WEF Hightlights Issue Homepage


WEF Hightlights Issue Home Page


WEF Highlights Description:   

WEF's membership newsletter covers current Federation activities, Member Association news, and items of concern to the water quality field. WEF Highlights is your source for the most up-to-the-minute WEF news and member information. 

 
Month:   July / August  Year: 2012   Volume: 49  Issue:6

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London Strives To Make Olympics Sustainable Through Water Reuse System
 

Top Story Content:   

The 2012 Olympic Games begin officially with the Opening Ceremony on July 27. But while all the eyes will be on the sporting events, a nonpotable reuse system will be an unsung hero of this year’s games.

The Olympic Park in London is ready to welcome nearly a 250,000 international visitors each day during the games, said Holly Knight head of sustainability for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA; London). This is due, in part, to the Old Ford Water Recycling Plant, which began operating in November.

The new plant provides water for irrigation and toilet flushing, as well as for the cooling towers of a combined cooling, heat, and power (CCHP) energy center. Also, as the first nonpotable-water-reuse treatment system in the United Kingdom, the plant paves the way for future water-use projects, Knight said.    

Olympics - Old Ford - Small 1
The Old Ford Water Recycling Plant will provide recycled water for non-potable use during the 2012 Olympic Games. Photo courtesy of London 2012. Click for larger image. 

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Title:     

Fishing Out Phosphorus
 

SubTitle:
Floating treatment wetlands turn phosphorus into harvestable fish

Content:

Floating treatment wetlands turn phosphorus into harvestable fish  

Fish Fry Lake Rendering Small 

Researchers at Floating Island International (FII) in Shepherd, Mont., an agricultural region, are fishing nonpoint source nutrients out of 2.6-ha (6.5-ac) Fish Fry Lake. Bruce Kania, FII project development director, uses rod and reel to maintain floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) in the lake. Fishing is all part of the job; experienced anglers can catch one fish every 2 minutes at Fish Fry, he said. 

This floating treatment wetland on Fish Fry Lake in Shepherd, Mont. features a wood structure for recreation and a metal structure to house the island’s aerators. Photo courtesy of Floating Island International Inc. (Shepherd). Click for larger image.

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Title:     

Opening General Session Sets the Stage With Innovation and Transformation Keynote Address
 

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Content:

Jim Carroll, recognized as an authority on global trends and innovations and business transformations, will deliver the keynote speech at the WEFTEC® 2012 Opening General Session. The author, columnist, media commentator, and consultant will discuss innovation and transformation strategy.

The Opening General Session, scheduled for Oct. 1, kicks off the 85th annual Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) technical exhibition and conference, which will be held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Sept. 29–Oct. 3.

WEFTEC - OGS Jim Carroll
Jim Carroll will deliver the keynote speech at WEFTEC® 2012. Photo courtesy of Washington Speakers Bureau (Alexandria, Va.).

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Title:     

‘Bogging in the Big Easy’ — Help Plant a New Orleans Wetland During WEFTEC
 

SubTitle:

Content:

New Orleans Bioswale 1 Small 

Once again, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) urges WEFTEC® 2012 attendees to get outside and make a difference during the conference. When registering, those planning to attend the WEF annual technical exhibition and conference can choose to participate in the annual WEFTEC Service Project. 

During this year’s project, “Bogging in the Big Easy,” volunteers will plant a wetland in New Orleans’ City Park to help remove silt and pollutants from stormwater runoff and help protect surface waters, and to provide wildlife habitat and a recreational area. 

A bioswale in New Orleans' City Park where WEFTEC volunteers will help plant a wetland. Photo courtesy of New Orleans City Park. Click for larger image.

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Water Professionals Help Devise  Wastewater Operator Apprenticeship Program Framework
 

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Water professionals (including operators, engineers, and academics) convened June 2–3 at a Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) workshop in St. Louis to take action on one of the major outcomes from the Operator Certification and Training Summit held last summer.

Operators 1 Small
Water professionals participate in a workshop to discuss basic operator education requirements. WEF photo/Christine Radke. Click for larger image.

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WEF Leaders Speak at NBP EMS Certification Celebrations
 

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In May, Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) leaders attended events honoring two utilities’ National Biosolids Partnership (NBP; Alexandria) environmental management system (EMS) certification.

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Water Leadership Institute Participants Learn Communication Styles and Techniques
 

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First impressions form within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. Signals like the firmness of a handshake and degree of eye contact convey personality styles to the perceptive observer. Learning how to effectively communicate with others is an important professional skill that can be enhanced by a basic understanding of personality styles, said Linda Kelly, Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) senior director of development.

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WEF Hightlights Features Section


         
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Featured Article

Title:     

London Strives To Make Olympics Sustainable Through Water-Reuse System
 

SubTitle:

Content:

The 2012 Olympic Games are scheduled to begin officially with the opening ceremony on July 27. But while all eyes will be on the sporting events, a nonpotable-water-reuse system will be an unsung hero of this year’s games.

The Olympic Park in London is ready to welcome nearly 250,000 international visitors each day during the games, said Holly Knight, head of sustainability for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA; London). This is due, in part, to the Old Ford Water Recycling Plant, which began operating in November.

The new plant provides water for irrigation and toilet flushing, as well as for the cooling towers of a combined cooling, heat, and power (CCHP) energy center. Also, as the first nonpotable-water-reuse treatment system in the United Kingdom, the plant paves the way for future water-use projects, Knight said.  

Olympics - Old Ford - Small 1
The Old Ford Water Recycling Plant will provide recycled water for nonpotable use during the 2012 Olympic Games. Photo courtesy of London 2012. Click for larger image.  


