Stormwater Gets Going at WEFTEC
Posted on October 25, 2010
By Dr. Chris Crockett, Director of Planning and Research at the Philadelphia Water Department
Looking back at all WEFTEC 2010 activities, the newly-formed Stormwater Coordinating Council’s first meeting was a major event for me. I was fortunate enough to be chosen to chair this group along with long-time active WEF member Tad Slawecki as vice-chair, and together we pulled in representatives from 13 committees and CoP’s as Council members to help set the course for the future of stormwater at WEF. Our meeting was well-attended (we had twice as many attendees as council members there) despite having a late time slot (running past 6:00), and we got through the entire agenda within only 90 minutes. Jeff Lape, EPA deputy director for the Office of Water Science and Technology and active WEF member, joined us and provided strong support for WEF’s involvement in stormwater. He noted there is a significant paradigm shift occurring in the world of stormwater which encourages infiltration through distributed treatment further up the watershed, as opposed to the old view of efficient collection through paved and highly connected flowpaths to large, regional facilities further downstream in the watershed.
We heard from each council member about stormwater-related activities in their respective committees and discussed the short-term and long-term activities and goals that the Council will be engaged in. For instance, we are currently working together to provide comments on a draft position statement on stormwater, which will articulate WEF’s stance on a variety of technical and regulatory facets of stormwater. Also, we are working together to create the first Stormwater Symposium at WEFTEC 2011. However, the most critical short-term goal is to take a comprehensive inventory of stormwater activities across WEF and coordinate future stormwater-based activities that our committees engage in. Once we dig in and get a handle on these near-term efforts, we will then look to longer-term goals, most notably, developing WEF’s path in stormwater in the future. Meanwhile, please feel free to post your thoughts regarding the direction of stormwater management or any innovative approaches to stormwater in your area.