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

2010 SJWP U.S. Winner Identifies E. Coli with Biosensor

SJWP US Winner-Ye Small   Rebecca Ye of Bangor, Maine, is the U.S. winner of the 2010 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) for her proposed technique combining microbiology and nanotechnology to create a biosensor capable of rapidly identifying pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli.

Ye’s work, “Nanoparticle-amplified immunosensor enables excellent sensitivity in rapid detection of viable E. coli O157:H7,” represents an advance in providing rapid and specific identification of the pathogenic bacteria, assisting with the implementation of corrective measures. Her project was selected from more than 40 state SJWP winners at the national competition held in St. Louis from June 17 to 20.

Ye received $3000 and a paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden, where she will compete against national winners from more than 30 countries during World Water Week, September 5 to 11. Her school, Bangor High School, will receive a $1000 grant toward enhancing water science education. She also will have the opportunity to present her research at WEFTEC 2010 this October in New Orleans.

Three U.S. finalists, Akshar Wunnava from Chantilly, Va., April Choi from Glen Rock, N.J., and Collin McAliley of Melbourne Beach, Fla., also received a $1000 award. Click here to see Ye’s and the finalists’ SJWP project abstracts. 
Rebecca Ye of Bangor, Maine, is the U.S. winner of the 2010 Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

The Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) sponsors the U.S. SJWP with support from the ITT Corp. (White Plains, N.Y.), The Coca-Cola Company (Atlanta), and Delta Air Lines (Atlanta). The Missouri Water Environment Association (Jefferson City) hosted the 2010 national competition, and Ye received sponsorship from the New England Water Environment Association (Woburn, Mass.). 

WEF Committee Seeks Operations Challenge Judges for WEFTEC® 2010

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Operations Challenge Committee is seeking judges for the Operations Challenge competition at WEFTEC® 2010. The Process Control and Laboratory events will be held on Monday, Oct. 4, and the Collection Systems, Safety, and Maintenance events will follow on Tuesday, Oct. 5. Be a part of the action and watch another champion get crowned in New Orleans! The competition will be followed by an awards ceremony at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside. If you are interested being a judge for this event, contact Steve Harrison at (703) 684-2400, ext. 7715, or via e-mail at opschallenge@wef.org.

Operations Challenge team registration will continue through July 31. Registration forms are available at www.weftec.org or can be requested by sending an e-mail to opschallenge@wef.org. This annual demonstration of excellence in wastewater operations will be limited to 40 teams.

Submit an Abstract for the Impaired Waters Symposium 2011

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) is seeking abstract submissions for the Impaired Waters Symposium 2011: Spanning the Water Quality Continuum — From Standards to TMDLs. The symposium will be held Jan. 11 to 12 at the Hilton Miami Downtown. The symposium will bring together water practitioners to exchange information on the challenges and opportunities from new and more-stringent numeric water quality standards for parameters, as well as the increased precision and scale of pollutant and source detection. The deadline to submit an abstract is July 16. Submit your abstract online. For more information, see the full call for abstracts.

WEF Member Becomes President of IPEP Board

Libby Ford
Photo courtesy of the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice (Pittsburgh). 
Libby Ford, senior environmental health engineer at Nixon Peabody LLP (Rochester, N.Y.), has become president of the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice (IPEP; Pittsburgh) board of trustees. As a member of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) since 1975, Ford will be WEF’s liaison to the IPEP board, according to an IPEP news release.

Ford has been a member of WEF, IPEP, and the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA; Syracuse) for more than 30 years. She recently received the NYWEA Government Affairs award for her work advocating for education for environmental technical professionals on various government affairs issues. In addition, she has served as chair of both WEF’s and NYWEA’s Government Affairs committees and has served as the Exam Committee chair and vice president of the board for IPEP, the news release says. Ford is working to move a number of IPEP initiatives forward, such as bringing all of the organization’s exams to an online format, the news release says.


New Web Site Promotes Working for Water

 Work for Water Logo The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) and American Water Works Association (Denver) launched www.WorkForWater.org that features resources for water recruiters, career seekers, and students.  The Web-based gateway to recruiting and retention resources includes landing pages for high school and vocational school students, college students, second career and retired military job seekers, and advanced science professionals.


