WE&T Magazine

WET_cover1_Dec14_90Water Environment & Technology (WE&T) is the premier magazine for the water quality field. WE&T provides information on what professionals demand: cutting-edge technologies, innovative solutions, operations and maintenance, regulatory and legislative impacts, and professional development.


December 2014, Vol. 26, No.12

WEFTEC 2014 sends ripples far and wide

Event breaks records for exhibition, New Orleans attendance    

New Orleans — a city inextricably linked to and defined by water — hosted the world’s largest annual water quality conference and exhibition, WEFTEC® 2014, from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1. This year’s event featured a record-breaking 28,155 m2 (303,075 ft2) of exhibition space as well as 20,385 registrants, representing the largest WEFTEC attendance ever in the Crescent City.  

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Featured Articles

Operations Challenge 2014

Feature 1 OpsChall art #OpsChallTerminal Velocity from the Virginia Water Environment Association earned an unprecedented fifth-consecutive Division 1 win at Operations Challenge 2014. This 20-page section includes articles on several teams, judges, and benefits of the 27th annual competition. It also includes tons of photos and full-color infographics briefly describing each event. Read full article (open access


Seeking sustainable biosolids management solutions through a TBL lens

Feature 2 art

Management of wastewater solids can be viewed from many perspectives. Utility managers who step back far enough to see the big picture — in this case, energy resource recovery in the larger context of overall sustainability — have an exemplary point of view. 

Water resource utilities of the future commonly focus on resource recovery, and many of these forward-thinking utilities use triple-bottom-line (TBL) analysis to help make decisions about opportunities for long-term sustainability. TBL analysis is a way of evaluating organizations, processes, and projects through a balanced assessment of economic, environmental, and social impacts. It is relatively simple to grasp and is used widely by government and industry worldwide. 



A model solution

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Scientists at MIT generate power from salinity differences in river and wastewater   

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge, Mass.) are studying the limits of scalability of a well-known technology called pressure retarded osmosis (PRO), which uses two different water streams with varying salinity levels to produce energy. 

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Coming in the next issue:

Stepping through treatment

Controlling the flow of wastewater, especially in high flow situations, can be complicated. Luckily, the ingenuity of the water sector coupled with technological developments means new flow control regimens are available. 

For example, the City of Ottawa, Ontario, implemented real-time control (RTC) to minimize combined sewer overflows (CSOs). In addition to CSO reduction, RTC also has provided a side benefit of greater control, understanding, and maintenance of the collection system. The RTC system consists of flow control structures that are operated automatically and dynamically in response to real-time sewer conditions. This system has helped the city cost-effectively meet CSO objectives by maximizing use of existing infrastructure. 

Getting the flows to the water resource recovery facility is just the first step. Once there, the flows need to be controlled and managed again to make the most of the treatment processes in place. The Bowery Bay Water Resource Recovery Facility in New York City optimized its biological nutrient removal process by adjusting primary effluent flow distribution to each of the four passes of the step-feed secondary treatment system. Optimizing flow distribution enabled more efficient nitrification and denitrification by balancing solids retention time for nitrification while still providing adequate primary effluent carbon for denitrification. 

But sometimes additional processes are needed to meet permit limits. That’s the case in Wisconsin, where numerous permits are being drafted with future total phosphorus (TP) limits of 0.075 mg/L or lower. 

In 2013, several communities decided to be proactive and initiate demonstration testing of differing types of technologies. They wanted to verify the performance of newer disc filters and ballasted flocculation technologies, and each community witnessed a technology that could achieve less than 0.075 mg/L TP, at times as low as 0.05 mg/L. 


Also in this issue:    

  • State of the industry. This annual section will explore technology, financing, and resource recovery trends for 2015.   
  • The right tools for process control. Testing online analyzers for biological nutrient removal.   
  • Sharing the wealth. A water recycling facility in the California Bay Area gives away water to help mitigate the drought.         


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