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. 

December 2011, Vol. 48, No. 10

Top Story

U.S. Defense Department Surpasses Water Conservation Goals
Agency shows progress in responding to water aspects of Executive Order 13514

U.S. President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13514, signed in October 2009, set sustainability goals for federal agencies, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, vehicle-fleet petroleum reductions, and water conservation feats.

The order calls on the federal government to achieve a 26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020.

Several agencies issued their first sustainability reports in response to the executive order in April 2011, presenting data on various topics ranging from management frameworks to maintaining readiness in the face of climate change. More information related to the order followed in the summer months. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) reported surpassing water conservation goals for 2010, including a 6% reduction in water consumption, more than doubling its water usage target. 

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A closed-loop vehicle wash rack at the Letterkenny Army Depot saves water and minimizes discharge. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army. Click for larger image.

DOD military installations saw a 13% decrease in water use per square foot of building space, compared to the 2007 baseline, according to the department’s annual energy management report released in July.

Agency makes first-year leap 
This achievement represents notable progress in one of the three water-related goals listed in the executive order. DOD’s three 2020 water resources management targets are to

  • reduce facilities’ potable water consumption intensity by 26% from 2007,
  • reduce industrial and irrigation water consumption by 20% from 2010, and
  • maintain predevelopment hydrology to the maximum extent technically feasible in all development and redevelopment projects covering 465 m2 (5000 ft2) or more.

In the July report, DOD calculated water and energy use for its 507 domestic and foreign military installations, 300,000 buildings, fleet of nontactical vehicles, and mission operations. The U.S. Army division achieved a 15.3% water intensity reduction, surpassing the DOD average. DOD attributed water savings throughout the agency to installing low-flow showerheads and toilets, fixing leaks, and efficiency upgrades.

“The referenced 13% reduction is a potable water intensity reduction defined as the number of gallons used per gross square foot of facility space,” said DOD spokeswoman Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan. “It is true that in [fiscal year (FY)] 2010, the DOD reduced their overall potable water intensity by 13%, compared to its FY 2007 baseline.”

A mix of upgrades and strategies 
Morgan said that the multipronged DOD approach helped achieve the reductions. “These included water-efficient designs and retrofits in facilities, upgrades to privatized water systems, and water conservation efforts,” she said. The DOD report also noted that “[s]imple maintenance or repair of water valves also contributed.”

The agency places a value on its water conservation initiatives. “DOD does believe that the reductions in potable water intensity generated savings,” Morgan said. “Investing in water intensity reduction efforts allows for less water to be consumed. The efforts also contributed to less energy consumption and costs to supply, heat, or treat that water.”

The latest DOD report, the Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan, released in October, highlights several water-efficiency success stories: 

  • The Army’s Presidio in Monterey, Calif., met strict water allocation rules with retrofit projects to three barracks that included installation of dual-flush toilets, pressure-reducing valves, and water‐saving showerheads and faucet aerators.
  • Naval Base Point Loma in Southern California installed more than 2000 low‐flow faucet aerators, yielding a 55% water savings.
  • A water audit at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia found that the base was losing 230,000 m3/yr (60.5 million gal/yr) of water. Repairs are currently under way, with a projected annual cost savings of $229,000.
  • Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Mass., repaired leaks in its steam and condensate distribution system to save more than 19,000 m3/yr (5 million gal/yr) of water.
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The October report shows that DOD has saved millions of gallons of water and money through water efficiency. It also shows glimpses of interesting projects, such as water recycling at Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania, the Army’s largest vehicle-washing facility. The program was such a success that the Army Materiel Command is planning to install similar equipment at production facilities, the report says. The agency is also using “low-impact development” strategies in arid areas, such as xeriscaping (landscaping with native, water-efficient plants) at Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor Naval Base.

Xeriscaping at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii helps reduce the amount of water needed to for irrigation. Photo courtesy of the U.S Navy. Click for larger image.

Aggressive water resources management for DOD 
The Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan addresses global measures DOD is taking to rein in water resources management.

