February 7, 2017

Join Environmental Services for a Science on Tap event Thursday night

Grand Rapids Environmental Manager Mike Lunn will explain what happens to wastewater after it goes down the drain at an evening Science on Tap Grand Rapids event at the SpeakEZ Lounge Thursday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.

Grand Rapids Environmental Manager Mike Lunn will explain what happens to wastewater after it goes down the drain at an evening Science on Tap Grand Rapids event at the SpeakEZ Lounge Thursday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.

The “Journey of Wastewater - From Flush to Fresh” will be a lively discussion explaining the modern convenience that many take for granted. Yet plumbing and sanitation aren’t new concepts. Ancient civilizations predating the Romans and Greeks understood that waste, if not handled properly, led to disease and death. In the United States, the first plumbing systems were developed in the 1850s and have dramatically increased in scale, efficacy and technology since then. 

According to Lunn, every single day in the Grand Rapids area, toilets, dishwashers, showers, laundry, factories and more produce roughly 40-million gallons of wastewater. All that water is treated at the Water Resource Recovery Facility. By the time that water leaves the facility, just 16 hours later, the water is cleaner than the water flowing in the Grand River.

Those attending the Science on Tap event will learn more about this fascinating process and what the future holds for Grand Rapids. Lunn will also highlight how the completion of a 27-year, $400-million project is creating a better future for Grand Rapids residents.

“The journey of wastewater is a fascinating example of modern engineering and human ingenuity,” Lunn said. “I can’t wait to share that story on Thursday night.”

Mike Lunn’s experience spans more than 40 years in the wastewater world and is responsible for the creation of some breakthrough technologies that have put the City of Grand Rapids on the map for how the City handles wastewater. His department, Environmental Services, recently earned the “Utility of the Future” award.

Science on Tap, sponsored by Grand Valley State’s Biomedical Sciences Department, is held on the second Thursday of the month at the SpeakEZ Lounge 600 Monroe Ave. The event invites conversation, debate, and interaction between scientists and the public.