“It’s really just a stepping stone for investigating whether or not this is a real option for London in the future,” Knight said. “[Now], there’s a new set of water quality standards and a process to engage with the regulators that wasn’t in place before.”

Setting a goal for sustainable water use
ODA instituted a sustainable water strategy with the goal of reducing potable water use by 40% in the park. The first step was installing water-efficient plumbing fixtures, such as low-flow toilets and water-saving faucets, Knight said. But this only achieved an 18% reduction, according to the ODA report Learning Legacy: Lessons learned from the London 2012 Games construction project.

After conducting a feasibility study into alternative water supply options, ODA determined that a large-scale nonpotable water solution was needed to reach the 40% goal. Early studies had ruled out wastewater reclamation because of the risk and cost constraints, the report says, but Thames Water (Reading, England) offered to become a partner on the project if ODA reconsidered wastewater reclamation.

“Having them manage all the technology took away a huge amount of that risk,” Knight said. Each organization invested €5 million to fund the joint project.

Olympics - Old Ford - 2 Pump station Small 


Creating a system that treats wastewater for nonpotable reuse
In 2008, the design process began with ODA managing the pipe network and Thames Water managing construction of the treatment plant. But because this is the first plant of its kind in the United Kingdom, there were no standards to follow.

The main requirement was to supply water to the energy center’s cooling towers, Knight said. The center was created to supply a sustainable source of energy for heating, cooling, and electricity in the Olympic Park through CCHP powered by natural gas and a boiler using wood chips as a fuel to generate heat.

“Our energy center is actually the largest consumer of water on the park,” Knight said. And to reduce the amount of water needed in the towers, water quality had to be higher quality than groundwater, the report says.

The Old Ford Water Recycling Plant pumping station delivers nonpotable water to permanent structures in the Olympic Park to flush toilets and irrigate the landscape. Photo courtesy of London 2012. Click for larger image.


So, ODA and Thames Water developed water quality parameters that aligned with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Urban Reuse guideline. The resulting high-quality reclaimed water is suitable for both urban reuse and the energy center, the report says.

To achieve this quality, the plant relies on a membrane bioreactor (MBR). First, wastewater is treated in septic tanks. Then it passes through 1-mm screens and is treated by an MBR, the report says. Next, 0.04-μm ultrafiltration membranes remove solids and pathogens, and a conventional granular activated carbon process further treats the water. The effluent is disinfected with sodium hypochlorite before being sent through the nonpotable-water-distribution network, the report says.

To ensure a consistent supply of wastewater, the reuse plant takes wastewater from the nearby Northern Outfall Sewer, the main system collecting wastewater from northeast London. It was designed to achieve an average flow of 0.574 ML/d, with peak storage of 0.813 ML/d.

Water-saving features combine to exceed original goals
In addition to being used in the energy center, reclaimed water is used to flush toilets and irrigate the Olympic Park’s 100 ha. “One of the most beautiful things about the London 2012 Olympic Park is the parklands and greenery,” Knight said. “So, this protects us against drought.”

Irrigation provides a large payback on investment, because London is a water-scarce region which experienced drought throughout the spring, Knight said. “We’ve invested hundreds of millions [of euros] in landscape works and redesign of habitat,” she said. “It’s a large possibility that some of that might not have survived if we hadn’t had the wastewater treatment plant to supply the irrigation water.”

Additionally, the park’s aquatic center saves water. It has a filter backwash system that collects water in pool filters, treats it through its own onsite treatment system, and uses it to flush toilets.

When combined, all of these water-saving steps have enabled ODA to exceed its original goals; potable water use has been reduced 58%, the report says.

Research and community education commences after the games
To achieve community and environmental organization acceptance, the Old Ford Water Recycling Plant was constructed with aesthetically appealing architecture and landscaping. It includes a “green” roof, a butterfly pond, and wildlife trails. Following the games, the Olympic Park will be open for public use.  


“London Wildlife Trust will organize nature walks,” Knight said. The walks will be combined with an educational component in the energy center’s visitors’ center to engage and educate the public, she added.

Also, for 7 years after the games, Thames Water will operate the plant and gather research on its operation, Knight said. Thames Water will examine operational costs and conduct cost-effectiveness studies, she said. “After that 7-year period, they’ll do a review of the operational process of the technology … and decide whether or not they want to upgrade it, or close the plant down, or switch to a different type of treatment.” 

Olympics - Old Ford - 3 Small 
Artistic impressions of the Old Ford Water Recycling Plant show how the facility was designed to blend in with the natural environment. Photos courtesy of London 2012. Click for larger images.
Olympics - Old Ford - 4 Small 

Author Info:

— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
 

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Featured Article

Title:     

Fishing Out Phosphorus
 

SubTitle:
Floating treatment wetlands turn phosphorus into harvestable fish

Content:

Researchers at Floating Island International (FII) in Shepherd, Mont., an agricultural region, are fishing nonpoint source nutrients out of 2.6-ha (6.5-ac) Fish Fry Lake. Bruce Kania, FII project development director, uses rod and reel to maintain floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) in the lake. Fishing is all part of the job; experienced anglers can catch one fish every 2 minutes at Fish Fry, he said.
Fish Fry Lake Rendering Small
The man-made floating islands transfer excess phosphorus from host water to periphyton, which is a colony composed of algae, bacteria, microbes, and organic matter. This colony serves as a food source for certain types of fish.

