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. 

May 2009, Vol. 46, No. 4

Top Story

WEF Partners With Alliance for Water Stewardship

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) has announced a new partnership with the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), a group of organizations promoting responsible use of water resources. The partnership formalizes WEF’s participation in a 3-year plan to help develop a set of principles and good practices for large water users and providers.


“As professional stewards of the water environment, WEF has a responsibility to lead and help establish practices that will ensure a sustainable future for clean water, and is why we are supporting the AWS,” said WEF President-Elect Paul Freedman.

WEF will provide a utility perspective and other water-sector input in the development of global watershed certification and international water stewardship standards. WEF also will assist in efforts to secure funding for AWS through cooperative agreements with such agencies as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For more information, see www.wef.org.

Stockholm Junior Water Prize Finalists Announced

The state winners in the 2009 U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) competition have been announced by the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.). By winning their state competitions, the 52 finalists qualify for the national competition and will be heading to Anchorage, Alaska, with their science teachers to compete in June.

The finalists were selected from science competitions nationwide by WEF Member Associations. Find out which young researcher will be representing your state at www.sjwp.org.

SJWPLargeThe SJWP national competition, hosted by the Alaska Water Wastewater Management Association (Anchorage), will immerse students in water research and education. The program’s goal is to increase student interest in water-related research and raise awareness of global water challenges. As part of the 3-day program, participants will tour the treatment facilities of a local water park, learn about the impact of global warming on the Alaskan environment and native species, and get an up-close view of area glaciers and waterbodies.

The U.S. winner will receive a $3000 scholarship and a trip to Stockholm, Sweden, for the international competition, as well as the opportunity to present their research to water quality experts at WEFTEC.09. In addition, the U.S. winner’s school will receive $1000 toward enhancing science education in the classroom. As many as three finalists will receive a $1000 scholarship. WEF and its Member Associations organize the U.S. regional, state, and national SJWP competitions with support from ITT Corp. (White Plains, N.Y.) and Delta Air Lines (Atlanta).

The international competition will be held during World Water Week, Aug. 16 to 22. The international winner will receive $5000.

Read more about the SJWP competition.

Secure Housing and Register Now For WEFTEC.09

Housing and registration for WEFTEC.09 are now open. Secure your housing and register for the water quality event, which will be held Oct. 10–14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) has not increased registration rates for WEFTEC.09. In fact, WEF is offering a $50 discount toward full conference and exhibition registration for those who book a hotel through the WEFTEC housing bureau and register between March 31 and June 1. View the hotel and housing information page or the registration page to book your trip to WEFTEC.09. For more details, see www.weftec.org.

ASCE Releases 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE; Reston, Va.) released its 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The report assigns an overall grade of “D” to the nation’s infrastructure and individual grades in 15 infrastructure categories. The country received a “D–” for both the categories of drinking water and wastewater. The report estimates that $2.2 trillion in repairs and upgrades is needed over the next 5 years to meet adequate conditions.

Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Vice President Jeanette Brown and Past President Dale Jacobson served on the ASCE report card committee to help prepare the water section of the report. The grade accounts for deferred maintenance in existing systems from budget constraints, Brown explained. “Even with these needs, the current wastewater infrastructure continues to perform well in meeting discharge permit requirements,” she added.

“The low grade given to our wastewater infrastructure is reflective of our future funding needs to meet new regulatory requirements, to replace equipment and facilities that are reaching the end of their design life, and to accommodate growth in the service areas,” Brown said.

View the 2009 Report Card for an assessment of each state’s status, case studies of successful projects, suggestions for actions to take, and specific details behind the grades.

WEF’s Next Webcast Features Operations and Maintenance of MBR Facilities

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) will hold the webcast “Operations and Maintenance of MBR Facilities,” on May 22 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This webcast will examine pumping station design and operation, submersible pump station application and operation and maintenance, and troubleshooting gauges.

The webcast will provide operations and maintenance (O&M) information for several types of membrane bioreactor (MBR) facilities for both operators and vendors. It will focus on membrane cleaning and equipment maintenance on associated systems such as blowers, permeate systems, air system monitoring equipment, process control equipment, and associated O&M costs with the systems.

The webcast aims to teach about MBR operations, the positive and negative aspects of the MBR system, and the operational flexibility provided with a MBR. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from O&M maintenance personnel of currently operating systems and from vendor operations specialists about design, startup, operations, maintenance, and troubleshooting MBRs.

Speakers include Terry Gellner from CT Consultants (Willoughby, Ohio), Cliff Morris from Bonita Springs (Fla.) Utilities, Christopher Harre from HydroScience Operations Inc. (Stockton, Calif.), and Mark Parli from Enviroquip Inc. (Austin, Texas). The registration fee is $155 for WEF members and $195 for nonmembers. The deadline to register is May 20. For more information or to register, click here. The webcast was organized with the support of the Membrane Technology Community of Practice Committee and the Plant Operations and Maintenance Committee.

For a full list of past and future webcasts, see the WEF Webcast Schedule. If you missed a recent webcast, you can catch up on the discussion by purchasing CD copies. For more information, send an e-mail to registration@wef.org.

Register Now for WEF’s Summer Specialty Conferences

Nutrient Removal 2009
The Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) Nutrient Removal 2009 specialty conference will be held June 28 to July 1 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference will cover research, design, and operation of nutrient removal systems at municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants through interactive workshops, technical sessions, an exhibition, and facility tours.

