Hackathon Update: See Progress From May & June!

    By Phoebe Jiang & Jasmine Mon, members of The Mustangs

may & june update

Hello TCI Readers!

Welcome to our May and June update on the Floating Wetland Project. In case you aren’t aware of our project and what it is all about, you can read our previous project updates here and here 🙂

Since our last update, we have had a few changes to our project’s supervisors. Our new supervisors are as enthusiastic about this project as we are, and have significantly helped us by bringing new perspectives and helping us develop our supply lists. 

In mid-May, we were able to receive our first shipment of building supplies. It consisted of 5 ft PVC pipes, PVC elbows, PVC glue, burlap, aquatic baskets, and a variety of aquatic plants. The elbows we ordered did not fit and we conducted a very thrilling day-long search for fitting elbows that included calls to different plumbing companies and hardware stores. Our supervisor provided us with an anchor and rope as well. We also put our aquatic plants in dishes of water and put them next to a window, so they could photosynthesize. 

Afterwards, we compiled another materials list which consisted of PVC glue & primer, PVC elbows (that did fit), foam mat tiles (to help anchor the plants in the wetland), coconut fiber burlap, mulch, a storage shed, and more aquatic plants. Additionally, we shopped for a boat, so that we could bring the floating wetland to the middle of a pond in the future and measure water levels. We also bought additional water purifying plants, as the plants that we originally ordered were smaller than expected. 

In mid-June, we inflated our boat and brought it to the pond. Then, we took pH, ammonia, nitrate, and phosphate level samples from the middle of the pond. 

We saw three turtles and many ducks in the pond, which we haven’t seen before. That means that our floating wetland is working to bring down the level of eutrophication which invites wildlife back to our pond!

We received our shipment in late June. However, the PVC pipe glue and primer were backordered, so we weren’t able to start our construction of the wetland. On a good note, we received more aquatic plants and got the right size of PVC pipe elbows! 

We started to construct our second floating wetland towards the end of June. We put together the PVC pipes and PVC pipe elbows using our glue and primer. We plan to continue the construction of the wetland in the month of July. 

Hopefully you learned what floating wetlands are made of and the impacts of floating wetlands. Stay tuned for more bi-monthly updates! – The Mustangs