“At fixed installations, water is also a mission imperative,” the report says. “Water scarcity has caused a number of DOD installations in the U.S. to implement aggressive water conservation and reuse measures. So far, most of these installations have been located in arid portions of the West, but water scarcity is becoming an issue across the country.”

In the report, DOD cites supply, distribution, usage, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management as related factors affecting the department’s energy and sustainability, and says DOD is responding with efforts to reduce both stormwater runoff from facilities and general wastewater volume. “The extraction, treatment, and delivery of water to end users is a highly energy intensive process,” according to the report.

The agency issued a DOD-wide stormwater policy in January, and various departments rolled out water conservation initiatives this year. In February, the U.S. Marine Corps issued a bases-to-battlefield energy and water strategy, and the Army released a memo in July titled “Managing stormwater with low impact development.” Further work toward the 2020 water resources targets, as well as other goals, are expected, according to DOD.

— Andrea Fox, WEF Highlights
Consortium Works To Boost the Water Industry Workforce
Federal grant funds program that will build water industry education and training program in southeastern Wisconsin
The U.S. National Science Foundation awarded a 3-year, $498,216 grant for the H2Options program, which will identify and fill gaps in Wisconsin’s water technology business, according to a news release from the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC).

The grant will support the formation of a regional partnership of technical colleges, universities, workforce investment boards, school districts, and water-driven industries and businesses to promote training of new water industry technicians to meet the growing workforce demands in southeastern Wisconsin, the release says. The partnership includes MATC, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Waukesha County (Wis.) Technical College, and the Milwaukee Water Council. Kimberly Farley, associate dean of MATC’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is the principal investigator for the project.

“We are bringing together the key local and regional players who will help pave the way for a new generation of water technology professionals,” said Michael L. Burke, MATC president.
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Students in the H2Options program will perform water quality tests throughout Southeast Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Area Technical College. Click for larger image.

The partnership will modify and develop associate degree and technical certificate programs, as well as establish a path from high school to 2-year technical colleges to 4-year universities as part of the program.

In addition to the goal of providing knowledge of the skills, tasks, and technology needed in the water technology industry and identifying new ways to enter the industry, the program also will develop networks and partnerships and make the expanded curriculum for the career pathways available nationally, the news release says.  

— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
Operations Challenge Boosts Résumés, Gives Competitors Advantage in Job Market
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More often than not, Operations Challenge participants say they list the competition on their résumés. The skills learned go far beyond simply working with new equipment to teamwork, leadership, communications, critical thinking, expanded technical skills, and time management.

Recognition within the profession 
“When I applied for my current job 12-and-a-half years ago, I actually listed [Operations Challenge] under job experience,” said Donnie Cagle, captain of Terminal Velocity. “I also made color copies of WE&T and the Operations Forum magazine covers and pertinent articles and included them in my résumé package. These items definitely caught their attention in the interview process, which ultimately landed me the position.” 

Many competitors explained that Operations Challenge is well-known and respected in the wastewater profession because of the extra time and effort it takes to participate. “In this field, a lot of people have heard about Operations Challenge,” said Paul Johnson, captain of the LA Wrecking Crew. “All these people would know immediately what it is, what’s involved, and what it entails.”

Competitors often correlate the experience with leadership and teamwork skills and will list it on résumés under sections about education and training, awards and accomplishments, or experience.

From left, Donnie Cagle, works with Terminal Velocity team member Jason Truitt on the Collection Systems event. Photo courtesy of Kieffer Photography. Click for larger image.

Helping operators become managers 
New LA Wrecking Crew team member Sam Mapatunage is working his way up the ranks at his utility, and when a spot opened up in the local Operations Challenge team, he jumped at the chance to take it. Participation presents him with new challenges and things to learn, helps him meet new people and network, improves his teamwork capabilities, and exposes him to a different environment, he said.

One of Mapatunage’s most valuable experiences has been the Safety Event, because he had “never entered into a confined space before,” he said, and knew the event would be good experience for a supervisor. Mapatunage was a lab technician before becoming an operator about 5 years ago and has since earned a master’s degree.