In 2011, Fish Fry Lake removed 1.1 kg/ha (1 lb/ac) of phosphorus at a cost of $282/kg ($128/lb) and produced 112 kg/ha (100 lb/ac) of harvestable fish, Kania said. The lake's clarity, measured by Secchi disk, improved to 5.8 m (19 ft) from an initial condition of 0.4 m (1.2 ft) with ongoing removal of suspended solids, according to FII. As of May, data indicate nutrient removal and catch rates are on their way to doubling in 2012, Kania said.
This floating treatment wetland (FTW) on Fish Fry Lake in Shepherd, Mont., features a wood structure for recreation a metal structure to house the island’s aerators. Photo courtesy of Floating Island International Inc. (Shepherd). Click for larger image.

FTWs offer effective, cost-efficient additional treatment to increase nutrient removal. Application is universal — they are operating in various climates. FII has 4400 FTWs installed in such places as New Zealand, where water quality managers grow eels to restock other waterways, and in Singapore, Indonesia, and across the United States, including Alaska. The islands hold fast, surviving typhoons, tornados, and active icy waters, Kania said.  

Data show that FTWs have vast potential to address water quality and promote aquaculture. “We’re trying to answer the question, ‘Can we engender a viable fishery … to ultimately improve water quality?’” Kania said.


Mimicking Nature
Fish Fry Lake has 530 m2 (5700 ft2) of FTWs modeled after natural floating wetlands composed of peat and plants. Natural islands — such as an 82-year-old, 12-ha (30-ac) island in Chippewa Floage in northern Wisconsin — remove nutrients from water. Because Fish Fry Lake has several arms to it, there are two aerated floating islands and three small air diffusers (each 140 L/min [5 ft3/min]), which FII runs to increase the pond’s dissolved-oxygen (DO) levels to more than 6.5 mg/L and to stabilize temperatures below 24ºC (76ºF).

Fish Fry Lake 1b SmallFish Fry Lake 1a Small
Fish Fry Lake 1c Small Final
FTWs in Singapore help increase nutrient removal in waterways. Photos courtesy of Floating Island International. Click for larger images. 

According to FII research, FTWs remove 93% of total suspended solids, 88% of phosphorus, 71% of total nitrogen, 88% of total organic carbon and chemical oxygen demand, 90% of copper, 95% of lead, and 36% of zinc. The data indicate that FTWs exceed removal rates of most comparable best management practices, such as retention ponds, wetland basins, media filters, and other manufactured devices. 

FTWs reduce algae, engender fish by growing periphyton and other biofilms, improve pond aesthetics, cool water, provide shade, and grow plants. FTWs can be used for effluent polishing, stormwater management applications, and lake restoration, Kania said. 
 
Fish Fry Lake 3 Assembly SmallFish Fry Lake 3b modules Small


FTWs can help a community facing increased effluent standards. “FTWs can be installed into existing [wastewater] lagoons to improve the contaminant removal rates, thereby resulting in cleaner effluent,” said Frank Stewart of Stewart Engineering (Bozeman, Mont.), who is an engineering design consultant for FII. “In most cases, installing FTWs into existing lagoons is cheaper than building new lagoons, especially if land costs are considered,” he said.

Fish Fry Lake 3c Small
FTW modules are being assembled in Alaska. Photos courtesy of Floating Island International. Click for larger images.


FTWs also could reduce peak discharges for occasional out-of-compliance wastewater dischargers, as well as decrease the volume of nutrients generated by livestock lagoons, Stewart added.

Half the Cost
While the systems do not work well in urban areas because of site restrictions, cities can get credit for contaminants removed from smaller upstream communities. “The cleanup effect for the river is the same, but the removal is much cheaper,” Stewart said.

According to Mark Reinsel of Apex Engineering (Missoula, Mont.), who establishes testing protocols and analyzes FII water data, FTWs cost less than 50% of traditional treatment, including alum. Floating islands cost between $269 and $484 per m2 ($25 and $45 per ft2), depending on whether aeration is incorporated. Plants, which increase longevity and stability, increase costs.

Growing Fish
FII has been using a recycled, nonwoven polymer matrix since 2006. The material also is used in other FTW models, such as freshwater coral, elevated bioswales, and docks. “It’s the best material we have for growing biofilm in the real world,” Stewart said.  

Biofilm and periphyton love dirty water — the more of it in contact with the matrix, “the faster the biofilms remove contaminants,” Stewart said.

Adding aeration increases DO concentrations due to mixing, lowers overall water temperatures, and hastens periphyton growth, researchers explained. With increased sunlight and circulation, FTWs increase in size and density. As periphyton takes in phosphorus and transfers it to the fish that feed on it, DO levels rise and turbidity decreases. Sunlight reaches into lower levels of the water column, enhancing diatom‐based periphyton growth. As FTWs grow, they become more diversified and stable, enabling them to remove more phosphorus and generate larger fish populations.

One aerated 230-m2 (2500-ft2) model in Fish Fry Lake circulates up to 2 m3 (72 ft3) of air per minute and 40 m3 (10,400 gal) of direct flow with a 2.25-kW (3-hp) motor. FTWs with aeration destratify the 8.5-m-deep (28-ft-deep) lake and homogenize temperatures when needed, Kania said.


Efficiency and Design Life
According to Reinsel, FTWs “are more effective than treatment methods that are relying on settling.”

Reinsel measures effectiveness in pounds of phosphorus per year per cubic foot of FTW. Rain gardens and stormwater retention basins are 20% to 30% effective, while the floating islands are 60% to 70% effective, he said.

Data on design life are sparse — FII’s oldest floating island is 8 years old. After 20 to 30 years, an FTW may have to be harvested.  

