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. 

June 2011, Vol. 48, No. 5

Top Story

Water Authority Teaches Young Citizens To Be Stewards

Education department teaches thousands of children a year 

Albuqurque - WaterFest-EnergyDrink Small Thousands of children learn about water from the Albuquerque (N.M.) Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority every year. Primarily, the lessons teach children about local water sources and water conservation. 

The authority’s education department has increased the number of educational resources and programs it offers during the past 4 years. The focus on education started after the authority discovered the local aquifer did not hold enough water to provide drinking water for residents. The authority had to begin importing water from the Colorado River to meet water demands, explained Sharon Sivinski, education coordinator at the authority.  

“We really wanted to educate people about where their water came from,” Sivinski said. Because water is such a limited and valuable resource in the area, the authority increased efforts to educate children, teaching them to become stewards of water so it becomes a part of who they are as adults, she explained. 
A hands-on activity held by Albuquerque (N.M.) Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority's education department. Photo courtesy of Sharon Sivinski, education coordinator at the authority. Click for larger image.
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Showing a United Front

WEF and AWWA hold a ‘fly-in’ to advocate water and wastewater issues on Capitol Hill

In April, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA; Denver) held their first jointly sponsored fly-in — a 2-day event in which more than 100 members of both organizations met congressional delegations from their respective states and shared their views on water- and wastewater-related issues. The congressional visits were followed by a feedback session conducted at a closing luncheon.

AWWA has held a fly-in for the past 10 years, but this was the first year WEF participated. Also, a contingent of members from the New England Water Environment Association (Woburn, Mass.) that was holding its own congressional breakfast participated in the event.    FlyIn-NeweaGroup1 Small 
Members from the New England Water Environment Association (Woburn, Mass.) at the reception for the fly-in. WEF photo/Nick Bardis. Click for larger image.
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From the President: Rising to the Call of Stormwater

WEF works to expand stormwater resources and engage those inside and outside of WEF to get involved

Jeanette BrownSo many of us are faced with stormwater and wet weather issues that are complex and have significant associated costs. There is so much happening with regulations, training, and the need for public education. It is so critical that everyone involved in these issues has the best and most updated information available, and the Water Environment Federation is committed to providing it.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently is undergoing major rulemaking on stormwater regulations — the “biggest change in a generation” — according to one EPA official. Effluent and turbidity discharge limits from construction sites are being proposed, legislation requiring federal payments of stormwater fees has been passed, and sanitary sewer overflows and green infrastructure received renewed focus from EPA with the unveiling of EPA’s updated Green Infrastructure Strategy in May. And these are just the developments on the federal level.

To reflect the many changes regarding stormwater, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) has ramped up its own efforts on these issues. 
Jeanette Brown, 2010–2011 WEF President. Photo courtesy of Oscar and Associates Inc. (Chicago).
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WEF Staff Helps Students Learn About Water

Volunteers from the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) judged student presentations and hosted hands-on activities at an Earth Force (Denver) annual Youth Summit May 10 at Marymount University in Arlington, Va.

Nearly 350 teachers and students from local middle schools participated in the summit, presenting proposals for Earth Force’s Caring for Our Watersheds competition. Eileen O’Neill, WEF chief technical officer, served as a contest judge and described the event as “an energizing experience from start to finish.”  

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Students at the Earth Force (Denver) Youth Summit in Arlington, Va. create natural waterways with Play-Doh, leaves, and sticks. WEF Photo/Melissa Jackson. Click for larger image.
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WEF Staff Makes a Splash in Celebration of Earth Day 2011

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A group of employees from the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) showed their commitment to clean water by braving heavy rain and cool temperatures to pick up litter from the Potomac River waterfront for Earth Day 2011. Ten staff members collected five bags of trash and five bags of recycling in the Oronoco Bay Park on April 8, as an early start to the 23rd Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup event.

The cleanup lasted approximately 2 hours, and WEF staff members were joined by two additional volunteers from Clarke (Roselle, Ill.), an environmental products and services company. The annual cleanup event, organized by the Alice Ferguson Foundation (Accokeek, Md.), included 7750 volunteers at 418 registered sites who helped clean 186 Mg (205 ton) of litter from waterways around Washington, D.C., according to the Alice Ferguson Foundation Web site.   

WEF staff volunteers included (pictured from left) Brittany Burch, Kristina Twigg, Rebecca Arvin, Jennifer Chavira, Grace Woo, Britt Sheinbaum, Jessica Rozek, and (not pictured) Tim Moran, Jeff Frederick, and Jennifer Fulcher. WEF photo/Jeff Frederick. Click for larger image.
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In Memoriam: Orris E. Albertson

Orris “Orrie” E. Albertson, president and owner of Enviro Enterprises Inc. (Salt Lake City) and life member of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), died April 22.

Albertson, born March 5, 1933, in Aberdeen, Wash., received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in sanitary (environmental) engineering, both from the University of Washington (Seattle). After school, he worked as an engineer and director of Technology for Dorr-Oliver Inc. (Stamford, Conn.), and then in 1973 he became manager of Turnkey Systems for Envirotech (Belmont, Calif.). In 1974, Albertson became vice president of Technology and Development at Eimco Water Technologies (Salt Lake City). In 1974 he opened Enviro Enterprises.

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Photo courtesy of Lisa Albertson. Click for larger image.
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