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. 

March 2011, Vol. 48, No. 2

Top Story

National Botanic Garden of Wales Upgrades Wastewater Recycling System

Forced bed aeration in reed bed system saves money and educates visitors  

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The National Botanic Garden of Wales last summer introduced a new enhancement to its wastewater recycling system.

History of recycling wastewater

Since the garden opened, it has recycled its wastewater using reed bed technology, which allows bacteria to break down solids into liquid, according to the garden’s Web site. This recycling system, installed around 1998, included a settlement tank, anaerobic digester, closed aerobic tank, and clarifier. It was capable of handling flows from up to 4000 people per day, said Clive Edwards, operations and facilities manager at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

A view of the new reed bed installed at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Photo courtesy of ARM Ltd. (Staffordshire, England). Click for larger image.


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Organizations Work To Ensure Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Schools Worldwide

Many organizations have formed a coalition to ensure students in schools around the world have clean water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene.

More than half of all primary schools in developing countries lack adequate water facilities and nearly two-thirds lack adequate sanitation. Students in these developing countries face health threats, as well as economic and educational disparities, according to UNICEF (New York).

“A school cannot be a school without adequate sanitation and hygiene,” said Murat Sahin, UNICEF adviser for the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools program. Sahin has helped design and develop a call for action at the global level and has participated in a U.S.-based call to action, he said. Since its launch last April, nearly 30 organizations have signed on to the WASH in Schools program.  

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Pupils from the Tamman Patti village primary school wash their hands before the school midday meal. The school, located in the Shikhar Mandal, India, includes a hand-washing area and toilet area that are a part of the Utta Pradesh government’s sanitation and hygiene project supported by UNICEF (New York). Photo courtesy of Tom Pietrasik, UNICEF.


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Washington-area Water Leaders Gather To Discuss Priorities


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Water leaders from the Washington, D.C., area gathered Feb. 17 to meet Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Executive Director Jeff Eger and hear about U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water priorities from EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Nancy Stoner.

Eger started off the luncheon, describing his experience in and hopes for the water industry. “What attracted me to this position is the talent, the energy that’s in this industry, and the passion that people feel for it,” he said. “I hope that with you all, we can continue to raise the value and the care that our citizenry have for this issue.”

Nancy Stoner continued the conversation, discussing her childhood memories of growing up next to a tributary of the Shenandoah River in Waynesboro, Va., where the inability to eat mercury-contaminated fish from the river seemed normal. “I just feel like there’s a core of what we see, that the rest of the world doesn’t see or know about,” she said. Our challenge is educating the public about the value of clean water and its importance for human and environmental health as well as the economy, she said. 

From left, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator for Water Nancy Stoner and Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Executive Director Jeff Eger were the featured speakers at a WEF luncheon on Feb. 17. Photo courtesy of Allison O’Brien. Click for larger image.


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WEF Provides Technical Sessions Online at No Charge

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) offers everyone a chance to preview technical and training content featured at WEFTEC 2010. Watch several technical sessions online at no charge. Continue reading for more details about this month's online resource. 

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Highlights reader David Freise from Topeka, Kan. comments on “USDA Design Could Pave Road to CAFO Compliance for Milk Houses” in the February issue. Read his comment and author Andrea Fox’s response.

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