December 2019 Print

Disclaimer Note

Chapters are not authorized to speak for the Society.

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This Month's Meeting

December 17, 2019
11:30 AM MST - 1:00 PM MST

Legends Sports Pub
677 S. 200 W.
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Venue website

Main Presentation:

Backflow Prevention Devices, Regulations, and Installation on Water and Wastewater Applications - Presented by Utah Division of Drinking Water & Rural Water Association of Utah

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President's Report

Seasons Greetings!  Ok time to share some of my word play humor with you.  Seasons Greetings leads to Greeting and Salutations, which leads to Seasonings Greetings and Salad Stations!  Because you need seasonings at your salad stations.  

It’s December again and everyone seems to be busy as all get out!  And as the chapter board, we sure are busy.  We still have some details to get worked out, but pencil in a service project at the Utah Food Bank for the 25th of January and plan to bring your family and friends.  We are also still working on an ASPE movie night (or afternoon) for our members and families that will probably be in February or March.

In other news, the Utah Engineers Council Awards Banquet is coming up in February.  We as a chapter have usually nominated someone for the Engineer of the Year award and the Fresh Face in Engineering of the Year award.  Our selection process was just a discussion during the board meeting and the asking the person(s) we selected if they would like to be ASPE nominee and to fill-out the need paperwork.  But this year we are seeking nominations from you our chapter members.  Nominate your ASPE member co-worker, you ASPE member boss, or nominate yourself!

The requirements/rules for the Engineer of the Year:

Nominees shall not have won this award previously. Previous nominees can be nominated again, if desired. Highly valued by judges is the nominee’s involvement in engineering projects that improve public welfare while furthering their profession. Nominees can be working as a part of a larger team and the projects do not need to be at their place of employment, but leadership activities over, or within, the team is important. The list below gives insight to the judges’ approach, so try to follow the format and deliver the content. If in doubt include it, but keep the package as concise as practical to aid the judges in finding the real gems. (I don’t see anywhere that the nominee has to be a PE)

The requirements/rules for Fresh Face in Engineering of the Year:

Nominees shall not have been previously won this award. They must have at least a baccalaureate degree dated no earlier than 5 years from the UEC Fresh Faces of Engineering nomination due date. Highly valued by judges is the nominee’s involvement in engineering projects that improve public welfare while furthering their professional growth. Nominees can be working as a member of a larger team and the projects do not need to be at their place of employment.

The nomination deadline is January 3, 2020 so that we can decide and get nomination packets submitted to the UEC.

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Special Announcement

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Member Spotlight

Hello, my name is Jared Christensen. I went to school at Utah State University, where I studied Mechanical Engineering in between working as a bike mechanic at the on-campus bike shop, Aggie Blue Bikes, and serving as the Music Director for the student radio station.

I moved back to Salt Lake and took some courses at Salt Lake Community College before ultimately transferring to the University of Utah, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree in May. I’ve been working in plumbing design at VBFA for one year—first as an intern during my final semester of school, and then ultimately as an engineer after graduation.

Prior to VBFA I had opportunities to work in many different industries—fitness wearables, medical devices, and as a grocery bagger, where I placed 5th in the State of Utah Grocery Bagging competition in 2014.

I still enjoy fixing & riding bikes, as well as playing & listening to music, cooking, baking, and reading books.

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VP Technical Article


Its that time of year again where we get bundled up and ready to spend time with our families. It is also the time to do some serious shopping and giving.  Are you ahead of the game or have you even started?  Unfortunately, I have not even started to think about it.  On another note, I really enjoy seeing how excited my niece and nephew get when it is this time of year. Everything from the anticipation of Santa’s arrival to opening up the next day’s door on the chocolate advent calendars, it always makes me smile.  Getting them engaged is always fun for me.  If you are looking to do the same, here are some fun websites we use with the kids to get them ready for Christmas. I am sure if you have little ones they will enjoy these links as well.  &

On another note, it’s also that time of year where those in the water industry hope for more snow, while others wish it would go away. Snow is important. And a lot of people just don’t know how important. Read below for some reasons you can share.

Reasons Snow Important

  • Frozen water represents 80% of all freshwater on Earth.
  • Snow melt runoff is the major source of water to rivers and groundwaters over middle and high latitude areas.
    • CA: 80% of all surface water is snowmelt.
    • CO: 70% of all surface water is snowmelt.
  • Earth's radiation balance is influenced by snow and ice because of the high albedo of snow and ice relative to most other land and sea surfaces.
  • 10% of the Earth's surface is covered by glacial ice, with snow covering the glacial ice.
  • Small changes in climate can have very large effects on precipitation as snow, the amount of water stored as snow, and the timing and magnitude of snowmelt runoff.
  • Last but not least, it makes skiing and snowboarding much more fun!


 We are definitely lower than we were last year with the snowfall. Understandably, there isn’t much we can do to make the snow come, but there is a lot we can do to conserve water.

 -Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Water comes out of the average faucet at 2.5 gallons per minute. Don’t let all that water go down the drain while you brush! Turn off the faucet after you wet your brush, and leave it off until it’s time to rinse.

-Fix your leaks. Whether you go DIY or hire a plumber, fixing leaky faucets can mean big water savings

-Flush with less. Older toilets use a lot of water. You can reduce your usage by sinking a half-gallon jug of water in the toilet tank. Do NOT use a brick, because it will break down and the sediment can damage your tank.