The Art of FTW Maintenance
FII harvests 12 to 18 kg (26 to 40 lb) of perch each week for consumption. “The perch fish fry is alive and well,” said Kania. “Our challenge on Fish Fry Lake is harvesting fish fast enough,” he added.

Fish Fry Lake 2 small
Fish Fry Lake has northern yellow perch, black crappie, and Yellowstone cutthroat trout. FTWs also can support tilapia, catfish, carp, freshwater shrimp, and minnow species. Photo courtesy of Floating Island Interantioanl. Click for larger image.  

Other than all that fishing and frying, Stewart said FTWs are easy to manage.

“Relative to eutrophied waters, catch-and-harvest needs to be the new mantra,” Kania said. 

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— Andrea Fox, WEF Highlights
 

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Opening General Session Sets the Stage With Innovation and Transformation Keynote Address
 

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WEFTEC - OGS Jim Carroll

Jim Carroll, recognized as an authority on global trends and innovations and business transformations, will deliver the keynote speech at the WEFTEC® 2012 Opening General Session. The author, columnist, media commentator, and consultant will discuss innovation and transformation strategy.

The Opening General Session, scheduled for Oct. 1, kicks off the 85th annual Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) technical exhibition and conference, which will be held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Sept. 29–Oct. 3.  

This year’s theme focuses on WEF’s new strategic direction, announced earlier this year. Carroll’s presentation is expected to frame this theme, titled “A New Direction for WEF,” and to provide tools and tips on how to achieve success through significant, transformative change.

“We live and work in a period of unprecedented change,” Carroll said. “Intelligent infrastructure concepts continue to emerge from the hypothetical to the real, while new design methodologies and concepts challenge water professionals to keep ahead of these fast-paced developments. I’ll cover the key trends that will provide challenge in the future and outline how to turn them into opportunity.”

Jim Carroll will deliver the keynote speech at WEFTEC® 2012. Photo courtesy of the Washington Speakers Bureau (Alexandria, Va.). 


The Opening General Session also will feature remarks from WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger and 2011–2012 WEF President Matt Bond, as well as recognition of the 2012 Stockholm Junior Water Prize winners.

“This is a very exciting time for the water profession and specifically for the Water Environment Federation as we continue on this new path to drive innovation in water, enrich the expertise of the water sector, and increase awareness of the value of water,” Eger said.  

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— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
 

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‘Bogging in the Big Easy’ — Help Plant a New Orleans Wetland During WEFTEC
 

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Once again, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) urges WEFTEC® 2012 attendees to get outside and make a difference during the conference. When registering, those planning to attend the WEF annual technical exhibition and conference can choose to participate in the annual WEFTEC Service Project.

During this year’s project, “Bogging in the Big Easy,” volunteers will plant a wetland in New Orleans’ City Park to help remove silt and pollutants from stormwater runoff and help protect surface waters, and to provide wildlife habitat and a recreational area.

On Sept. 29, volunteers will plant eight native wetland species in the lower riparian area of a new wetland area. Approximately 10,000 small plants are required in the area, and WEF volunteers will spend the day, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., attempting to complete plantings in half of the area, said Haley Falconer, SYPC Community Service Project chair.

City Park experienced more than $43 million in damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. More than 90% of the 526-ha (1300-ac) regional park was flooded for a month, according to City Park officials. The park is the largest recreational area in the New Orleans metropolitan area, and its restoration will help increase surrounding property value and return recreational opportunities in the city, officials said. 

New Orleans Bioswale 1 Small
Bioswales in New Orleans' City Park where WEFTEC volunteers will help plant a wetland. Photos courtesy of New Orleans' City Park. Click for larger images.  
New Orleans Bioswale 2Small
New Orleans Wetland Small


“The WEF Service Project is an opportunity for WEF members to give back to the WEFTEC host community,” Falconer said. “These projects also provide volunteers experience with and exposure to low-impact development concepts. Additionally, the WEF Service Project provides an avenue to interface with the general public and showcase the great things we do as water professionals.”

Those who already registered for the conference without signing up for the service project can still sign up by sending an e-mail to Dianne Crilley at dcrilley@wef.org.

A rendering of the wetland area that will be constructed with the assistance of WEFTEC volunteers. Photo courtesy of New Orleans City Park. Click for larger image.


The 2012 project will be the fifth in a series of service projects that included the construction of a bioswale in the Lower 9th Ward during WEFTEC 2010 in New Orleans. Read more about these previous projects in past issues of Highlights: 

 

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— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
 

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Water Professionals Help Devise  Wastewater Operator Apprenticeship Program Framework
 

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Operators 1 Small 
Water professionals participate in a workshop to discuss basic-level operator education requirements. WEF photo/Christine Radke. Click for larger image. 

Water professionals (including operators, engineers, and academics) convened June 2–3 at a Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) workshop in St. Louis to take action on one of the major outcomes from the Operator Certification and Training Summit held last summer.

Wastewater treatment operator certification and training requirements vary greatly among states. So, at the workshop, 30 attending experts with various backgrounds discussed specific requirements for a national standard detailing minimum body of knowledge requirements for basic-level operator education. 

Operators 3 Small

Participants were asked to think about what operators need to know to collect and treat wastewater as safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible. They broke into five work groups to discuss national apprenticeship standards, including necessary work processes, instruction, and advanced operator training curricula needed in the topic areas of collection systems, activated sludge, and anaerobic digestion.

