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 2010, Vol. 47, No. 4

Top Story

WEFTEC® 2010: News You Can Use


WEFTEC® 2010, the annual Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) technical conference, is quickly approaching. The event will be held Oct. 2–6 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. Secure your attendance at WEFTEC 2010 by registering and reserving housing online today.  

Technical Program
As the largest water quality event in North America, WEFTEC boasts an impressive Technical Program, including 35 workshops providing hands-on training and education, and 112 technical sessions presenting more than 800 papers. Attendees can earn up to 1.2 Continuing Education Units at workshops, up to 19.5 Professional Development Hours at technical sessions, and up to 8 Contact Hours per day for time spent visiting the exhibition.

Online WEFTEC Planner
Search for workshops, technical sessions, events, tours, and committee meetings, and add what you want to attend to your personalized schedule in My WEFTEC Planner. The planner enables you to print your personalized schedule, save it as a Microsoft Word document or CSV file, or create an account to save it online. Using the planner is free, and once you create an account, you can log in anytime to make and save changes. Check the planner often for updated speaker lists and room numbers.

Opening General Session

The Opening General Session, scheduled for Monday, Oct. 4, 8:30–9:30 a.m., features keynote speaker Steven Solomon, an esteemed economics journalist and author. Through his book Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization, Solomon provides a narrative portrait of water and the resulting power struggles, personalities, and breakthroughs that have shaped human civilizations. During the event, Solomon will share his insights about the key role water has had in the development of modern societies and the growing issues concerning scarcity and pollution that could lead to a global crisis unless we adopt more-sustainable approaches to water management.

 WEFTEC Opening General Session- Solomon

Photo courtesy of BrightSight Group (Princeton, N.J.).

 WEFTEC Luncheon- McCorquodale

Scientists’ Luncheon 
WEF and the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (Champaign, Ill.) will hold a Scientists’ Luncheon at WEFTEC on Monday, Oct. 4, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. The luncheon’s featured speaker, Alexander McCorquodale, is the Freeport McMoRan professor of Environmental Modeling at the University of New Orleans. With more than 40 years of experience as a hydraulic consultant and more than 30 years of experience as a professor, McCorquodale has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and three books. At the luncheon, McCorquodale will discuss environmental problems associated with introducing Mississippi River water into coastal wetlands.

Photo courtesy of Alexander McCorquodale.


WEF Files Joint Brief on Biosolids With Supreme Court

On April 16 the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) co-filed an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, brief in a U.S. Supreme Court appeal by the city and county of Los Angeles and Orange County Sanitation District. The appeal asks for consideration of issues related to litigation initiated when Kern County, Calif. introduced a ban on land application of biosolids generated outside the county. WEF co-filed this amicus brief with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (Washington, D.C.), the North East Biosolids and Residuals Association (Tamworth, N.H.), and the Northwest Biosolids Management Association (Seattle).

In 2008, WEF filed its own amicus brief on this case. “WEF’s involvement in this brief is a continuation of our efforts to inform consideration of this case,” said WEF Chief Technical Officer Eileen O’Neill. “Our earlier brief focused on the science underlying the efficacy of biosolids land application. Since the appeal to the Supreme Court, relates specifically to interstate commerce issues involved in the Kern County ban, this is the focus of the new joint brief. It also discusses how a ban on biosolids land application in Kern County could affect municipalities across the nation.”

A separate amicus brief is being filed with the Supreme Court by a group of municipalities led by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago including the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District (Denver); King County, Washington (Seattle); the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District; and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. 

“It is important that WEF help move this case forward,” said WEF President Paul Freedman. “WEF does not advocate a specific wastewater solids management option, but rather, believes these are decisions best made by individual utilities. WEF also supports the primacy of [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] EPA and state regulation/ oversight of biosolids land application … As communities look for more ways to recycle resources, biosolids land application can be an important consideration.”

Join a WEF Editorial Advisory Board To Share Your Ideas

Editorial advisory board (EAB) members are needed for the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) publications Utility Executive, WE&T magazine, and Operations Forum. Volunteer EAB members perform an extremely valuable service to WEF, lending their professional expertise to WEF periodicals and serving as our “eyes and ears” in the field.

