Charles River CleanUp 2022

Charles River CleanUp 2022

 – Team Tata & Howard joined 3,000+ volunteers participating in the 23rd Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup! It was a beautiful Saturday to get out of the house and lend a helping hand to Mother Nature! – 

Our team picked, tugged, lugged, and hauled away litter around the Upper Falls Playground. We even made a new friend, neighbor Barry Soroka, who lives close to the park; looking forward to seeing you next year Barry!
Location: Upper Falls Playground, Newton Upper Falls, MA

Scholarships In Motion

SCHOLARSHIPS IN MOTION

TATA & HOWARD, INC. (T&H), founded in 1992, is a 100% employee-owned, water, wastewater, and stormwater services engineering firm. We are dedicated to consistently delivering the highest quality and innovative engineering solutions in the water environment.

As an industry leader in the Northeast, we believe the key to quality engineers for the future begins with education. Together with industry associations, high schools, and colleges, we demonstrate that belief through our scholarship programs. T&H scholarships recognize outstanding, graduating high school seniors who maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.0, excel in math or science, and will be enrolled full-time at a college majoring in engineering.

Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarships

Check Out More
T&H Scholarships in Motion.

Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship Awarded to Marlborough and Natick High School Seniors

TATA & HOWARD, INC. announced it’s 2018 Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship winners.  Graduating seniors from Marlborough High School, Igor De Moraes and Amanda Vilensky; and seniors from Natick High School, Kevin Zheng and Rebecca McCue, each received the $1,000 scholarship sponsored by TATA & HOWARD, INC. and the Tata family. Learn more

TATA & HOWARD, INC. Announces Paul E. Cote Engineering Scholarship Nomination, Jared Hamilton.

Jared Hamilton, an A.P. Scholar, graduated from Ellsworth High School with high honors and is a recent graduate of the University of Maine, B.S. in Civil Engineering, with a dual concentration in water resources and structural design.  Jared recently passed the Fundamentals of Engineering Exams (F.E.). He is a member of the Maine Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a past member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Jared commented on his “Greatest of All Time” (G.O.A.T.) engineering experience – while observing the construction of a substation as an intern – “I could see the foundations, forms, rebar, etc. and I knew then I had chosen the right career path.” Jared recently took a full-time position with an engineering company in Maine, setting his goal to obtain engineering knowledge through hands-on experience. – Jared, the TATA & HOWARD team congratulates you and wishes you much success!

To learn how you can apply for consideration, check out our current programs.

Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E. Engineering Scholarship Award
Click here to learn more

Donald J. Tata Engineering
Scholarship Award
Click here to learn more

Donald J. Tata Engineering
Scholarship Award

Click here to learn more

Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E. Scholarship

Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E. Engineering Scholarship Award

Tata & Howard, Inc. is pleased to co-sponsor the Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E. Engineering Scholarship Award through the Massachusetts Water Works Association (MWWA).

Patrick had a passion for quality control, quality assurance, and the development and protection of Massachusetts water supply and water infrastructure. He held a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Southeastern Massachusetts University and served as president of MWWA. His twenty-year career at Tata & Howard, Inc. served in many leadership roles, with his final position as Sr. Vice President. 

This award is open to students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering at an accredited academic institution in the United States,  with preference given to those candidates whose programs of study are related to waterworks practice. 

Click here to learn more about applying for the O’Neale Scholarship Application through MWWA. Deadline: June 1st of each year. 

Donations, if you wish to donate to this fund, please click here.  

Meet Joseph Diaz – our first Awardee

Joseph Diaz
Merrimack College
Civil Engineering | 2022
Joseph is pursuing his master’s degree in engineering management. Scholarships In Motion – check out our interview with Joseph.

Current Infrastructure Proposals in the USA

Current Infrastructure Proposals in the USA

Earlier this year, President Biden announced his American Jobs Plan – a historic investment that will rebuild our country’s aging infrastructure while also providing millions of good jobs.