“It is time to bring attention to the wastewater operator and his/her invaluable status within the working world,” said John Seldon, owner of Temporary Operations & Maintenance Inc. (Port Burwell, Ontario) who attendeed the workshop. “The field itself must be highlighted within the general working community as one worth pursuing. We must now actively seek out individuals who wish to make wastewater treatment a first choice of career and provide the educational means to qualify them ... for their career of choice.”  

Workshop pariticipants discuss what operators need to know to collect and treat wastewater. WEF photo/Radke. Click for larger image.


Attendees specified items to be included in the framework of a nationally recognized wastewater operator apprenticeship program. Details for this program were used to create the “Wastewater Operator Apprenticeship — Work Processes” and “Wastewater Operator Apprenticeship —Related Instruction” documents. They will be included in the apprenticeship program application that will be submitted to the U.S Department of Labor. The goal is to have a new operator apprenticeship program approved later this year.

Attendees also recommended

  • updating wastewater treatment terminology;
  • designing resources for the specific operator audience, requiring Instructional System Designers to develop educational modules;
  • developing materials for specific outcomes, such as distinguishing between earning academic credits versus certification;
  • offering delivery methods accessible and familiar to the next generation of operators, such as using simulations or mobile apps; and
  • recruiting those interested and passionate about working in the wastewater sector.  
     
 
Information identified during workshop discussion also was used to create several documents, including “Curriculum Components for a Collection Systems Training Program,” “Preliminary Curriculum Components for an Activated Sludge Training Program,” and “Preliminary Curriculum Components for an Anaerobic Digestion Training Program.” These documents can be used to develop training curricula in the future.

Read about last year’s Operator Summit in the September 2011 Highlights article “Water Treatment Professionals Gather To Give Operator Profession Direction” and WE&T article WEF addresses certification, training issues."
Operators 2 Small 
Workshop attendees also determined requirements for a wastewater operator apprentinship program. WEF photo/Radke. Click for larger image.

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— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
 

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WEF Leaders Speak at NBP EMS Certification Celebrations
 

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In May, Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) leaders attended events honoring two utilities’ National Biosolids Partnership (NBP; Alexandria) environmental management system (EMS) certification.

On May 16, WEF Deputy Executive Director Eileen O’Neill spoke at the Knoxville (Tenn.) Utilities Board (KUB) celebration. O’Neill and National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA; Washington, D.C.) Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Chris Hornback presented the certification plaque to KUB members and staff. The utility became the 34th organization in North America and the second in Tennessee to receive NBP EMS certification.    
NBP- KUB Group Small 
From left, Ted Tyree, Knoxville (Tenn.) Utilities Board (KUB) manager; Eileen J. O’Neill, WEF deputy director; Chris Hornbeck, National Association of Clean Water Agencies senior director; Wayne Loveday, KUB vice president; Mintha Roach, KUB president and chief executive officer; and Bill Elmore, KUB executive vice president and chief operating officer, pariticpate in KUB’s National Biosolids Partnership (NBP) certification celebration. Photo courtesy of KUB. Click for larger image.

And on May 23, WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger spoke at the Renewable Water Resources' (Greenville, S.C.) NBP EMS celebration. Eger and the other featured speaker, NACWA Executive Director Ken Kirk, presented the certification plaque and flag to staff. The utility became the 33rd organization in North America and the first in South Carolina to receive NBP EMS certification.

The ceremonies recognized both utilities’ achievement of effective biosolids EMSs.
NBP- Renewable Eger NBP- Renewable Group Small 
Left, WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger speaks at the Renewable Water Resources' (Greenville, S.C.) NBP celebration. Above from left, Eger stands with Renewable Water employees Jolene Devaney, Larry Camp, J.D. Martin, Jessica Brown, Glen McManus, Bryan Kohart, Joey Collins, Ray Orvin, and Stacey Flax, and National Clean Water Agency Executive Director Ken Kirk at the celebration. Photos courtesy of Renewable Water Resources. Click for larger images.

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— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
 

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Water Leadership Institute Participants Learn Communication Styles and Techniques
 

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First impressions form within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. Signals like the firmness of a handshake and degree of eye contact convey personality styles to the perceptive observer. Learning how to effectively communicate with others is an important professional skill that can be enhanced by a basic understanding of personality styles, said Linda Kelly, Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) senior director of development.

Water Leadership Institute Logo


On June 13, the 29 participants in the Water Leadership Institute (WLI), a WEF program, zeroed in on personality styles and communication skills. Pam Kenel, Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.) associate vice president, and Kelly, discussed these topics with WLI participants during the American Water Works Association (AWWA; Denver) 2012 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Dallas.  

The WLI program is a 7-month leadership course to train future leaders and provide opportunities to build lasting relationships within the water sector. The WLI program was created by WEF and endorsed by AWWA.

To collaborate effectively, one must learn to identify and communicate with various types of people, Kelly said. Learning how to handle various personality styles fosters better communication and teamwork, she added.

“There is no best personality style,” Kelly said, but “communication can be hampered by unlike personalities. … There are major areas of conflict automatically, because your preferences are so different.”

WLI Meeting Small


Understanding personalities is a fundamental communication skill, Kelly said. “Technical training and skill building [are] equal in importance to understanding the people that you are going to accomplish objectives with throughout your career,” she said.

While Kelly focused on the individual, Kenel tied individual professional development to the success of companies. Learning to adapt is an essential success factor, both for individuals and for organizations, especially with rapid changes in information technology, she said.

“Information technology allows us to access reams and reams of information,” Kenel said. “But it’s just data on our screen if we don’t have the ability to make knowledge productive.”  

