and legislative impacts, and professional development.


August 2008, Vol. 20, No.8

Sewer Sociology Contest


sew´•ẽr sō•ci•ol´ō•gy, the science of society, social institutions, and social relationships viewed through the eyes of a sewer; specifically, the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, and collective sewer use of organized groups of human beings.

Most sewer flows are characterized by repeatable diurnal patterns that vary across weekdays, weekends, and holidays. Differences in land use are also apparent. During the past 3 months, we have put your sewer sociology skills to the test with mystery land-use patterns. The challenge continues this month with our fourth installment.

A composite hydrograph of flow monitor data from a location in the southeastern United States is provided in the figure. Weekdays are shown in green, and weekends are shown in light blue. Weekend flows are slightly higher than weekday flows, but the shapes of the diurnal patterns are nearly identical.

Mystery Land Use Area
Figure 2. Mystery Land-Use
Click figure for larger view>

Based on this information, which of the following do you think this mystery land-use pattern is?
a) A hospital.
b) A “big box” retail store.
c) A college residence hall.
d) A movie theater.

Think you know the answer? Click here and select the answer you think best describes this month’s mystery flow. Responses will be accepted until Aug. 29. The winner, who will be drawn at random from correct responses, will receive a WE&T prize pack. Good luck!

Kevin L. Enfinger is senior project engineer, and Patrick L. Stevens is vice president of engineering at ADS Environmental Services, a division of ADS LLC (Huntsville, Ala.).

Mystery Flow: Part 3 Revealed
Last month’s mystery land-use pattern was obtained downstream from a ski lift in Colorado, and the observed pattern is governed by the operating hours of the ski lift. These flows are seasonal in nature and can vary considerably throughout the ski season.

Mystery Flow Part 4 Revealed SS Sept 08
Click figure for larger view

Mystery Flow: Part 2 Winner

Congratulations to Justin Cazel of Smyrna, Tenn., who correctly identified the land-use pattern in Mystery Flow: Part 2 as a prison.