Cagle agreed that his involvement in the competition has helped him progress in his career. “I came from a maintenance background … but realized early on that if I wanted to progress into a management position, I would need to be more versatile and would have to learn more about plant operations,” he said. Operations Challenge has taught him just that, exposing him to a large number of disciplines and high-pressure situations, and prompting him to study, which has helped him “sharpen” his skills, he said.

“Especially if you’re successful here, it’s a really good thing to have on your résumé,” said Dale Burrow, captain of the TRA CReWSers. “The majority of people that were involved with our Ops Challenge team have definitely moved on into management positions.” In addition, Operations Challenge experience is listed as leadership and teamwork experience on Burrow’s annual evaluation at his utility.

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Sam Mapatunage and Tom Jauregui work on the Process Control Event with their fellow LA Wrecking Crew team members. Photo courtesy of Kieffer Photography. Click for larger image.
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Coach of Team HRSD, Wesley Warren, attributes a recent promotion to chief operator partly to his 22 years of experience with Operations Challenge. In addition to learning some new skills, he learned how to interact with different people and handle different personalities, he said.

“I can’t put a finger on exactly why, but it’s very clear that Ops Challenge is a career booster, flat out,” said Erik Bailey, captain of the VorTechs from the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA; Woburn, Mass.). “Most everyone who spent several years on an Ops Challenge team is pretty much at the top of their field. It’s almost across the board.”

Bailey listed several NEWEA and Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) leaders who participated in Operations Challenge. He explained that this can be attributed to the type of people who are participating. “The people that tend to get involved get very involved,” he said.

From left, VorTechs team members Brian Mattison, Nathan Lavallee, and Erik Bailey focus on the Laboratory Event. Photo courtesy of Kieffer Photography. Click for larger image.
Improving job performance 
Bailey explained that the continued practice needed for the competition both expands skills and keeps an operator sharp. The recognition and fulfillment an operator receives from participating in the competition helps boost pride and satisfaction on the job, too, he added. “I think [Operations Challenge] helps you love your job,” he said. 

The Regulators, a new team from the Ohio Water Environment Association (Columbus), also has benefited from the competition. The Regulators is an unusual team: Members are Ohio Environmental Protection Agency employees who inspect wastewater treatment plants to ensure permit compliance, said Walter Ariss, team captain. The team members work with operators every day and decided to participate in Operations Challenge to understand more fully what they are inspecting.

“It’s really helped us understand the day-to-day duties that operators go through,” Ariss said. “It makes us better inspectors.” The competition has given team members the opportunity to get hands-on experience that they wouldn’t get any other way, he added.

Tangible networking benefits 
One of the most unequivocal benefits of participating in Operations Challenge is the opportunity to network. Team members attend events where they talk to each other, learn about technologies and projects that other plants have implemented to solve problems, and make connections that help both their utilities and their careers. 
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Walter Ariss, Regulators team captain, finishes cutting pipe during the Collection Systems Event. Photo courtesy of Kieffer Photography. Click for larger image.
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“The networking opportunities are limitless,” Cagle said. He explained that traveling to WEFTEC® enables operators to meet people who are responsible for supplying parts and technologies to their plants. These are connections that have proven valuable to Cagle, since he has been involved in rebuilding the City of Franklin, Va., wastewater treatment plant twice during the last 12 years because of flooding. “Without Operations Challenge, an ordinary operator might not have the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles or wherever WEFTEC is that year and attend the premier wastewater treatment conference and exposition,” he said.

Networking opportunities also extend to local WEF Member Associations and the state Operations Challenge competitions they host. “Exposure through our local member association, NEWEA, has been great, and through involvement in Ops Challenge, you get the opportunity to meet a lot of people throughout the industry,” said Tim Vadney, captain of the Seacoast Sewer Snakes.  

Tim Vadney, Seacoast Sewer Snakes team captain, operates the hoist during the Wilo Maintenance Event. Photo courtesy of Kieffer Photography. Click for larger image.
— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

View Operations Challenge 2011 Slideshow and Find More Coverage in WE&T 

Click on the photo to the right to see a slideshow that features Operations Challenge 2011 five events and winners of the competition. For more detailed coverage see the December issue of WE&T.