Topics to be discussed at this year’s conference include research issues, such as practical limits of technology; biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal developments; operational issues, such as analytical procedures and process control and optimization; and design issues, such as process modeling, pilot testing, and sustainable practices. Click here for more information.

Register by fax or online by June 3 or onsite at the conference. Submit your registration by May 13 to receive the discounted advance registration rate.

Microconstituents and Industrial Water Quality 2009

The Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) Microconstituents and Industrial Water Quality 2009 specialty conference will be held July 26 to 29 at the Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore. Issues and challenges faced by industry and wastewater utilities from industrial manufacturing processes’ hard-to-treat chemical byproducts and microconstituents will be examined at the conference.

The conference includes a workshop on process design of industrial and municipal wastewater treatment systems and 16 technical sessions highlighting practical experience in these areas of wastewater treatment. Attendees will learn about real-world applications of the latest microconstituents research, insights on energy efficiencies for treatment processes, and potential solutions for issues in the manufacturing and municipal sectors. 

Click here for more information. Register by fax or online by July 1 or onsite at the conference. Submit your registration by June 10 to receive the discounted advance registration rate.

TMDL 2009
The Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) TMDL 2009 specialty conference will be held Aug. 9 to 12 at the Hilton Minneapolis.

Water quality practitioners at the conference will be able to exchange information on challenging regulatory and policy issues related to the total maximum daily load (TMDL) process. The conference will include presentations, panel discussions, and workshops on topics of pollutant-specific TMDLs; water quality standards, modeling, stormwater and nonpoint source issues; stakeholder involvement and public participation, regulatory, policy, and implementation issues; and related current issues and topics.

Click here for more information. Register by fax or online by July 15 or onsite at the conference. Submit your registration by June 24 to receive the discounted advance registration rate.

WEFTEC Announcement Shows WEF’s Commitment to Sustainability

WEFecoLargeThe mission of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) is to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. Through the WEFeco program, WEF is committed to the sustainable practices of conservation, recycling, and waste reduction. This commitment is reflected in the WEFTEC.09 conference announcement by the decreased page count and post-consumer waste paper stock. View the full program at www.weftec.org.

WERF Seeking Paul L. Busch Award Entrants

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF; Alexandria, Va.) Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research is offering a $100,000 grant for the 2009 winner of the Paul L. Busch Award. The organization is seeking individual or team applicants for the award, which is presented to researchers working on imaginative, unique, and visionary solutions to water quality issues.

“The Paul L. Busch Award allows researchers to respond quickly to opportunities to do research in new areas,” said 2003 award recipient David Sedlak of the University of California–Berkeley. Past awards are supporting research on the effective removal of endocrine-disrupting compounds in wastestreams, the creation of self-sustaining wastewater treatment facilities by using microbial fuel cells, and the fate of nanomaterials in wastewater treatment systems.

Individuals, utilities, universities, and environmental firms conducting water quality research or engineering work in the areas of wastewater, water reuse, biosolids, stormwater, or watersheds are encouraged to apply. Applicants can nominate themselves or be nominated by a third party. Award applications must be received by June 1 and should be sent to Water Environment Research Foundation, Paul L. Busch Award, 635 Slaters Lane, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314. For more information, see www.werf.org/PaulLBusch.

Liquid Assets Documentary Available To Broadcast on Government Cable

Since the documentary Liquid Assets, The Story of Water Infrastructure debuted 6 months ago, it has aired 1000 times on Public Broadcasting Service (Arlington, Va.) networks across the United States. Beginning May 1, it will be available to local government and educational cable access stations for broadcast. 

Water Is Life, and Infrastructure Makes It Happen™, a Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) public education initiative, has been promoting the 90-minute documentary produced by Penn State Public Broadcasting (University Park, Pa.). Now, utilities can work with their municipalities to get more air time for Liquid Assets without charge to the local government station. This also offers an opportunity to create local complementary programming with interviews and reports that highlight the relevance of water infrastructure issues for the local community.

Several WEF member associations are mobilizing to engage cable stations in their states to air the program. The rights for cablecast of Liquid Assets will be available through April 30, 2010. For more information, see www.WaterIsLife.net.

Those interested in pursuing a cablecast Liquid Assets in local communities should contact Lorraine Loken at (703) 684-2487 or lloken@wef.org.

Free State-of-the-Industry Report for WEF Members

/assets/0/86/108/668/773/774/22552/2ac900e0-11c9-4790-88ea-41fde5cb5667.jpg The State of the Water Industry: A Concise Review of Challenges and Opportunities in the World Water Market has been released by the TechKNOWLEDGEy Strategic Group (Boulder, Colo.). The report discusses the issues and trends that have emerged in the water industry. According to the report, “the impending world water crisis lends itself to small and incremental improvements. Across the board in the water industry there are many solutions or steps … that can be taken immediately.” This report, which is being made available free to Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) members, can be accessed here .


Photo courtesy of Steve Maxwell, TechKNOWLEDGEy Strategic Group (Boulder, Colo.). Click for larger image.

Students Called To Enter WEF Student Paper Competition

Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) student members enrolled in an undergraduate or master’s program who have won first place in their Member Association’s annual paper competition are eligible to compete in the WEF Student Paper Competition. Member Associations are encouraged to submit their winner(s) to WEF.
Winners receive $500, and all students participating in the competition are invited to showcase their work in the WEFTEC.09 Poster Symposium. WEFTEC registration is complimentary for WEF student members, but travel and lodging is at their own expense. The deadline to submit papers for the competition is July 1. Click here or send e-mail to Kelsey Brown at kbrown@wef.org for more information.