Work for Water ScreenshotThe Web site is part of the Work for Water outreach campaign that promotes water careers. “Work for Water aims to generate excitement about and interest in careers in the water profession," said WEF President Paul Freedman. “This new Web site will act as a recruitment tool for all of us who are trying to make information on water sector careers readily available.”

Members interested in helping develop the campaign by contributing resources such as documents, videos, and links to benefit both career seekers and employers, should contact Linda Kelly at LKelly@wef.org of (703) 684-2448.

Utility Partnership Program Offers Group Registration Discounts for WEFTEC® 2010

In the current economic climate, are you trying to maximize your budget for your utility employees to attend educational events? The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) is continuing its Utility Partnership Program, which enables utilities to send the maximum number of employees to WEFTEC® through discounted pricing packages. WEF recognizes the significance of utility participation and the value that their knowledge and experience contribute to the water quality event. For more information on the Utility Partnership Program, contact Megan Mader at (703) 684-2400, ext. 7736, or utilitypartnership@wef.org

Highlights From the WEFTEC® 2010 Technical Program

WEF–WERF Workshops on Saturday Address Major Challenges You May Be Facing

WEFTEC2010  Oct. 2, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) and Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF; Alexandria) are preparing four workshops for WEFTEC® 2010 attendees. View more information about these WEF–WERF workshops online.

® Education, Training, and Networking for Petroleum Professionals
Attend WEFTEC® 2010 in New Orleans for wastewater expertise on topics for petroleum industry professionals, and meet colleagues and exchange ideas at the Industrial Networking Reception. Check out details of the session and workshops online.

Purchase Discounted Books Through Aug. 20

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) North American warehouse is overflowing with some valuable resources from the past several years. Now WEF is offering a 25% discount on publications from and prior to 2006 during its Inventory Reduction Sale. Look through the list of available discounted publications and exclusions, and make your purchase today.

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.  

Find WEFTEC® 2010 Events To Attend in the Digital Conference Announcement

Conference Announcement
Get the inside scoop on WEFTEC® 2010 with the digital version of the WEFTEC 2010 Conference Announcement, which provides a summary of the educational, business, and networking opportunities available during this year’s technical conference in New Orleans, Oct. 2–6.

Follow workshop and session links on any page of the digital announcement to connect instantly to My WEFTEC Planner. Through the planner, search for workshops, technical sessions, exhibitors, events, tours, and committee meetings, and add them to your personalized WEFTEC schedule. Log in anytime to make changes, and access it at the conference through WEFTEC 2010 E-Services. 

WEF Publishes New Edition of Natural Systems for Wastewater Treatment

This spring, the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) published a new edition of Natural Systems for Wastewater Treatment — Manual of Practice FD-16. This Manual of Practice covers soil-based treatment systems and aquatic-based treatment systems, including up-to-date information on pond effluent treatment technologies for algae removal, floating aquatic treatment using periphyton, vertical-flow constructed wetlands, and reciprocating operation of subsurface constructed wetlands. The publication is available in hard copy or as an electronic book. For more information, see www.wef.org/manuals/

WEF Government Affairs Committee Nutrient Work Group Releases New Document

The 200-page document Technical Submission to EPA: Removal of Nutrients With Currently Available Secondary Treatment Technologies was developed to provide current technical information to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding the application and cost/affordability of technologies for removing nutrients from discharges from publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). It provides a review of design and performance consideration for professionals seeking an overview of nutrient removal systems currently in use. Case studies further illustrate the role that POTWs discharges can play in effective nutrient management strategies within a watershed.

The document is available electronically for a small fee. For more information, see the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) Regulatory Affairs Web page

Meet WEF’s Newest Life Member
  • Barry A. Harms, member since Jan. 1, 1975, South Carolina Water Environment Association (Lexington) and North Carolina Water Environment Association (Raleigh). 
WEF Staff Mark Storm Drains for Earth Day

WEF Earth Day - Storm Drains Small On April 23, eight employees from the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) rolled up their sleeves to help the environment. In recognition of Earth Day 2010, WEF President Bill Bertera approved an afternoon for employees to get out of the office and help the City of Alexandria mark storm drains in a public education effort.