Operations Challenge 2011 Slideshow
WEFTEC 2011 Service Project Volunteers Leave Green Footprints in Los Angeles
Walkway to Wetlands Slideshow

Volunteers dug in to leave a green footprint on Los Angeles during WEFTEC® this year. Approximately 75 people traveled out to a neighborhood in a formerly industrial area of downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 15 to participate in the WEFTEC 2011 service project, Walkway to Wetlands.

For the fourth annual community service project organized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC), the WEF volunteers joined other volunteers from the City of Los Angeles, the Millions Trees LA initiative, and Hollywood Beautification Team to plant trees to help revitalize the industrial area, provide stormwater capture and retention, and develop a grand entrance to the South Los Angeles Wetland Project.

Click on the photo above to see a slideshow of the event.

“The service project is our opportunity as WEF members and volunteers to give back to the communities we are involved in,” said Haley Falconer, SYPC Community Service Project chair. The project adds to the “WEF and the SYPC legacy of giving back to the WEFTEC host cities,” Falconer said.  

Many WEF leaders were involved in the project, including past President Jim Clark, who helped identify the project, worked with the City of Los Angeles to coordinate the event, and volunteered onsite; past President Rebecca West, who volunteered onsite; President Matt Bond and Immediate Past President Jeanette Brown, who spoke during a ceremony in the afternoon; and President-elect Cordell Samuels, who attended the ceremony. Los Angeles leadership, including Board of Public Works Commissioner Valerie Shaw, Bureau of Sanitation Director Enrique Zaldivar, and City Engineer Gary Lee Moore, also spoke during the afternoon ceremony.

The service project sponsors include Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.), Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Carollo Engineers (Phoenix), CDM (Cambridge, Mass.), CH2M Hill (Englewood, Colo.), Environmental Dynamics International (Columbia, Mo.), Freese and Nichols (Fort Worth, Texas), Greeley and Hansen (Chicago), Hazen and Sawyer (New York), HDR Engineering (Omaha, Neb.), and Wigen Water Technologies (Chaska, Minn.). The service project donors include Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services (Grand Forks, N.D.), Bentley Systems Inc. (Exton, Pa.), Duperon Corp. (Saginaw, Mich.), Engineering America (Oakdale, Minn.), Stantec (Edmonton, Alberta), Coombs–Hopkins Co. (Carlsbad, Calif.), Vaughan Co. Inc. (Montesano, Wash.), Veolia Water (Paris), and Wigen Water Technologies (Chaska, Minn.).

WEFTEC 2011 Opening General Session Inspires Audience

The Oct. 17 keynote speakers at the WEFTEC® 2011 Opening General Session brought attendees to their feet. The speakers balanced each other with rich technical content and inspirational anecdotes. 

Colwell shares award-winning research
Rita Colwell began her presentation with a graphic showing how less than 20% of people in areas such as Somalia and Ethiopia have access to safe water, compared to nearly 100% in developed countries. She described how cholera continues to be a virulent, “severely dehydrating disease” that “if not treated rapidly and properly, results in death.”

During her research, the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize recipient and distinguished professor at both the University of Maryland (College Park) and Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) has helped discover that cholera is a vectorborne disease and identified the small crustacean copepod as the disease’s primary vector. 

Colwell helped develop a model using data for water temperature, nutrients, salinity, and rainfall to pinpoint areas with more copepods to predict cholera cases. She also used chlorophyll and sea-height satellite data to identify areas at risk for cholera outbreaks.

“Really, it’s the environment which is the source of the bacterium, which must be understood,” Colwell said. “We now know that there’s a very significant and positive relationship between cholera, chlorophyll, and rainfall.” She then took the information she had learned about cholera to develop a filtration system, she said.

“We tried to figure out what would be the least expensive, simplest filter that could be provided to the women in Bangladesh who collect the water for the households,” Colwell said. “We found that old sari cloth that was frayed and torn, when folded about four or five times, gave a 20-micrometer mesh filter, which would of course work very well.” The filter reduced cholera by at least 50%, but Colwell’s team found that those who did get the disease drank unfiltered water at neighbors’ homes, so the percentage is likely much higher, she said.  

