Setting the Stage for Water Innovation in New England

By Ed McCormick
Posted June 5, 2014 

 

The New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) recently held a SpecialtyConference on Nutrients & Energy at the Publick House Historic Inn in Sturbridge, Mass. This was the first conference that I am aware of that focused  entirely on these two vital topic areas — nutrient removal that can significantly increase a plant’s energy demand and creative, state-of-the-art
approaches to optimizing energy demand reduction and cost-effective, on-site energy generation.

 

NEWEA once again “hit it out of the park” with this cutting edge specialty conference, co-chaired by Tom Schwartz of Woodard-Curran and Elizabeth Watson of United Water. Kudos go out to Tom and Elizabeth, who developed a great program and executed the conference with the high level of professionalism, attentiveness to attendees, and attention to organizational detail that NEWEA has been noted for throughout the period known as the “Elizabethan Era” (That’s a reference to more than two decades of exceptional service to NEWEA and the entire water industry by retiring NEWEA Executive Director Elizabeth Cutone.)

 

Keynote speaker Matt Ries, chief technical officer of the Water Environment Federation, kicked off the event with an engaging and informative linking of sustainability to innovation from a triple bottom line perspective and participated on a panel of industry experts, including nutrient guru and WEF Board member Charles Bott of Hampton Roads, plus local New England experts Grant Weaver, president of the Water Planet Company, and Jeanette Brown, president of JJ Environmental and research professor at Manhattan College. The panel explored the huge challenges that we
face with cost-effective nutrient removal, recovery and sustainability. They also offered visions of how we can and will effectively address them in an era of ever-increasing water quality and energy management challenges.

 

Another unique aspect of the program was the presentation of cutting- edge nutrient removal and recovery research by student researchers from Northeastern University in Boston. WEF Energy Roadmaps were purchased during the breaks by many of the nearly 100 conference attendees. Key messages also included the need to empower and educate our operators to transition our facilities from conventional activated sludge to nitrogen/phosphorus removal, energy management and resource recovery.

 

It’s interesting that this visionary stage for a sustainable future was set in a place steeped in history. In the years ahead, water professionals may eventually refer back to this meeting as an historic acceleration of water industry momentum toward a sustainable future, and I’ll be one of them. All in all it was a great meeting, and WEF looks forward to further collaboration with member associations to advance sustainable water resources in the years ahead!

 

 

 06/05/2014Permanent link

Setting the Stage for Water Innovation in New England  ()
 NEWEA recently held the first conference that I am aware of that focused entirely on nutrient removal that can significantly increase a plant’s energy demand and creative, state-of-the-art approaches to optimizing energy demand reduction and cost-effective, on-site energy generation.

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Setting the Stage for Water Innovation in New England

 Permanent link

Setting the Stage for Water Innovation in New England

By Ed McCormick
Posted June 5, 2014 

 

The New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) recently held a SpecialtyConference on Nutrients & Energy at the Publick House Historic Inn in Sturbridge, Mass. This was the first conference that I am aware of that focused  entirely on these two vital topic areas — nutrient removal that can significantly increase a plant’s energy demand and creative, state-of-the-art
approaches to optimizing energy demand reduction and cost-effective, on-site energy generation.

 

NEWEA once again “hit it out of the park” with this cutting edge specialty conference, co-chaired by Tom Schwartz of Woodard-Curran and Elizabeth Watson of United Water. Kudos go out to Tom and Elizabeth, who developed a great program and executed the conference with the high level of professionalism, attentiveness to attendees, and attention to organizational detail that NEWEA has been noted for throughout the period known as the “Elizabethan Era” (That’s a reference to more than two decades of exceptional service to NEWEA and the entire water industry by retiring NEWEA Executive Director Elizabeth Cutone.)

 

Keynote speaker Matt Ries, chief technical officer of the Water Environment Federation, kicked off the event with an engaging and informative linking of sustainability to innovation from a triple bottom line perspective and participated on a panel of industry experts, including nutrient guru and WEF Board member Charles Bott of Hampton Roads, plus local New England experts Grant Weaver, president of the Water Planet Company, and Jeanette Brown, president of JJ Environmental and research professor at Manhattan College. The panel explored the huge challenges that we
face with cost-effective nutrient removal, recovery and sustainability. They also offered visions of how we can and will effectively address them in an era of ever-increasing water quality and energy management challenges.

 

Another unique aspect of the program was the presentation of cutting- edge nutrient removal and recovery research by student researchers from Northeastern University in Boston. WEF Energy Roadmaps were purchased during the breaks by many of the nearly 100 conference attendees. Key messages also included the need to empower and educate our operators to transition our facilities from conventional activated sludge to nitrogen/phosphorus removal, energy management and resource recovery.

 

It’s interesting that this visionary stage for a sustainable future was set in a place steeped in history. In the years ahead, water professionals may eventually refer back to this meeting as an historic acceleration of water industry momentum toward a sustainable future, and I’ll be one of them. All in all it was a great meeting, and WEF looks forward to further collaboration with member associations to advance sustainable water resources in the years ahead!

 

 

Posted by Jonathan Byus at 06/05/2014 08:48:32 AM | 


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McCormick 14-15 LOW RESPosted by:
Ed McCormick,
2014-2015 President
 

Ed McCormick is the 2014-2015 President of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international organization of water quality professionals headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.

Ed was most recently Deputy General Manager (DGM) for the Union Sanitary District (USD) in Union City, California, a 30 mgd water resource recovery agency. Prior to USD, Ed was Manager of Wastewater Engineering for the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) in Oakland, California, an internationally recognized public water/wastewater utility serving 1.4 million customers, where he worked for nearly 30 years. Ed’s leadership helped EBMUD to become the first wastewater utility in North America to be a net producer of renewable energy in 2012.

Ed was responsible for EBMUD’s wastewater capital program, energy management, engineering, construction, information systems, and public outreach. Ed has overseen the engineering, construction and startup of more than $1.6 billion in wastewater and water capital infrastructure. He led the development of EBMUD’s Water Recycling Program from 0.2 mgd in 1994 to a 9 mgd enterprise.

Prior to EBMUD, Ed worked as an Environmental Engineering Project Manager for Brown and Caldwell Consultants in the planning and designing of wastewater treatment, power generation and water recycling facilities.

A WEF member since 1997, Ed has held multiple leadership roles at WEF. He served previously on the Board of Trustees (2008-2013), the House of Delegates, as Chair of the Utility Management Committee, and Vice Chair of the Long Range Planning Committee. He is also a member of the California Water Environment Association (CWEA) and the New England Environment Association (NEWEA).

Ed holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from JFK University, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.


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