EABs are not peer review boards, nor do they approve editorial content. Rather, EAB members serve in an advisory capacity to the newsletter editor, providing news story ideas, feedback on features, and other suggestions. Those interested must be able to provide a minimum time commitment of 2 to 3 hours a month and participate in quarterly EAB conference phone calls. To apply, send a resume and letter explaining your experience and identifying which EAB you would like to join to WEF Program Administrator Theresa Mixon at tmixon@wef.org.

WEF Needs Beta Testers for Disinfection Courses

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), in collaboration with Montana State University (Bozeman), is developing two online training courses focused on disinfection. Volunteers are needed to review the final courses and possibly create questions. Continuing Education Units will be offered to participants. Those interested should send an e-mail to Dorn Sanders at dsanders@wef.org.

Participate in the Wastewater Personnel Survey

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) House of Delegates formed an operator work group to address the needs of frontline wastewater personnel and to determine their relationship with WEF and WEF’s Member Associations. To assist in these efforts, the work group created a survey for wastewater treatment personnel, including operators, maintenance workers, laboratory analysts, collection systems employees, and utility managers. WEF encourages personnel to participate in the survey, which is available at www.wef.org/wwpersonnelsurvey through June 1.

WEF Board Approves Core Attributes of Effectively Managed Collection Systems

In its February meeting, the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) Board of Trustees agreed to sign a Statement of Support with partner organizations — the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (Washington, D.C.), American Society of Civil Engineers (Reston, Va.), and American Public Works Association (Kansas City, Mo.) — to embrace the 12 Core Attributes of Effectively Managed Collection Systems document. This document is intended to provide collection system managers clear information to guide their management efforts in the absence of federal guidelines for sanitary sewer systems. The release of the final document is expected by this summer.

Apply Now for the 2010 WERF Paul L. Busch Award

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF; Alexandria, Va.), through the Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research, is offering the Paul L. Busch Award for $100,000 to pursue groundbreaking research.

The award, now in its 10th year, is presented to an individual or team working on such topics as wastewater, water reuse, biosolids, stormwater, and watersheds. The annual award supports researchers working to solve water quality and supply issues, such as harnessing new forms of energy to ensure the adaptability of wastewater treatment systems, according to a WERF news release. Utilities, universities, environmental firms, and others conducting water quality research or engineering work are encouraged to apply. Applicants may self-nominate or be nominated by a third party. The deadline for application submissions is June 1.

Paul Busch Award 
Photo courtesy of Chris Powell, communications manager, WERF.


WEF Launches Redesigned WEFTEC Web Site

As part of a two-phase project to improve access to water quality science, engineering, and technical practices information, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) launched a redesigned WEFTEC Web site that complements the look and brand of WEF’s primary site.

In addition to including information on all aspects of the event such as workshops, seminars, meetings, and facility tours, the new site features a clearer navigation scheme; more comprehensive search engine with an advanced search function; interactive calendar with upcoming deadlines; improved WEFTEC Exhibitor Directory and search function; photo gallery from past WEFTECs; and home page slideshow representing the reasons water quality professionals attend WEFTEC, including education, exhibition, events, exploration, and networking.

Distance Learning for Water Professionals Everywhere

Distance Training Logo 
Last summer, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) launched a new opportunity for water professionals to continue their education through the Distance Learning: Water Quality Training program. With restrictions in travel budgets, water professionals still can obtain further education and training at their own pace through this program.
The online training courses thoroughly cover operation, design, and engineering, with topics ranging from wastewater fundamentals to emerging topics in the industry. Whether participants want an introduction to wastewater treatment, a refresher course in wastewater operations, or education on new, intellectually stimulating topics, the WEF program provides something for everyone through both fundamental and accelerated courses available to anyone with an Internet connection.

Browse and sign up for courses today at http://training.wef.org. WEF members can log in with their WEF number as the username and “10000” as the default password.


Publications Catalog Available

Read about Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) publications in the 2010 Technical Publications Catalog. The catalog identifies new titles and best sellers, and makes it easy to find publications by topics, such as laboratory practices, utility management, and water reuse. The brochure also includes information about WEF events and educational resources.

