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. 

September 2011, Vol. 48, No. 7

Top Story

The Pinnacle of Stormwater Management

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Endicott College (Beverly, Mass.), a private waterfront institution, has recently constructed a first-of-its-kind structure in New England — a rooftop stormwater retention system that can hold up to 152 mm (6 in.) of water.

The system sits on the $17-million Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, a 5760-m2 (62,000-ft2), multi-level facility that houses studios, classrooms, labs, music rooms, gardens, a 250-seat recital hall, and a 100-seat theater.

The school’s existing stormwater management system of overland ditches, swales, and a gate-controlled pond system are set in a rock ledge. The campus has experienced runoff challenges before, including flooding in parking lots.

Endicott College (Beverly, Mass.) constructed a green roof and patio as part of a stormwater retention system. Photo courtesy of Catherine Wechsler, Endicott College. Click for larger image.
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Columbia Professor Takes Aim at Sanitation, Renewable Energy in Ghana

In Accra, Ghana, a city of 2.1 million in western Africa, only 5% of residents are connected to sewer systems. And sometimes the wastewater treatment plant isn’t working anyway. A United Nations report states that inadequate sanitation contributes to 70% of diseases in the capital city of Ghana.

Kartik Chandran, professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University (New York) and member of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) board of trustees, hopes to change this by improving sanitation while providing a renewable source of power to Ghanaians.

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©Columbia Engineering
Kartik Chandran, member of the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) board of trustees is working on a project to convert fecal sludge into biofuel. Photo courtesy of Eileen Barroso. Click for larger image.

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Water Treatment Professionals Gather To Give Operator Profession Direction

Enthusiasm for operators filled the room at the Operator Certification and Training Summit, held June 23–24 in Alexandria, Va. Water treatment professionals with a variety of backgrounds gathered at the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) event to help develop a plan to advance training and certification, as well as recognition of the operator profession.  

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Operator Certification and Training Summit attendees discuss the training, certification, and recognition needed to advance the profession. WEF photo/Jennifer Fulcher. Click for larger image.
The summit hosted approximately 40 attendees representing 20 different WEF Member Associations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators, the Association of Boards of Certification, and the National Rural Water Association.
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New Jersey Student Receives International SJWP Award

Alison Bick, a high school student from Short Hill, N.J., was named the international winner of the 2011 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) during a competition held in conjunction with World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden in August. Bick received her award of $5000 and a crystal sculpture from Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden during a royal ceremony.

Bick, who competed against national winners from 28 other countries, won for her project, “Development and Evaluation of a Microfluidic Co-Flow Device to Determine Water Quality.” She conducted the research in response to the threat of contaminated drinking water due to natural or man-made disasters.  

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Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presents the 2011 Stockholm Junior Water Prize to Alison Bick, student from Short Hill, N.J. Photo courtesy of Cecilia Österberg, Exray. Click for larger image.
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From the President: Giving Back to the Profession

Jeanette Brown 2011

As I finish my year as president of this wonderful organization, I can’t help but reflect on what it means to be a volunteer.

Becoming active in WEF
I first began to volunteer for Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) activities in the early 1980s after receiving encouragement from my friends and mentors, Bob Okey and Orrie Albertson. Both were very active WEF volunteers and both have since passed on. They instilled in me a belief in the importance of giving back to the profession. Back then, those of us just entering the profession were integrated into our chosen committees and experienced professionals in those committees took us under their wings. What an incredible experience it was, sitting in the same room with or writing a chapter in the same Manual of Practice (MOP) as some of the greats in our field.  

Jeanette Brown, 2010–2011 WEF President
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Prepare for WEFTEC 2011: Get All the Information You Need Here

Join thousands of water and wastewater professionals at WEFTEC 2011 to network; learn about new technologies, research, and products; and earn continuing education units (CEUs) and professional development hours (PDHs). The conference, which takes place Oct. 15–19 in the Los Angeles Convention Center, is the largest annual event of its kind, featuring 27 workshops, 114 technical sessions, more than 26,000 m2 (280,000 ft2) of exhibition space, and more than 800 presentations and posters.   WEFTEC 2010 Exhibit Hall 1 Small
WEFTEC 2010 attendees walk the exhibit floor. Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography. Click for larger image.
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Today is Your Chance To Take Action, Be a Water Champion

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To answer one of the most frequently asked questions about World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD), this educational outreach program is not just a single day of the year. Although WWMD is celebrated officially worldwide on or around Sept. 18, water monitoring can be performed and students can celebrate the event any day throughout the year.

This year to celebrate the 9th annual WWMD, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) and the International Water Association (IWA; London) will hold an event Sept. 19 at Hains Point in Washington, D.C. More than 250 students from the area are expected to attend the event. They will test the local water and learn about the significance of water and environmental preservation by exploring hands-on displays presented by well-respected water and environmental organizations from the D.C. area. 

A group monitors their local water in Davao, Philippines for World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD). Photo courtesy of Sherlita Daguisonan. Click for larger image.
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WEF Holds Future of Stormwater Meeting

In June, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) convened a brainstorming session in Alexandria with stormwater experts from across the country, including representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The purpose of the session was to discuss the future of stormwater and to find ways that WEF can most effectively educate, advocate, and collaborate in the realm of stormwater. 

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