December’s Technical Presentation

 SUBJECT:  Backflow Prevention Devices, Regulations, and Installation on Water and Wastewater Applications

PRESENTED BY:  Gary Rager with Utah Division of Drinking Water


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Special Announcement

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VP Legislative Article

Season’s greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus.

Some say it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Others may say it is stressful, cold and miserable.  I have mixed feeling.  I do enjoy Christmas but I don’t care for Christmas shopping.  Christmastime was definitely more enjoyable when I was a kid.  A long break from school, the excitement of Santa Claus, snow forts, snowball fights and sledding.  We spent a lot of time playing in the snow.  We didn’t have Nintendo or Xbox.  No internet, Netflix, Youtube, or smart phones.  I imagine there is a snowball fight app and probably one for building snow forts and maybe even a snow shoveling app (shovel as fast as your fingers will allow until your virtual back gives out!)  Nowadays the season seems to consist of shoveling actual snow, slipping on the ice, traffic, crowds, stress, and work.  It is easy to let all the negative things from winter and Christmas get you down.  Hopefully we can focus more on spending time with those we care about, having fun in the snow and embracing the spirit of Christmas more this year.  That is my goal.  May we all have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  Lend a hand.  Help someone around you that may be struggling.  Be a friend and show you care.  Reach out to someone you have been thinking about.  Be kind to a stranger and don’t let your pipes freeze. 

By the way, I looked up Festivus.  I thought it was created by Seinfeld but it turns out it was conceived by Daniel O'Keefe and was celebrated as early as 1966.  It is celebrated on December 23.

I hope to see you all at our chapter meeting.

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VP Membership Article

I have been working as a mechanical engineer for a little over 5 years. 2019 has been by far the busiest year so far. The strong growing economy of the state of Utah has a direct influence on the number of projects we receive. Since 2012 Utah has been considered one of the top 5 states with the best economic outlooks. I believe this is pretty obvious to anyone who has been living in Utah for the past 10 years. The housing market keeps growing as companies keep moving to Utah bringing with them workers from all over the country. This has a direct impact on construction projects taking place in our home state. All this provides us with the opportunity to work on numerous diverse projects and develop ourselves as professional designers and engineers. ASPE Intermountain can be a great asset as we take advantage of our monthly training meetings. If there is a specific topic you would like ASPE Intermountain to address, do not hesitate to contact us and we will make sure to coordinate a presentation that addresses your concerns.

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Special Announcement

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Affiliate Liaison Article

The holidays are upon us! The plurality of that word is important: for some, it means Christmas; for others, Hanukkah. Still others understand it as the time for Kwanzaa, or Ramadan, or Winter Solstice. But whatever the holiday may be, there is a common thread shared by everyone this time of year, and that is the spirit of giving.

Each of us has at least three “things” we can give:

Money (Whether in the form of a gift or dollars), Time, and Thanks

Money. This doesn’t need extensive exploration. It’s a renewable resource. If we have it we can give it or spend it on others; be they strangers (traditional food donations, toys for needy children and the Salvation Army bell ringers come to mind), or family and friends.

Time. The holiday season for many of us is a very busy time full of planning, shopping, decorating, entertaining, cooking, baking… the list goes on and on… and all of this in addition to our already hectic lives. Time is a difficult gift for most of us. We have so little of it; it’s non-renewable – in fact it is our most precious resource. Giving time: To strangers as a volunteer at a shelter, to a board of a charity, to your aged aunt or uncle or parents taking them to an appointment, reading to a child so they might learn the vast and diverse worlds available in books, to your significant other to re-kindle the spark. Time is a special gift.

Most of us have a budget for gifts; be they charity or otherwise. Think about budgeting your time. Write down a list of who will you give time to, when, and how much? Then spend it throughout the year.

Thanks. Thanks is the most renewable resource we have to give – it costs us nothing and yet so often we are stingy as if in giving it we were using up some finite resource. Or, maybe we’re just lazy.  The unstated benefit of a thank-you is the feeling you give to others. Saying thanks and giving thanks cannot be underestimated. And should not be underdone. The power of a sincere “thanks” cannot be measured.

I came across this article Author unknown, but it struck me that we need to be a more selfless society and not just at this special time of the year, but to make it a conscious effort to show love and respect to all we come in contact with.

Thank you all for the friendship and acceptance you have shown to me.  Merry Christmas and may you have the joy that life blessing can bring you in this year to come.

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AYP Article

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays Everyone! 

December is here again and so is the cold. But with the cold weather of December comes skiing, snowmobiling, hot chocolate, fudge, gingerbread, lights, gifts, and an added since of kindness and charity for others. Among all the hustle and bustle of the festive activities, parties, and shopping. We seem to be a more giving people this time of year. 

We as a board wanted to join in with the giving spirit and do a mid-year service project. Due to the busyness of December we have moved our service activity to the start of the new year. Those in need could use a helping hand in January just as much as they could in December. 

So, pull out your calendars. We have a few details to confirm, but on the 25th of January we plan on having our mid-year service project at the Utah Food Bank. Come with can goods to donate and willing hands to help stack the shelves! Have a wonderful Christmas season and we’ll see you all in January!

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