The employees donned orange vests and took their stormwater marking tools — including wire brush to clean concrete, glue, and round stickers designating the waterways that drains empty into — around the city. See WEF employees in action in the Earth Day 2010 storm drain project gallery.

Mankato, Minn., Receives NBP EMS Certification

NBP EMS - Mankato Small
From right, NBP Chair Richard Lanyon congratulates Mankato, Minn., Mayor John Brady at the city's May 10 NBP EMS Certification Celebration. Click for larger image.

The City of Mankato, Minn., became the 28th U.S. organization to be certified and admitted to the National Biosolids Partnership (NBP; Alexandria, Va.) environmental management system (EMS) for biosolids program. Mankato is the first organization in Minnesota to receive the certification.

Representatives from NBP, the State of Minnesota, and the city’s mayor gathered for the EMS Certification Celebration for the city on May 10. The achievement recognizes that the city has effective biosolids environmental management systems. Currently, 100 organizations participate in the NBP EMS program

Attend the 25th Annual WateReuse Symposium

The Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.), WateReuse Association (Alexandria), and American Water Works Association (Denver) will hold the 25th Annual WateReuse Symposium Sept. 12 to 15 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference will cover topics including desalination case studies; potable reuse; green building, green thinking, and reuse applications; financing, pricing, rates, and economics of desalination and reuse; and regulatory, institutional, and legal issues of desalination and reuse. 

Attend or Exhibit at the Biofilm Reactor Technology Conference

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.

Take the opportunity to connect with water and wastewater audiences by exhibiting at the conference. If you are interested in exhibiting at a conference, contact Sarah Evans at sevans@wef.org or (703) 684-2400, ext. 7739.

Summer Boot Camp — Webcast on Public Communications

There is still a chance to participate in the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) webcast “Summer Boot Camp — for Public Communications.” The third and final session, titled “Involving the Public,” will be held July 20 from 2 to 3 p.m. It will discuss how a multibillion dollar wastewater capital program gained public support and how to harness the energy for more productive public meetings and citizen advisory committees. Participate in the session and receive a DVD recording of any of the sessions you could not attend for the single price of $155 for members and $195 for nonmembers. 

WEF Offers TPU, Webcast on Codigestion of Organic Wastes

A free technical practice update (TPU) is available to members of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) this month. The TPU Direct Addition of High-Strength Organic Waste to Municipal Wastewater Anaerobic Digesters was developed by members of WEF’s Municipal Wastewater Treatment Design Committee and Residuals and Biosolids Committee to provide an overview of the potential benefits and challenges of direct codigestion of high-strength organic wastes with municipal wastewater sludge.

A corresponding live webcast, “Codigestion of Organic Wastes at Wastewater Treatment Plants,” will be held July 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. (EDT). In the webcast, TPU authors will elaborate on the topics discussed in the document, with a focus on design and analysis. This webcast will enable those interested in this topic to interact and share their experiences with the authors.

A related preconference workshop at WEFTEC® 2010, “Waste to Resource: Crafting Forward Thinking and Pragmatic Approaches,” will focus on energy and nutrient recovery from wastewater. Workshop participants will learn the current state of information, available strategies, and triple-bottom-line assessment of alternatives.  

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 in having a course in your state that is not listed above, send an e-mail to James Sullivan at jsullivan@wef.org.  

Sneak Peek at 2011 Conferences

Nutrient Recovery and Management

Jan. 9–12, 2011, Miami

The conference will discuss recent developments in nutrient management practices in industrial and municipal wastewater treatment systems and solutions, from conventional biological nutrient removal treatment to enhanced nutrient reduction.

The Utility Management Conference

Feb. 8–11, 2011, Denver

Water and wastewater managers and professionals will gather to hear the latest approaches, practices, processes, techniques, case studies, and research in all aspects of utility management.