For the past eight years, the BCWWA has hosted this annual design competition for local undergraduate and graduate students, with the aim of allowing students the ability to apply their academic skills to solve real world water and wastewater problems that we face every day. The winning team will go on to further compete at WEFTEC against teams from across the world. For 4 of the 8 years of this competition, our local teams have won first place in WEFTEC environmental competitive category!


For this year’s competition, we have partnered with Metro Vancouver for an exciting project relating to the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.


The Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant provides “Primary” treatment for municipal wastewater generated by a large majority of the City of Vancouver. To meet increasingly stringent discharge regulations, the existing Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (IIWWTP) will be replaced by a new treatment plant by 2030. One key aspect of this design will be to incorporate resource recovery, where feasible. Students are invited to participate in this design competition that will help identify opportunities to incorporate resource recovery technology in the future design.


To be eligible to participate in the BCWWA SDC, each team member must be:


  • A registered student (full‐time or part‐time) at a college or university in British Columbia.
  • Senior students (3rd, 4th level and graduate) in the environmental, civil, chemical engineering or related fields.
  • A student member of BCWWA or WEF.   


The winning team will present at the BCWWA Annual Conference & Trade Show and compete at the WEFTEC that same year. Both events provide excellent exposure to potential industry employers.


For more information, please contact us at or 604-630-5346.




With the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, we anticipate that the 2021 Student Design Competition will be run differently than in previous years. The BCWWA is dedicated to make the necessary efforts to ensure the health and safety of its staff, volunteers, and competitors. As such, while normally the students would be supported to attend the site visit, BCWWA Annual Conference, and WEFTEC in person (ie. travel, accommodations, etc.), there is potential for these events to be fulfilled virtually.


The BCWWA continuously monitors the situation as it unfolds and takes the advice from the BC Centre for Disease Control and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. As the situation is continuously evolving, all components of the competition are subject to change with little or no notice, but whether the events are hosted in-person or virtually, you will be supported by the BCWWA during the competition. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.





Key Dates:

  • Application Deadline: January 18, 2021
  • BCWWA 2021 Virtual Conference & Trade Show: June 1-2, 2021 Virtual
  • WEFTEC: October 16-20, 2021


To apply for the BCWWA Student Design Competition, please submit one completed application form for your team to by the deadline. The application form is located on page 17 of the BCWWA Competition Guidelines, which can be downloaded below. Please ensure each team member has a BCWWA Student Membership ($25 CAD) by the application deadline. For more information, please contact us by email or at 604-630-5346.


Important Documents:


Thank you to our 2021 Student Design Competition sponsors:
















For more information on sponsorship opportunities for the BCWWA Student Design Competition, contact us at




2020 BCWWA Student Design Competition:

Placed third in the WEFTEC Student Design Competition environmental category.


  • Project Statement: Provide two innovative solutions to control and treat onsite rainfall runoff from townhomes in the Cambie Corridor.
  • Winning Team: Team CIVVIC – Noah Fanos, Brett Mikkelsen, Jacob Riedl, Robin Jory, Liam Kirchner, and Felix Motard


2019 BCWWA Student Design Team:

Placed first in WEFTEC Student Design Competition environmental category. 


  • Project Statement: Complete a comparative analysis and design of two treatment, conveyance, and disposal solutions for aircraft de-icing fluid runoff and stormwater runoff at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
  • Winning Team: Team DTE – Johnson Li, James Craxton, Lutz Subagio, and Daniel Luo


2018 BCWWA Student Design Team:

Placed first in WEFTEC Student Design Competition environmental category.


  • Project statement: Submit a design to upgrade Ellis Creek in the City of Penticton, aiming to better equip the Creek to deal with the effects of climate change.
  • Winning team: Team DTE - Johnson Li, James Craxton, Steven Rintoul, Lutz Subagio


2017 BCWWA Student Design Team:

Placed second in WEFTEC Student Design Competition wastewater category.


  • Project statement: Design a secondary treatment upgrade for the Tsawout First Nation wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).
  • Winning team: UBSea Tec - Kit Caufield, Brad Jenks, Tim Burton, Jennika Javinson, Antonio Castro, and Gregory Vettese


2016 BCWWA Student Design Team:


  • Project statement: Design a treatment process for the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s (RMoW) wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to reduce the amount of phosphorus discharged to the Cheakamus River with the treated effluent.
  • Winning team: Team Aquatech Solutions - Leah MacGillivray, Matthew Waldie, Kelsey Baker, Danielle Gutwillinger, Trudy Miller, and Travis Reid.

2015 BCWWA Student Design Team:

Placed third in WEFTEC Student Design Competition wastewater category.


  • Project statement:  Design a resource recovery system for the City of Kelowna's wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), which will focus on anaerobic digestion of fermented primary sludge and waste secondary sludge to produce biogas.
  • Winning team:  Team Undine Energy Solutions - Maureen Long, Clayton McBride, Allison Matfin, Brenden Vissers, and Stephanie Doherty. ​


2014 BCWWA Student Design Team:

Placed first in WEFTEC Student Design Competition environmental category.


  • Project statement: Design a baseflow augmentation facility and water quality treatment facility in Northeast Coquitlam which will sustain minimal baseflows to Star Creek, keep water temperatures low and address water quality. In addition, produce options for the sizing of the two facilities based on the extent of source control applications on single family lots within the catchment area. Evaluate these options using quantitative and qualitative criteria and present your recommended approach with reasons.
  • Winning team: Team FloBeau - Stephen Bertulli, Michael Thiessen, Robert D’Amours, David Saabas, and David Houghton.

2013 BCWWA Student Design Team:

Placed first in WEFTEC Student Design Competition environmental category.


  • Project statement: Design a pilot-scale microalgae cultivation and harvesting system for installation at Metro Vancouver’s Sustainability Academy – Annacis Wastewater Centre. Develop concepts and budget for the longer term goal of co-locating operational-scale microalgae cultivation processes at Metro Vancouver’s Iona Island wastewater treatment plant.
  • Winning team: Laith Furatian, Michal Simhon, Christopher Lawson, Connor Wilson, and Rony Das.