A cold, bright day in February saw more than 2,000 chemical engineering students from every corner of the British Isles gather at Loughborough University for the annual Frank Morton Sports Day.
The event has grown spectacularly from its modest beginnings in 1961 when IChemE stalwart, Professor Frank Morton, organised a football match between the chemical engineering departments at the University of Birmingham and the then University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
In today’s blog we are heading towards Puerto Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico, which is a small town with a population of around 5,000 people located just south of the US border near Columbus, New Mexico.
It’s a part of the world that has an average annual rainfall in the region of 361 mm (14.21 inches). In comparison, parts of the UK has more than ten times this level (4,577 mm or 180.2 inches).
Water supplies for North and South of the border are drawn from the same aquifers, some of which are contaminated with arsenic and fluoride.
On the US side, the water is treated using a reverse osmosis system to provide all residents with clean water.
On the Mexican side, the water supply is only disinfected with chlorine. The levels of arsenic and fluoride contaminating the water supply is toxic to the people who drink it over a long period of time.