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Above, Rita Colwell speaks at the Opening General Session during WEFTEC 2011. Below, the audience at the event listens attentively. Photos courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography. Click for larger images.
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Hendley’s journey inspires water professionals
In 2003, Doc Hendley began researching the world water crisis and found that inadequate access to clean drinking water was the leading cause of childhood death worldwide, Hendley said.

“I learned about this crisis, and for the first time in my life, I found something I’m passionate about,” Hendley said. “For the first time in my life, I really feel like I can have a huge impact on this world. I decided maybe I can do something.”

Hendley, who was a bartender and musician, decided to hold two fundraisers featuring wine, live music, and food, which raised more than $10,000. After trying to donate the funds to a local nonprofit organization, he got a better offer: The nonprofit wanted to send him to a developing country and learn how to provide safe, clean water to those who need it most. He jumped at the chance.  

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Hendley chose to go to Darfur, Sudan, where he lived and worked for a year. During this time, he went out and fixed a number of broken wells in the area, since he did not have funds to build new ones. And he quickly decided to train locals how to fix these wells and “leave them with the tools and the resources and the training necessary to fix their own problems, so that we don’t have to come back,” he said. “That became the whole basis and concept for our organization.”

Two weeks before Hendley’s group was scheduled to leave Darfur, one of his staff members was killed by the government because of the work he was doing. Hendley also faced an attempt on his own life. After returning home, he had to determine if continuing was worth the effort. He eventually decided that it was and formed his own nonprofit, Wine To Water (Boone, N.C.), in 2007.

Hendley has worked in Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Haiti, finding cheaper ways to use local materials to dig wells and access clean water. The organization also is working locally to manufacture and distribute sand and ceramic filters.

Hendley ended his speech by talking about the new Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) communications campaign, Water’s Worth It™, saying that water is worth everything. “It’s worth me losing my life, it’s worth one of my guys losing his life, it’s worth it, I promise you,” he said.

Above, Doc Hendley shares his experiences during the Opening General Session. Left, WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger joins the rest of the audience to give a standing ovation after Hendley's speech.Photos courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography. Click for larger images.
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Access a video of the Opening General Session and other WEFTEC 2011 content through WEFTEC On Demand at www.weftec.org/OnDemand.
— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
Taking a Look Back at WEFTEC 2011
Meet WEF’s new leaders and learn about other events that took place at the conference

During WEFTEC® 2011, held Oct. 15–19 in Los Angeles, a total of 16,961 water professionals and 923 exhibiting companies joined to make the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) 84th annual technical exhibition and conference the city’s second largest conference in 2011. Attendees were able to attend more than 900 presentations in 114 technical sessions, 17 workshops, and eight local facility tours.

“WEFTEC continues to be the must-attend event for water professionals who want to keep up with the best water science and products,” said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. 

Meet WEF’s New Leaders
At the conference, attendees were introduced to the members of WEF’s 2011–2012 Board of Trustees. The board is the governing body of WEF and composed of six officers and 12 trustees.

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WEFTEC attendees walk through the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography. Click for larger image.
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President Matt Bond, Kansas City, Mo.
President-elect Cordell Samuels, Pickering, Ontario
Vice President Sandra Ralston, Charleston, S.C.
Immediate Past President Jeanette Brown, Stamford, Conn.
Treasurer Chris Browning, Canton, Ga.
Secretary Jeff Eger, Alexandria, Va.

New Trustees 
Charles Bott, Hampton Roads, Va.
Fran Burlingham, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Garry Macdonald, Auckland, New Zealand 
Karen Pallansch, Alexandria, Va.

Continuing Trustees
Paul Bowen, Atlanta
Kartik Chandran, New York
Scott Cummings, Auburn, Ala.
John Hart, Saco, Maine
Terry Krause, Chicago
Paul Schuler, Portland, Ore.
Scott Trotter, St. Charles, Ill.
Rick Warner, Reno, Nev. 