The nearly 2.3 trillion-dollar investment will aid in reimagining a new economy and positioning America to be the leader in infrastructure and innovation once again.

Within the total investment, 40 percent will target climate issues and clean infrastructure. In terms of improving infrastructure alone, President Biden’s new plan will:

Fix 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets; rebuild bridges in despair; and upgrade airports, ports and transit centers in the areas that need them most.

  • $115 billion to repair roads and bridges
  • $85 billion for public transit
  • $80 billion for Amtrak
  • $25 billion for airports
  • $17 billion for ports and waterways
  • $44 billion for transformative projects
  • $20 billion for safety
  • $20 billion to redress historic inequity (such as reconnecting neighborhoods divided by major roadways)

Rebuild clean drinking water infrastructure by removing all lead pipes and service lines; renew electric grid and cap orphan oil and gas wells; and bring affordable high-speed broadband to all including the 35% of rural Americans who currently lack access.

  • $101 billion to upgrade drinking, wastewater, and stormwater systems
  • $10 billion for PFAS remediation
  • $100 billion for energy grid buildouts
  • $50 billion to improve infrastructure resilience
  • $100 billion to improve rural broadband coverage (includes subsidies to make rates more affordable)

President Biden’s American Jobs Plan will be funded by raising the corporate tax rate, part of his ‘Made in America Tax Plan’, which would hopefully pay for the American Jobs Plan within 15 years (if passed alongside each other).

In response to President Biden’s proposed plan, Senate Republicans offered a counterproposal in efforts to improve the country’s aging infrastructure. This plan is solely focused on infrastructure needs and endorses $568 billion for new spending over five years.

The funds will be allocated in the following ways:

 

  • $299 billion for repairing roads, highways, and bridges
  • $44 billion for airports
  • $61 billion for public transit
  • $35 billion for drinking water and wastewater systems
  • $14 billion for water storage
  • $20 billion for railways
  • $17 billion for ports and inland waterways
  • $13 billion for safety measures
  • $65 billion for broadband internet access

This infrastructure plan would be fully funded, potentially in part through user fees on electric vehicles as well as repurposing state and local relief passed as part of coronavirus aid bills.

President Biden will be meeting with six Republican senators to hopefully come to a mutual compromise later this week.

The Strange Truth About Water

The Strange Truth About Water

Did you know that every single drop of water on earth has existed for billions of years? The water in the oceans, rivers, ice-caps, storm clouds, and even inside of us has been perpetually cycling through the planet since it first arrived.

According to geochemical studies, it has been said that water arrived on earth with asteroids from space. The molecules that form water were on an incredible voyage, likely for millions of years, before they reached our planet. And while water is such a familiar aspect of our world, larger bodies of formed hundreds of millions of years after the planet took shape.

So aside from the notion that any and all drops of water we have encountered have been inside of oceans and dinosaurs – what else makes water so strange?

Breaking All the Rules

For one, water simply does not follow the ‘normal’ rules of chemistry. Given the properties of its makeup, water should exist as a gas. A water molecule is made from two very light atoms – hydrogen and oxygen. At the ambient conditions on the surface of the earth (temperature and pressure), this molecule should be a gas. For example, hydrogen sulfide is a gas even though it has twice the molecular weight of water.

Freezing and Floating

Another strange thing about water is that when it freezes, it expands. Most substances shrink when they transform from a liquid to a solid since molecules are packing more densely together. Think about what happens when you fill an ice tray with water. The next morning, ice is protruding out over the edge of the tray. On top of that, the frozen water floats. What happens when you drop any other solid into a liquid? It sinks. This phenomenon is called hydrogen bonding and occurs when polar ends with opposite charges of water molecules attract to other water molecules. The bond is not strong though and can be broken by heating the solid over 0 degrees Celsius.