Those who participated in the Water Leaderhsip Institute (WLI) event included, from left, Grady Coomes, WLI participant; Joe Mantua, American Water Works Association (Denver) past president; Richard D. Kuchenrither, WLI participant; Heather Cheslek, WLI participant; Linda Kelly, presenter and WEF senior director of development; Adam Carpenter, WLI participant; Pam Kenel, presenter and Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.) associate vice president; and Matt Bond, WEF president. WEF photo/Kristina Twigg. Click for larger image. 

Kenel stressed the importance of making knowledge productive by sharing individual and company experiences at conferences, in journals, and through social media to further professional development.

Sharing lessons learned can be a powerful tool for advancing innovation in the water sector, and as leaders, it is important to share that knowledge, Kenel said. She added that professional associations provide opportunities for leadership, professional development, and building personal networks that enable collaboration.

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— Kristina Twigg, WEF Highlights
 

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News and Events Section


News and Events


News and Events: For this section, add News or Event articles that will appear in the News and Events section of the WEF Highlights Newsletter.


News and Events Article


Title:     

New York State Student Wins National SJWP Prize for Fracking Research
 

SubTitle:

Content:

SJWP US Winner Small

Kunal Sangani of Fayetteville, N.Y., is the U.S. winner of the 2012 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP). Sangani won for his project “Modeling and Environmental Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing in Upstate New York.” He was among 49 state SJWP winners at the national competition, which was held in Boston June 14–16.

For the project, Sangani examined various aspects of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) on groundwater resources in upstate New York and presented a model for understanding its potential effects on the natural environment and groundwater resources.

For winning, Sangani receives $3000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Stockholm, where he will compete against national winners from more than 30 countries for the international SJWP prize in August. He also will have the opportunity to present his research at WEFTEC® 2012, to be held Sept. 29–Oct. 3 in New Orleans. Sangani’s school, Fayetteville–Manlius (N.Y.) High School, will receive a $1000 grant to be used for enhancing water science education. 

Kunal Sangani won the 2012 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for the United States. Photo courtesy of Allison O’Brien. Click for larger image.


Additionally, U.S. finalists Natalie Ng of Cupertino, Calif.; Taide Ding of Oxford, Miss.; and Ajay Krishnan of Portland, Ore., each received a $1000 award. And Sydney–Alyce Bourget of Jonesboro, Ga., received the $1000 Bjorn von Euler Innovation in Water Scholarship for her project “The Chronic Toxicity of Acetaminophen on Daphnia magna.”

SJWP is an international competition for water-related research administered by the Stockholm International Water Institute and sponsored by Xylem Inc. (White Plains, N.Y.). The Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) sponsors the U.S. SJWP with support from Xylem and The Coca-Cola Co. (Atlanta). The New England Water Environment Association (Woburn, Mass.) hosted the 2012 U.S. competition, and Sangani received sponsorship from the New York Water Environment Association (Syracuse).  

SJWP Winners with Sponsors Small
SJWP - Bourget - Bjorn von Euler Small
Above, WEF President-Elect Cordell Samuels (left) and Xylem Watermark Director Michael Fields (right) stand with U.S. SJWP winners, from left, Natalie Ng, Taide Ding, Kunal Sangani, and Ajay Krishnan. Left, Sydney-Alyce Bourget received the Bjorn von Euler Innovation in Water scholarship. Photos courtesy of Allison O’Brien. Click for larger images.

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Register For WEFTEC and Take Advantage of Online Resources
 

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Recognized as the largest annual water quality conference and exhibition in the world, WEFTEC® 2012 offers access to 141 sessions, 24 workshops, more than 1000 presentations and posters, 6 facility tours, and nearly 900 exhibitors. This year’s conference also features an Innovation Pavilion, Stormwater Pavilion, expanded exhibition hours, and new mobile sessions. 

WEFTEC 2012 Logo 
WEFTEC 2012 AppWEFTEC 2012 QR Code 


Register by July 13 to receive the Super Saver Rate.

Choose Premium Registration to receive full access to all technical sessions, a discounted workshop of your choice, the full week exhibition, a 1-year WEFTEC On DemandSM subscription, and a 1-year subscription to two Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) international publications.

Utilities can customize comprehensive membership packages for all of their employees through the updated WEFTEC Utility Partnership Program.  

Use the QR code above to download the WEFTEC app on your smart phone.
  • Learn about WEFTEC and New Orleans from Marcia St. Martin, executive director of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board, in the New Orleans Welcomes You! video.
  • Read the WEFTEC Spotlight for new features of the conference.
  • Download the WEFTEC app, available for the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. Access the technical program, exhibitor directory, speaker directory, and listing of committee meetings and other events.
  • Build your WEFTEC schedule online through My WEFTEC Planner
 
WEFTEC -  Welcome Video Final

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Title:     

Last Chance To Enter Operator Ingenuity Contest
 

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Are the best tools bailing wire and an idea just crazy enough that it might work? Do you like to tinker with things to make them work better? Can you define “bricolage”? (Don’t worry — neither could we.) Are duct tape, leftover pieces of whatever, and a pesky problem all you need to find an answer?

Good. Keep the ideas coming, because the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) wants to showcase your great solutions at WEFTEC®. Submit your ideas and win a chance to speak at WEFTEC 2012.

The contest closes July 13.

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WEF Staffer and Member Participate in Ecosystem Service Challenges Discussion
 

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Ecosystem services, such as nutrient cycling and water filtration, are benefits provided by nature for free. Because they are difficult to value, many natural systems are being degraded, and nonrenewable resources are being depleted. Some, such as oil and phosphorus, could be gone within decades.