Front row from left, Jeff Eger, Sandra Ralston, Jeanette Brown, Matt Bond, Cordell Samuels, and Chris Browning. Back row from left, Rick Warner, Fran Burlingham, Charles Bott, John Hart, Scott Trotter, Kartik Chandran, Garry Macdonald, Scott Cummings, Terry Krause, Karen Pallansch, Paul Bowen, and Paul Schuler. Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography. Click for larger image.

WEF Introduces New Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs

WEF’s technical committees help develop WEF policy positions, write technical manuals and books, develop training materials and program content, develop conference programs, and contribute to many other WEF program activities. Currently, WEF has 40 committees, each focusing on a different aspect of water and wastewater management. Committee chairs and vice chairs serve for 3 years. At WEFTEC 2011, the following new chairs and vice chairs were introduced:

Automation & Information Technology Committee: Chair — Tom DeLaura, Westin Engineering (Rancho Cordova, Calif.); Vice Chair — to be determined

Laboratory Practices Committee
: Chair — Devon Morgan, Clark County Water (Las Vegas); Vice Chair — William Gefroh, Bismarck (N.D.) Wastewater Treatment Plant

Membership Committee
: Chair — Joe Bonaccorso, CME Associates (Parlin, N.J.); Vice Chair — to be determined

Nominating Committee
: Chair — Adam Zabinski, retired (Newberg, Ore.); Vice Chair — Rebecca West, Spartanburg (S.C.) Water System

Plant Operations & Maintenance Committee
: Chair — Paula Zeller, Orange County Sanitation District (Fountain Valley, Calif.); Vice Chair — Sidney Innerebner, Indigo Water Group (Littleton, Colo.)

Committee: Chair — Lanaya Voelz, CDM (Cambridge, Mass.); Vice Chair — to be determined

Specialty Conference Committee
: Chair — Keith McCormack, Hubbell Roth & Clark Inc. (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.); Vice Chair — to be determined

Stockholm Junior Water Prize Committee
: Chair — David Wagoner, CDM (Charlotte, N.C.); Vice Chair — Megan Yoo, HDR (Omaha, Neb.)

Stormwater Committee
: Chair — Michael Beezhold, City of Lenexa (Mo.); Vice Chair — Wing Tam, City of Los Angeles

Students & Young Professionals Committee
: Chair — Eric Dodds, AE2S (Grand Forks, N.D.); Vice Chair — Haley Falconer, HDR (Omaha, Neb.)

Technical Practice Committee
: Chair — Jeanette Brown, Department of Engineering and Environmental Protection (Hartford, Conn.); Vice Chairs — Stacy Passaro, Passaro Engineering LLC (Mount Airy, Md.), and Eric Rothstein, Galardi Rothstein Group (Chicago)

Utility Management Committee
: Chair — Michael Sweeney, Toho Water Authority, (Kissimmee, Fla.); Vice Chair — Raynetta Marshall, City of Titusville (Fla.) Water Resources

Presenting the 2011 WEF Excellence Awards  
WEF presented the 2011 WEF excellence awards to winners at the WEF Awards and Presidential Celebration. See the full list of this year’s winners.

WEF Composts Mortgage
On Oct. 15 during WEFTEC 2011, WEF held a special Compost the Mortgage luncheon to celebrate the mortgage payoff of the WEF headquarters building in Alexandria, Va. WEF leaders, including immediate past President Jeanette Brown, past President Harry Tow, Executive Director Jeff Eger, and other House of Delegates members, joined building fund contributor representatives during the luncheon. This event followed a celebration earlier in the year at WEF headquarters.  

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Above, WEF leaders attend the Compost the Mortgage luncheon at WEFTEC 2011. Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography. Click for larger image.
 WEF leaders attend a Compost the Mortgage reception at WEF headquarters. WEF staff photos/Laura Leslie. Click for larger images.

