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.  

July / August 2010, Vol. 47, No. 6

Top Story

Invasive Species?

St. Paul, Minn., public pools benefit from New Zealand moss 

A sphagnum moss harvested in New Zealand is working to keep pools and spas clean in St. Paul, Minn.

In 1998 vascular-trauma surgeon David Knighton learned that World War I soldiers who had their wounds packed with moss had a high survival rate. Soon afterward, he traveled to Minnesota, where the waters that contain moss are known to be clear and clean. Putting the two together, Knighton surmised that the moss was cleaning the water as it helped clean the soldiers’ wounds, he said. 

In 2001, Knighton and his colleague Vance Fiegel founded Creative Water Solutions (Plymouth, Minn.). After testing many species of sphagnum moss, they found that two species have the ability to absorb heavy metals, help stabilize acidity, prevent bacteria fungus growth, and inhibit biofilm formation, Knighton said. One of these species is found in northern Minnesota, and the other is grown in New Zealand. The company uses the New Zealand moss because there is a location that mass produces and sells the moss for soil amendments.  
Spagnum Moss Small 
Sphagnum moss from New Zealand before its leaves are hand-harvested, sterilized, and compressed for water treatment. Photo courtesy of Creative Water Solutions (Plymouth, Minn.). Click for larger image.

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Green Center Hosts WEFTEC® 2010

New Orleans - Recycle Cans Small

The New Orleans Morial Convention Center, location of the Oct. 2­–6 WEFTEC® 2010, boasts an impressive, environmentally friendly résumé. Choosing an environmentally conscious venue for its annual technical conference is one way the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) works to reduce its environmental impact.

As the sixth largest convention center in the United States, with 102,190 m2 (1.1 million ft2) of contiguous exhibit space, the center has many opportunities to make greener choices and continually evaluates its actions in the areas of waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, and clean air to improve the sustainability of its practices and services, according to the center’s Green Brochure

A recycle station that include depositories for trash, paper, and cans and bottles. Photo courtesy of Rosalie Mortillaro, New Orleans Morial Convention Center. Click for larger image.

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Schnoor Receives NWRI Award

Environmental engineer and University of Iowa (Iowa City) professor Jerald L. Schnoor will be the 17th recipient of the National Water Research Institute (NWRI; Fountain Valley, Calif.) Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for excellence in water research.

Schnoor, a Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) member since 1975, is scheduled to receive the 2010 Clarke Prize on July 15 at the 17th Annual Clarke Prize Lecture and Award Ceremony in California, according to an NWRI news release. The prize includes a medallion and $50,000 award.

“Schnoor was selected because of his leadership and impact on promoting the sustainable use of water,” the news release says. The annual award was established in 1993 to recognize outstanding research scientists who have demonstrated excellence in water-science research and technology.
Photo courtesy of the National Water Research Institute (Fountain Valley, Calif.).

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In Memoriam: Harvey F. Ludwig, Engineering-Science Inc. Founder and CWEA Past President

In Memoriam - Ludwig Small

Harvey F. Ludwig, founder of Engineering-Science Inc. and past president of the California Water Environment Association (CWEA; Oakland), died April 24 at the age of 94.

“Many outstanding engineers and scientists have shaped our field since its inception,” said Timothy G. Shea, senior principal technologist at CH2M Hill (Englewood, Colo.). “Harvey F. Ludwig was one of the legends.” Ludwig helped shape environmental legislation and policy while working for the U.S. Public Health Service, Shea said. “We live today with the legislative framework that he helped build,” he added.

Ludwig worked for the Public Health Service during World War II, Ludwig Bros. Engineers from 1947 to 1949, and University of California, Berkeley, from 1949 to 1951. His career then took him back to the Public Health Service from 1951 to 1956, and then to Engineering-Science Inc. from 1957 to 1972 and Seatec International in Bangkok from 1973 to 2004. After 2004, he worked as a private consultant.   

Photo courtesy of the Ludwig family. Click for larger image.

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Web Site Resources — Bay Backpack Provides One-Stop Shop for Educational Tools

 Web Resource - BayBackpack Logo
Photo courtesy of Krissy Hopkings, Chesapeake Bay Program (Annapolis, Md.).  

See this month’s online resource, the Chesapeake Bay Program’s (Annapolis, Md.) Bay Backpack to help teachers and environmental educators engage students in hands-on learning about Chesapeake Bay and its local waterways. 

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