In November, 170 researchers from various disciplines attended The National Academies (Washington, D.C.) Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) in Irvine, Calif. For 2 days, 14 groups of researchers met to tackle nine ecosystem service challenges. Groups discussed such issues as international trade, ecosystem policies, public outreach, and more. A science-writing scholar accompanied each team, recording a summary of the discussion.

On May 7, NAKFI awarded $1 million to 12 ecosystem services projects developed by attendees of the November conference.

Kristina Twigg, assistant manager at the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), participated as a science-writing scholar with interdisciplinary team 2, which also included Paul Westerhoff, who serves on a Water Environment Research Foundation (Alexandria) expert panel, and WEF member Berrin Tansel.

The team discussed producing renewable resources on a massive scale, focusing primarily on phosphorus. To maintain pace with needs for high-yield agriculture, phosphorus is mined at an unsustainable rate, and scientists project that supplies could be depleted within a few decades, according to NAKFI.

The greatest loss of phosphorus from agricultural systems is due to stormwater runoff. Phosphorus also is found in large quantities in human and animal waste. Its removal from these sources represents the second greatest loss of phosphorus from the system. Of the options discussed by the team, recovering phosphorus from waste streams at wastewater treatment plants and concentrated animal-feeding operations seemed most feasible.

The conference proceedings, which contain summaries from each of the 14 teams' findings, are available online.

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— Kristina Twigg, WEF Highlights
 

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WEF Releases Solids Process Design and Management Manual
 

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Solids Process Design and Management

In May, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) released the publication Solids Process Design and Management. The manual was published jointly with the Water Environment Research Foundation (Alexandria) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Essential for professionals involved in the design, approval, and operation of municipal solids treatment and disposal systems, this book contains the latest information on public outreach and involvement, waste minimization, anaerobic and aerobic digestion, odors, and treatment and utilization of green gases. This comprehensive design manual addresses significant advancements in equipment, technologies, and processes, as well as improved planning, design, and management practices. 

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WEF Introduces 2012 Fellows
 

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In June, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) announced the 23 distinguished members of the 2012 WEF Fellows. The designation recognizes members’ achievements, stature, and contributions in professional segments served by WEF.

Now in its second year, the program identifies individuals with outstanding accomplishments who have made an effect in their field and been approved by the WEF Board of Trustees. As a component of the WEF Awards and Recognition Program, the program acknowledges the expertise of WEF’s diverse membership. WEF Fellows are recognized in areas of expertise including, but not limited to, design, education, operations, regulation, research, utility management, and leadership.

“WEF members are world leaders in water quality, and the Fellow Recognition Program is one way to recognize truly exceptional individuals,” said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. “We are very proud of the 2012 Fellows and appreciate their outstanding commitment to water quality, the environment, and public health.”

The 2012 Fellows will be recognized during WEFTEC® 2012, in New Orleans, Sept. 29–Oct. 3.

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WEF Publications Seek Reviewers
 

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The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Technical Practice Committee seeks individuals to serve as reviewers to work closely with WEF task force leaders and WEF staff to develop publications. Applicants will be asked to dedicate expertise and time to ensuring high quality while maintaining the publication schedule. The following opportunities are available:

  • Emergency Planning, Response, and Recovery, a new publication, will be available for review in September. The effort is being led by Jim Newton of the Kent County Department of Public Works in Milford, Del. If interested in serving as a reviewer, contact Lorna Ernst at lernst@wef.org.
  • User-Fee Funded Stormwater Utilities is a special publication that needs revision and will be available for review in November. The effort is being led by Mike Matichich and Laurens VanderTak of CH2M Hill (Englewood, Colo.). If interested in serving as a reviewer, contact Britt Sheinbaum at bsheinbaum@wef.org.

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Title:     

Meet WEF’s Newest Life Members
 

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Content:

  • Will B. Betchart, member since Jan. 1, 1966, California Water Environment Association.
  • Richard Corneille, member since Jan. 1, 1975, California Water Environment Association.
  • Edward Kmit, member since Jan. 1, 1977, Michigan Water Environment Association.
  • Ronald G. Soltis, member since Jan. 1, 1975, Chesapeake Water Environment Association.
  • Robert Whitley, member since Jan. 1, 1967, California Water Environment Association.
  • Michael A. Zagar, member since Jan. 1, 1970, Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association.

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Attend the Stormwater Symposium
 

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The Stormwater Symposium 2012 will be held July 18–20 at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center. This symposium will focus on national issues (including the proposed national stormwater rulemaking), regional issues, developing technologies, and management approaches key to growing and evolving the topic of stormwater. Find more details in the technical program draft.
 
Attendees can download the new My Stormwater App to access the full technical program on mobile devices. The app is searchable by date, time, speaker, and topic area. The app includes the Online Resource Guide, an online directory of sponsors and companies that provide stormwater services. The guide includes company descriptions, product categories, contact information, and website listings. 

App users can create personalized conference schedules, register for the conference, or make hotel reservations. Those without smartphones can access the features online at http://stormwater.expotogo.com
Stormwater Symposium AppStormwater Symposium - QR Code
Use the QR code above to access My Stormwater App features online with your smart phone.

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WEF Participates in Green Infrastructure Discussions with Policy Leaders
 

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Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) staff in May participated in two briefings on the economic implication of using green infrastructure to protect water quality. On May 16, staff attended a briefing for senior officials at the White House Council on Environmental Quality; and on May 17, staff members joined a briefing for water and policy officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Both briefings discussed the report Banking on Green: How Green Infrastructure Saves Municipalities Money and Provides Economic Benefits Community-wide. Briefing discussions focused on local agencies’ difficulties documenting the monetary value of the additional benefits provided by green infrastructure and emphasized that additional case studies and regulatory flexibility would be helpful when considering green solutions.

