Media Contact: Lori Harrison, (703) 216-8565
October 4, 2011

Thousands of water professionals, top water companies are expected in Los Angeles this month for the world’s largest annual water quality conference and exhibition

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – If it’s about water, it will be at WEFTEC 2011— the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) 84th Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference—October 15-19 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC). With an anticipated attendance of more than 17,000 national and international water professionals, including nearly 1,000 top water companies, the event will be the city's second largest convention for this year.

As the world’s largest annual water quality event, WEFTEC 2011 offers the latest water-related research, training, solutions, and cutting-edge technologies in the field. This year’s technical program will feature 900 presentations in 114 technical sessions, 37 workshops, eight local facility tours, and the following key events:

“Walkway to Wetlands” Community Service Project
Saturday, October 15
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
5413 South Avalon Boulevard, Los Angeles
In coordination with the City of Los Angeles, WEF’s Students and Young Professionals Committee has organized the “Walkway to Wetlands” community service project. Conference volunteers will help revitalize a formerly industrialized downtown neighborhood by creating a grand tree-lined entrance to a local wetlands project. Local dignitaries and WEF representatives, including L.A. City Council’s President Pro Tempore Jan Perry and WEF President Jeanette Brown, are expected to share their vision for environmental protection and community service during the opening ceremony and groundbreaking. The project supports grassroots solutions on a local level and promotes WEF’s overall mission to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide while leaving a positive imprint on the host city.

Opening General Session
Monday, October 17
8:30-9:30 a.m.
Concourse Hall, LACC
The Opening General Session officially kicks-off the conference and sets the tone for the five-day event. Following a special video welcome from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio VillaraigosaDr. Rita Colwell, a distinguished university professor and world-renowned expert on water borne diseases, will share keynote responsibilities with Doc Henley, founder and president of the non-profit international aid organization, Wine To Water. The two keynote speakers will deliver different but complementary presentations about the vital connection between clean water and public health. The high-profile program will also feature a presentation of the WEF 2011 Public Officials Award to L.A. City Council’s President Pro Tempore Jan Perry and recognition of the 2011 U.S. and international Stockholm Junior Water Prize winner, Alison Bick. The New Jersey teenager received the prestigious youth award for her innovative cell phone app that provides a more efficient and cost effective method of testing for water quality—a useful tool for first-responders of natural and man-made disasters.

AEESP/WEF Scientists’ Luncheon: Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse: Past Successes, Future Challenges, and How to Meet the Needs of the Next Decades
Monday, October 17
12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Room 403B, Concourse, LACC
Featuring Michael K. Stenstrom, a Distinguished Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Water Leaders Session
Tuesday, October 18
8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
502B, West, LACC
This high-powered session will feature a panel of top water professionals who will discuss the future of water. Moderated by former U.S. EPA Administrator G. Tracy Mehan III (Principal of the Cadmus Group), the panel will include: Gretchen McClain (President of ITT Fluid and Motion Control), Laurent Auguste (President and CEO of Veolia Water North Americas), Dan McCarthy (President and CEO of Black & Veatch Water), David Gray (Managing Director of Global Industrial Services for Credit Suisse), and WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger.

Operations Challenge Skills Competition: Bringing Wastewater Treatment to the Surface
Monday & Tuesday, October 17-18
9:15 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
South Hall, LACC
More than 200 of the world’s best and brightest wastewater treatment professionals will compete in Operations Challenge 2011, a unique, fun and fast-paced skills competition for wastewater operations and maintenance. The top 37 regional teams from across the U.S. and Canada will compete in five events—collection systems, laboratory, process control, maintenance and safety— that are designed to test the diverse skills required for the operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment facilities, their collection systems, and laboratories.

Technical Session 114 - Elected Officials: Guided Tour of Wastewater Fundamentals in the Exhibition
Wednesday, October 19
1:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Kentia Hall Booth 9054 and West Hall Booth 4763, LACC
This pilot hybrid session has been specifically designed to provide non-technical attendees with an opportunity to get the most benefit from WEFTEC. Following a brief overview of the typical treatment process, participants will be taken on a guided tour of exhibiting equipment that represents a hypothetical wastewater treatment plant.

Note to editors: Complimentary registration is available for credentialed media representatives. For more information and interview requests, please contact Lori Harrison at lharrison@wef.org or 703-216-8565. For full program and event details, please visit www.weftec.org.

About WEF
Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF members, Member Associations and staff proudly work to our mission to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. To learn more, visit www.wef.org.