WEF Student Member Wins 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid
WEF student member Anna Yeutter won a 2012 Ford Fusion hybrid at WEFTEC 2011 by following the water cycle, a trail of clues and technical questions through all three exhibit halls to learn where to drop off her entry form. Depending on their area of expertise, players could choose from three tributaries, Collection Systems, Treatment, and Solids. Yeutter, a student at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, chose the treatment tributary.

In addition to the grand prize, WEF also awarded daily prizes of Apple iPads to players who had correctly navigated the Water Cycle and turned in their entry forms. The daily prize winner for Monday was Amanda Siebels, for Tuesday was Tim Madhanagopal, and for Wednesday was Heather Faragher.  

‘Beat the Drop’ Goes Digital
Chris Ho, an engineer at Praxair in Mississauga, Ontario, won the 12th annual Beat the Drop drawing held Oct. 18 during WEFTEC 2011. He now owns an iPad 2 preloaded with his choice of three WEF digital titles.


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Chris Ho holds his prize from the Beat the Drop drawing held Oct. 18. Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography. Click for larger image.
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University of Wyoming and University of Florida Teams Win Student Design Competition 
For the Student Design Competition, individuals or teams of students within a WEF student chapter are tasked with preparing a design to help solve a local water quality issue in a wastewater design or environment design category.

This year, the University of Wyoming (Laramie) team won the wastewater design category for its project, “Preliminary Design for Upgrading the Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant for Phosphorus Removal,” and the University of Florida (Gainesville) team won the environment design category for its project, “Stormwater Cycling Design Options in an Urban Industrial Watershed.” This was the first win for the University of Wyoming, a student chapter of the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association, and the sixth win for the University of Florida, a student chapter of the Florida Water Environment Association (Orlando), in the 10 years the competition has been held.

Members of the University of Wyoming team included Darrin Harris, Emily Huth, Colin Reinert, Afiya Walker, and faculty advisor Jonathan Brant. Members of the University of Florida team included Javier Briz, Jake Diamond, Emily Henderson, Xavier Rios, Jackie Martin, Robert Compton, Yuan Gan, Mallory Peterson, and faculty advisor John Sansalone. Both teams received certificates and a $2500 award. 

This Students and Young Professionals Committee program was sponsored by Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.), CDM (Cambridge, Mass.), Greeley and Hansen (Chicago), HDR (Omaha, Neb.), and Wigen Water Technologies (Chaska, Minn.). Click here for more information.

Above, University of Wyoming (Laramie) team members and below, Univeristy of Florida (Gainesville) team mebers pose with WEF past president Rebecca West after winning the Student Design Competition in the wastewater design and environment design categories. Photos courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography. Click for larger images.
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Trade Technical College Students Visit WEFTEC Exhibits
Students studying chemical and process technology at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College had the opportunity to visit the exhibit hall at WEFTEC 2011.

“These students got to see the different types of methods used for wastewater treatment, from chlorine to ultraviolet methods,” said Renee M. Madyun, a faculty member in the college’s science and math department. After visiting more than 60 exhibits, the students learned how wastewater pumps and chopper pumps work, how energy conservation companies can play a “major role in the wastewater industry,” about water recycling, and how there are many complex steps to providing municipalities with clean water and disposing of toxins, Madyun said.

“As we stopped at each exhibition booth, a small explanation and demonstration, where available, was provided on how that specific product worked,” Madyun said. The experience helped the students discover a new industry to learn more about and, in some cases, sparked an interest to work in the wastewater profession in the future, she said.

“We worked together to navigate this large exhibition and gather information,” Madyun said. “All in all, this was a wonderful experience where we got to expand our knowledge and become closer as teammates.”

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Los Angeles Trade Technical College students visit exhibits at WEFTEC 2011. Photos courtesy of Renee M. Madyun, Los Angeles Trade Tech College. Click for larger images.
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— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

Mark Your Calendars 

 WEFTEC 2012 Logo WEFTEC 2012 is scheduled to be held Sept. 29–Oct. 3 in New Orleans. More than 700 companies already have reserved nearly 26,000 m2 (280,000 ft2) of floor space at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. Stay tuned for more details about the conference at www.weftec.org