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WEF Joins Other Organizations in Effective Utility Management Meeting
 

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On May 15, Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Deputy Executive Director Eileen O’Neill participated in a meeting with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff to discuss progress and steps to foster improved management of water utilities.

The discussion, based on the Ten Attributes of Effectively Managed Water Sector Utilities, included representatives from the six national organizations that originally sponsored the publication. These organizations include WEF and the Water Environment Research Foundation (Alexandria). Attendees discussed challenges facing utilities and the need to address finances.

The publication provides a primer for water utilities seeking to become high-performing organizations. Since its release in 2008, the sponsoring organizations have worked to incorporate effective utility management into education, training, and recognition programs.  

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WEF Offers Online Course on Fundamentals of Preliminary Treatment
 

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Live now on the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Knowledge Center website is a new online course, Fundamentals of Preliminary Treatment.

The course provides an overview of

  • components of the preliminary treatment process;
  • safety concerns associated with its operations;
  • types of screening equipment and their functions;
  • methods of disposing material collected;
  • types and operation of grit-removal systems;
  • components of and function of septage-receiving stations;
  • sources of and alternatives for controlling odors;
  • flow measurement and management methods; and
  • purpose and principles of operation of comminutors and grinders.  

Participants can earn 0.3 Continuing Education Units or 3 Contact Hours. The course costs $75 for members and $111 for nonmembers.

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WEF Commends U.S. EPA Water Program Response to Climate Change
 

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On May 15, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) submitted comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft of the National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change.

WEF commended EPA on developing a comprehensive strategy to address climate change in the context of our nation’s clean water programs. WEF also noted gratitude for being able to participate and contribute to the Climate Ready Water Utilities workgroup. The workgroup was formed by EPA to examine the potential effects of climate change on water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure and to develop responses to these effects.

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WEF Webcasts — No Cost, Major Benefits
 

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Since switching to a sponsored model for webcasts, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) offers webcasts at no cost.


Fundamentals of Membrane Bioreactors
Part 3: Activated Sludge — July 11, 1–3 p.m. (EDT)

Topics to be covered in Part 3 include equipment procurement, facility design, and membrane bioreactor (MBR) facility operation.

Click here to register.

This webcast is part of a series discussing the MBR process, membrane and biological process fundamentals, the methodology and considerations for completing an MBR process design, and considerations for facility design and construction of MBRs.

Find recordings of the previous webcasts in this series at the links below:


Design of Urban Stormwater Controls MOP Series Part 2 — July 12, 1–2:30 p.m. (EDT)
Part 2 topics include design of stormwater controls, including basins, swales, strips, and filters and recent research related to each control category, as well as design considerations and maintenance requirements. Click here to register.

The series introduces the recently updated stormwater Manual of Practice (MOP) 23 Design of Urban Stormwater Controls. The new MOP is a comprehensive compilation of significant updates in the practice of stormwater management.

Find recordings and information on other webcasts in this series at the links below:

  • Design of Urban Stormwater Controls, MOP Series Part 1 — Recording available.
  • Design of Urban Stormwater Controls, MOP Series Part 3 — Aug. 9, 1–2:30 p.m. (EDT). Topics to be covered include design, infiltrators, maintenance, cost, and performance assessment methods. Click here to register.

 
Low Impact Development Series Part 2: Nuts and Bolts of Planning and Executing Your Competition — July 26, 1–2:30 p.m. (EDT)

This series presents ways to drive adoption and implementation of low-impact development (LID) at the local level. Those involved in the Houston LID Design competition, held in 2010, will provide information on the program, including how properties were selected, how public support and interest were generated, how goals were set, how the event was run, and how momentum continued after the competition. Two communities planning LID competitions will share their plans and lessons learned. Click here to register.

Find recordings and information on other webcasts in this series at the links below:

  • Low Impact Development Series Part 1: Laying the Foundation for Your Competition — Recording available.
  • Low Impact Development SeriesPart 3: Optimizing the Return of Your Competition — Aug. 16, 1–2:30 p.m. (EDT). Topics to be covered include maximizing the culmination of the competition effort and ways to ensure that the competition is the first step in your community’s path toward more-progressive stormwater management. Click here to register.

Each webcast offers Professional Development Hours (PDHs). Check with your state accreditation agency to determine if you qualify.

Access archived webcasts in WEF’s new Knowledge Center. For more information, contact webcasts@wef.org.

Sponsors provide financial support for this online education format and, in return, receive visibility through company logos, advertisements, and Web-link placements during live and archived webcasts.

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Learn About the Future for Wastewater Systems at This Conference
 

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EWA/WEF/JSWA Specialty Conference on Cutting-Edge Technologies and Best Practices on Sewerage 
July 26–27, Kobe International Conference Center (Japan)

The fourth European Water Association (EWA; Hennef, Germany)/Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) /Japan Sewage Works Association (JSWA; Tokyo) conference will feature presentations on cutting-edge technologies and best practices related to the theme of sewage systems in the 21st century.

Find more information at www.gesuikyou.jp/conference/english

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Global Opportunity To Access International Markets in 2013
 

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Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) International Pavilions provide companies with a cost-effective direct-marketing opportunity to introduce and distribute products and services into the global market. WEF International Pavilions give businesses with development plans in the Middle East, China, Singapore, and Europe an opportunity to exhibit under the WEF banner in a prime location and reach out to thousands of new potential customers.

See a preview of future international shows in the 2013 WEF International Pavilion Program.  

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