Meet WEF’s Newest Life Members
  • Robert G. Gross, member since Jan. 1, 1974, South Carolina Water Environment Association.  
Life Member - Gross 
Photo courtesy of Robert G. Gross.
  • Ronald G. Schuyler, member since Jan. 1, 1971, Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association.
Life Member - Schuyler 
Photo courtesy of Ronald G. Schuyler.
  • Roy C. Fedotoff, member since Jan. 1, 1973, California Water Environment Association.
  • Ralph W. Perry, member since Jan. 1, 1975, Indiana Water Environment Association.


Reviewers Needed for Units of Expression for Water Systems Manual

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), American Water Works Association (Denver), and International Water Association (London) have partnered to develop the Units of Expression for Water Systems manual of practice. The objective for this book is to create an internationally applicable, reliable reference that reflects an industry consensus to standardize units across all documents for the same process.

Because this will be a brief publication, it will be developed within 1 year. The project is officially launching now, and first drafts will be ready for review this month. If you are interested in participating as a reviewer and will be able to work closely with WEF staff and dedicate time and expertise to ensuring that a high-quality manual is developed according to the publication development schedule, please contact Britt Sheinbaum at bsheinbaum@wef.org.

WEF and AWWA Ask Job Seekers To Work for Water
The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) and American Water Works Association (Denver) are working together on a public outreach campaign to enhance the image of water careers and encourage job seekers to “Work for Water.” The campaign promotes water careers as both professionally fulfilling and aligned toward an important public health and environmental cause. WEF President Paul Freedman appears in a video announcing this campaign.
 Work for Water

WEF and AWWA will provide a Web-based gateway to recruiting and retention resources, which will ultimately include a suite of outreach resources for promoting water careers to high school and college students and other job seekers. The Work for Water Web site — www.WorkforWater.org — launches this month. Members interested in helping develop the campaign by submitting resources and related materials should contact WEF’s managing director of communications, Linda Kelly at LKelly@wef.org of (703) 684-2448.

From left, AWWA President Craig Woolard and WEF President Paul Freedman promote the Work for Water campaign.


WEF Announces Water-Sector Interdependencies Training

Safe drinking water and wastewater treatment and service are essential to the public health and economic vitality of any society. Advanced preparation of how to continue providing drinking water and wastewater services during and following an incident will reduce hardships. To help utilities prepare, the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency will hold a series of general awareness trainings on water-sector interdependencies on the following dates:

Additional sessions will be added; if you are interested having a course in your state that is not listed above, send an e-mail to James Sullivan at jsullivan@wef.org

Upcoming WEF Conferences

Residuals and Biosolids

May 23–26, Savannah, Ga.

Learn more about beneficial-use options, science, and technologies currently available to leverage biosolids as a valuable resource. Get the latest on heat and power production, nutrient recovery, use of treated biosolids as a carbon-rich soil amendment, and more.

Membrane Applications

June 6–9, Anaheim, Calif.

This conference offers the latest research and experience in the design and operation of membrane treatment systems for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants — focusing on tertiary membrane filtration, membrane bioreactors, and nonfiltration and reverse-osmosis applications. Register by May 5 to secure the super-saver rate.

Collection Systems

June 13–16, Phoenix

Find out how national collection systems practitioners set priorities and implement long- and short-range plans while competing for dwindling funding resources. Emphasis will be placed on system operations, specific project-related experiences, and case studies. Register by May 12 to secure the super-saver rate.

Biofilm Reactor Technology

Aug. 15–18, Portland, Ore.

The conference will provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, review recent advances in biofilm reactor technologies, and assess the impact of biofilms on natural and engineered processes in water and wastewater treatment. The conference will focus on linking practical application with basic sciences. Register by July 14 to secure the super-saver rate.

Exhibit at a WEF Conference

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) conferences provide an excellent opportunity to connect with water and wastewater audiences. If you are interested in exhibiting at a conference, contact Sarah Evans at sevans@wef.org or (703) 684-2400, ext. 7739.

Graywater Report Available to WEF Members

The recently released White Paper on Graywater, sponsored by the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), WateReuse Association (Alexandria), and American Water Works Association (Denver), reviews literature on and summarizes the state of knowledge on graywater reuse as it relates to municipal water reuse.