Freezing Cold Hot

You might have noticed at some point or another that hot water freezes faster than cold water. This is known as the Mpemba effect. For hundreds of years, scientists and mathematicians have been trying to figure this out – but it was not until 2013 when something clicked. A research assistant at the University of Zagreb claims that convection currents in warm water cause it to cool more rapidly.

Up, Up and Away

Gravity – what goes up, must come down. Not necessarily with water though. Water molecules can float upwards against the force of gravity. This process is called capillary action.

Want to learn more about why water might just be the strangest thing in the universe? Check out this video produced by BBC.

The Road to PFAS-Free Drinking Water

The Road to PFAS-Free Drinking Water

The News

The PFAS Action Act of 2019, H.R. 535, a bill that would require the Pentagon to work with communities to cleanup contamination from PFAS, was passed by the House last week. The bill passed 247-159, with 24 Republicans in favor. The PFAS Action Act would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to declare two types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous and would help in aiding the removal of toxic, chemical substances from drinking water supplies across the country.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroactanesulfonic acid (PFOS), the key ingredients of aqueous film-forming foams used by the U.S. military for firefighting, would be labeled as toxic substances if the bill is enacted. As such, areas contaminated with these substances would subsequently become Superfund Sites and move up the ladder in terms of priority cleanup.

Action Items

The bill would also create maximum allowable drinking water levels for both PFOA and PFOS and establish stricter guidelines for the use of firefighting foams containing the hazardous substances. Currently, there is no maximum contaminant level for PFAS chemicals, however, the EPA has enforced a non-mandatory health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for the sum of PFOA and PFOS.

So far, the Pentagon has identified 401 active and former military and National Guard sites where PFOA and PFOS use has been detected. Additionally, five to 10 million people across the country may be exposed to water contaminated with PFAS. These chemicals have been linked to testicular and kidney cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, birth defects and high blood pressure in pregnant women.

Future Concerns

While the bill has passed the House, there may still be resistance in the Senate due to the significant scope and cost of the contamination cleanup. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the PFAS Action Act of 2019 would cost at least $300 million in the next decade, but could be much higher given that it would obligate the federal government to mitigate contamination on former federal properties that have since become state, local or privately owned.

Another foreseeable concern that surfaced from the White House just two days before the vote noted that the bill would overstep the EPA’s authority surrounding the issue. The EPA currently has an Action Plan in place to address PFAS and protect public health.

Looking Ahead

On the contrary, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an advocacy organization pushing for stricter controls over PFAS, is hopeful that the bill will be passed. Scott Faber, senior vice president of governmental affairs for the EWG stated that “it’s time for Congress to set meaningful deadlines for the EPA.” In doing such, he added, “the PFAS Action Act will immediately designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances, which will kickstart the clean-up process at contaminated sites.”

As this bill continues to play out in Washington, 2020 presidential candidates are also taking stands to address the PFAS issues and crack down on these chemicals if elected. In the absence of federal regulations, individual states are also implementing their own efforts to clean up contaminated drinking water and prevent future contamination from PFAS.

Tips for Proper Leaf Disposal This Fall

Tips for Proper Leaf Disposal This Fall

The leaves have just about fallen off all of the trees! Avoid clogging storm drains with these great tips for proper leaf disposal.

 

Please feel free to print and share our Tips for Proper Leaf Disposal Infographic with attribution to Tata & Howard, Inc. A high-resolution pdf can be downloaded by clicking here.

Mulch

Finely chopped leaves make for an excellent lawn fertilizer. Mulch leaves by running over them with your mower during the next cutting, and leave the remains on the lawn. You can also spread the mulch across flower and vegetable beds.

Compost

Composting leaves is a great way to create nutrient-rich soil. In a mixed pile, create a 2-to-1 ratio of dead leaves to grass clippings. Spreading leaves over food scraps will soak up moisture and help contain odors as well.

Protect Our Waterways

Avoid raking leaves into or nearby storm drains, ditches, creeks, or rivers. In addition to clogging the drains, decaying leaves use up the water’s oxygen, harming aquatic inhabitants.

