WE&T Magazine

WET_cover1_90_Feb11Water Environment & Technology (WE&T) is the premier magazine for the water quality field. WE&T provides information on what professionals demand: cutting-edge technologies, innovative solutions, operations and maintenance, regulatory and legislative impacts, and professional development.


February 2011, Vol. 23, No.2

Featured Articles

Building pipelines, community lifelines

tippery art

Stakeholder collaboration can be beneficial yet difficult to achieve. Some say that it is costly, time-consuming, and inefficient. Others argue that working in partnership with stakeholders results in a well-developed, optimized solution that addresses multiple objectives.

In the case of a recent construction project to mitigate wet weather overflows, taking a collaborative approach not only provided the best overall solution, it helped maintain relationships with outlying communities that will affect how business is done in years to come. 


Dewatering from the living room

deMello art

Faced with an aging wastewater treatment facility (WWTF), Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., needed interim solutions to optimize treatment while reducing operating costs. The answer was a low-cost, do-it-yourself settling and decanting system that uses simple components and reduces the WWTF’s sludge-hauling costs by as much as 50% per year. 



About that phosphorus shortage...


Prices for phosphorus — the prime ingredient in fertilizer and an essential nutrient for life — spiked as much as 800% in recent years. Experts around the globe have predicted a shortage is looming. Among them are scientists from the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative (GPRI), who estimate global phosphorus production will peak around 2034, and readily available supplies will be inadequate to meet demand within 30 to 40 years.

Then again, maybe not. A study released in September by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC; Muscle Shoals, Ala.) estimates that at current production rates, there are sufficient phosphate rock reserves to produce fertilizer for the next 300 to 400 years. 

Read more

Coming in the next issue:

March 2011

Thieves and thugs

If you don’t pay attention, they can steal from you and they can maim you. We’re not talking about bad characters; we’re talking about pumps.

Inefficient pumps waste money every day they run. They look, sound, smell, and feel just like any other pump in the system, and it’s up to system operators to be detectives and ferret out these bad guys. The March issue includes details on a number of operations and maintenance practices that can be implemented to either improve pumping system efficiency or restore original system efficiency.

But while working to crack the case, operators need to exercise caution. Engineered rotating equipment — such as blowers, pumps, centrifuges, mixers, aerators, presses, dryers, and compressors — is plentiful and presents specific safety concerns. Read about some of the dangers and one simple fix to protect yourself.


The ins and outs of public outreach

A good public outreach program involves more than issuing press releases and mailing bill stuffers. The goals should be to communicate, to give and take information. What makes the best means of communicating depends on the situation. Sometimes, it may be a formal public meeting, sometimes a casual conversation on the sidewalk, and sometimes a written survey.

Find out how a survey can be used to collect wide and diverse opinions about a project or program as well as how to make that survey as effective as possible. On the other end of the spectrum, read how one utility has encouraged and empowered all of its employees to communicate one-on-one as they move throughout the communities they serve.