The report describes various elements of graywater, including sources, characteristics, and concerns. The report also discusses a variety of graywater reuse topics, including its history; practices and trends; standards and guidelines; infrastructure elements and different types of systems; public health and economic aspects; impact on municipal water recycling; policy and planning approaches; and its place within the municipal water recycling framework.

The paper notes growing public interest in and general positive public perception of graywater in residential reuse and reports that some states are streamlining reuse in regulations to encourage broader use of the resource. The report concludes that, while graywater carries large concentrations of indicator microorganisms, its reuse at residential settings has not been associated with outbreaks of communicable diseases. But the inherent risks of exposure and infection are major concerns for public health authorities, and any indoor use of graywater must include treatment levels approaching disinfected tertiary recycled water, according to the report.  WEF members can log in to read the full report and its findings at no charge.

Upcoming Stormwater Seminar

Learn how nonpoint source pollution, wet weather management, regulatory compliance, and funding can be addressed when considering the creation of a stormwater utility at the upcoming Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) seminar “Weathering the Storm: Is This the Right Time for You To Form a Stormwater Utility?” The seminar will be held May 18 at the Crowne Plaza Old Town in Alexandria. Contact hours or Continuing Education Units can be earned.

WEF Offers New Biosolids Communications Resources

A clearinghouse of communications resources is now available on the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Access Water Knowledge Biosolids channel. The new resources have been provided to assist members and utilities in responding to issues related to biosolids recycling and will be updated regularly. Available under the new Educational Resources heading on this channel is a national fact sheet on land application and composting of biosolids developed by WEF at the request of the California Water Environment Association (Oakland, Calif.). Content for the fact sheet is based on the 2008 amicus curiae or friend of the court brief filed by WEF in the Kern County California litigation with review by leadership of the CWEA Biosolids Committee and the WEF Residuals and Biosolids Committee.

Upcoming WEFMAX Meetings

Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) House of Delegate members and Member Association leaders are invited to attend the WEFMAX meetings May 6–7 at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland or May 13–14 at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego.

WEF Contributes to Expansion of U.S. EPA Water Contaminant Information Tool

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water announced the expansion of the Water Contaminant Information Tool, a secure online resource that contains data on 102 chemical, biological, and radiochemical contaminants that could threaten drinking water and wastewater systems.

EPA selected nine new contaminants to add to the site, based on dialog with partners in the water sector, including the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.). Five of these contaminants that are of particular concern to wastewater treatment systems were recommended specifically by WEF. These contaminants have the potential to upset secondary wastewater treatment processes or damage wastewater infrastructure and pose both public health and environment threats if discharged into receiving waters. The remaining four contaminants are chemicals regularly used in drinking water treatment processes that could contaminate drinking water or plant facilities through accidental or intentional overfeeds.

NPDES Workshop Offers Information on Permitting Program

Attend a workshop providing the background and purpose of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program. The NPDES Permits Program Overview Course will be held May 10–11 in conjunction with the New Jersey Water Environment Association Annual Conference in Atlantic City, N.J. Topics attendees will learn about include the scope and regulatory framework for the program, application process, permit components, compliance, and enforcement. For more information about course content, contact Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) Technical Programs Manager Lara Hughes at (703) 684-2442 or lhughes@wef.org.

Conference Report Discussing Clean Water Act Available

In October 2009, the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University (Durham, N.C.) organized the Considering the Clean Water Act conference. Hosted by The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread (Racine, Wis.), the conference brought together 30 water experts from across the nation to discuss the key issues that are preventing the achievement of the Clean Water Act goals. Read the summary of these discussions and details about identified potential solutions and next steps in the conference report.

MA Winners Invited To Compete in WEF Student Paper Competition

Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) student members who are in either an undergraduate or master’s program and have competed and won first place in a Member Association (MA) annual paper competition have the opportunity to compete in WEF’s Student Paper Competition. The deadline for submissions is July 1, and MAs are encouraged to submit their winner(s). Winners receive a certificate and $500. Students participating are invited to showcase their work in the WEFTEC Poster Symposium. For more information, see the submission guidelines, or contact competition subcommittee chair Chris Wilson at cwilson@greeley-hansen.com or WEF staff member Dianne Crilley at dcrilley@wef.org.