 

Imagine a Day Without Water 2019

Imagine a Day Without Water 2019

Today, Tata & Howard joined elected officials, water utilities, community leaders, educators, and businesses from across the country as part of the fifth annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a nationwide day of education and advocacy about the value of water. Led by the Value of Water Campaign, a thousand organizations across the country will raise awareness about not taking water for granted and the crucial need for investment in our nation’s water systems.

Turning on the tap for clean, safe drinking water, and flushing the toilet with no second thought about what happens to wastewater, are actions most Americans take for granted every day. But drought, flooding, and population changes are stressing our water and wastewater systems. While most Americans enjoy reliable water service, our nation’s water infrastructure is aging and in need of investment. A day without water service is a public health and an economic disaster: a single nationwide day without water service would put $43.5 billion in economic activity at risk.

As water engineers, the Tata & Howard teams knows the importance of clean and reliable water — but how would our daily lives be affected if we even had one single day without out? To put this into perspective, we asked members of our team to answer three questions in reference to this.

  1. What does a day without water mean to you?
  2. What would you miss the most during a day without water?
  3. Why do you value water?

Check out the answers below!



Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity for diverse organizations, from environmental advocates to coffee shops, aquariums to car washes, city halls to water utilities, to talk about what water is important to them. Over the past five years, it has provided a platform for educating the public and advocating for leaders to prioritize investing in water today, so in the future no American will have to imagine a day without water. Learn more at imagineadaywithoutwater.org and follow the conversation on social media at #ValueWater.

Around the World with T&H

Around the World with T&H

Summers at an engineering firm may be prime time for field work and construction administration, but that didn’t stop our employees from venturing off on their own exciting journeys!

From the breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe to the crystal blue waters of Sardinia — and everything in between — our team traveled near and far for experiences that were nothing short of amazing.

Check out the photos below for an inside look at how engineers and staff alike spent their summer in the sun.

What exciting destinations did you travel to this summer? Share your experiences from around the world with us in the comments!

Asset Management Grant Program Available in MA

Calling All Water Utilities!

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (the Trust) are currently promoting Asset Management Programs (AMPs) by offering subsidized State Revolving Fund (SRF) financing for communities looking to improve one or more of their water-related utilities.

With the help of Asset Management Programs, water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities are poised to make beneficial financial decisions for the future. The goal of AMPs is to achieve long-term sustainability and deliver the required level of service in a cost-efficient manner. Financial decisions surrounding asset repairs, replacements, or rehabilitations, as well as the development and implementation of a long-term funding strategy can only help a utility.

Through the Asset Management Grant Program, MassDEP and the Trust are encouraging water utilities to focus on AMP development, maintenance, or improvements. This program is also aimed at helping communities and their utilities meet the Engineering Plan and Financial Sustainability Plan requirements for SRF construction loans. With that, the program will award grants with a maximum award of $150,000 or 60% of the total eligible project cost (whatever is less).

If awarded a grant, the recipient will be required to supply documentation of a full appropriation of funding mechanisms for the entire cost of the project to qualify. There are no requirements on the size or scope of the project. MassDEP will favor proposals that include a clear description of the applicant’s current asset management status and goals, and those that demonstrate a strong commitment to participate in their AMP.

Apply Today!

Tata & Howard encourages all MA utilities to apply for this special grant funding. Proposals and Project Evaluation Forms are due on August 23, 2019 by 12 pm.

For more detailed information concerning requirements and deadlines, please view the Guidelines for Proposal Submittal and Project Selection provided by MassDEP.

Asset Management

As one of MassDEP’s pre-qualified consulting engineering firms, Tata & Howard provides industry expertise in both Asset Management and funding assistance. For more information on Asset Management or how Tata & Howard can assist with your grant application, visit our website or contact us directly. We are happy to assist.