Public Announcements


Dr. Robert W. Okey 2020 Scholarship Sponsored by WEAU


The Dr. Robert W. Okey Scholarship was established in honor of a man who dedicated over 50 years of service to the wastewater industry, the Water Environment Federation and the Water Environment Association of Utah (WEAU).  Dr. Okey worked in the wastewater industry for many years before obtaining his PhD degree and becoming a professor at the University of Utah.   Many people now working in the industry in Utah remember taking classes from him.    He authored numerous papers and books and held patents covering various aspects of wastewater treatment.  He is fondly remembered for his many unique papers and presentations at the annual conferences and for his participation in furthering the goals and objectives of WEAU. 


The Water Environment Association of Utah will provide a $250 to $1500 grant to undergraduate students enrolled in an environmental program, either in engineering or an applicable area of science or technology, at a college or university within the state of Utah. A qualified candidate may apply as often as desired for each year the scholarship is offered; however, a candidate can only receive a maximum of $2000 of grant money from WEAU for the Okey Scholarship.

Each candidate must complete all of the essay questions assigned.  A committee appointed by the WEAU Board will judge the essays. Completed essays must be submitted by the due date of November 30, 2020 via electronically submitted to the email below. 

WEAU/Scholarship Committee

[email protected]

The Dr. Robert W. Okey


The scholarship is provided to students enrolled in environmental programs either in engineering or an applicable area of science or technology.  The grant will be for $250 to $1500 with potentially multiple grants being awarded.

The grant will be as follows:

The grant will be awarded for undergraduate students that have not reached their last semester of study.  The criteria for entering are as follows:

Undergraduate Student:

  1. Be a member of the WEAU student chapter.  (It’s free, Go to  to sign up)
  2. Respond to essay questions.
  3. Be enrolled for at least 9 credit hours.
  4. Provide a statement of career goals and interests.
  5. The above information must be provided as part of the submittal. This information must not be counted in the word count.

The following items must be followed for your scholarship submittal to be considered:

  1. Each question listed must be answered within the paper. Failure to provide information related to the question will result in points being docked.
    1. Provide detailed information supported by your research on the topic 
    2. A full list of sources must be included in a reference section at the end of your submittal (Do not include sources in the word count)

Undergraduate Student Scholarship Essay Questions


Grease and wipes are major issues within communities from residential and non-residential sources. Contact a local sewer collection system and discuss ways the sewer system regulates and controls users within the sewer system. The paper must indicate the contact person and community within Utah that was contacted. The paper must be between 500 to 1500 words.

  1. Provide information on how wipes and grease impact the sewer system?
  2. What are the primary sources of collection system issues within the community that was contacted?
  3. What controls are currently in place to control grease?
  4. What efforts are being made to regulate wipes?
  5. How will you educate others regarding the impacts of grease and wipes on sewer systems?

PFAS - AWARD Maximum $1500

PFAS is an emerging contaminate that could impact regulations for industrial and wastewater treatment facilities.  The paper must be between 1500 to 2000 words.

  1. Research the regulations in a state with PFAS regulations such as: Colorado, Michigan, or another state. Include the citation to the state regulation(s). Provide information on the impacts the regulations will have on industrial users discharging to wastewater treatment systems. Provide information on the impacts the regulations will have on wastewater treatment systems/publicly owned treatment works (POTW) which discharge to a surface water body.
  2. What are the sources of PFAS that could be discharged to a POTW?
  3. How are industrial users treating PFAS prior to discharging wastewater to sewer systems? What is the effectiveness of the PFAS treatment processes currently available?
  4. What are the concerns with PFAS and wastewater treatment?