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. 



April 2012, Vol. 49, No. 3

Top Story

The Big Name Change
Wastewater utilities try to rebrand themselves in eyes of ratepayers and the general public
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When corporations want to change the way consumers see them in the marketplace, they usually undergo a rebranding campaign. Water and wastewater utilities are no different. Within the past 5 years, several utilities have changed their names and logos to better reflect who they are and what services they offer to customers. The industry as a whole is undergoing a similar metamorphosis, debating internally whether the term “wastewater treatment” truly reflects what the industry does.

Converting wastewater to renewable resources
In 2008, what was then Western Carolina Regional Sewer Authority (Greenville, S.C.) released a 20-year strategic plan. As part of that plan, the utility decided to change its name and brand identity. Today, the utility is Renewable Water Resources.

“We saw that the industry is changing from one that treats wastewater to an industry that uses wastewater to create renewable resources,” said Ray Orvin, the utility’s executive director.

The utility also felt that words like “authority” and “sewer” came with too many negative connotations, and they “truly did not reflect what we’re doing,” Orvin said.

New signage on the DC Water (Washington, D.C.) administration building is unveiled. Photo courtesy of Ted Coyle, DC Water. Click for larger image.

So, the utility hired consultants to conduct workshops with senior staff and board members for 4 to 5 months to determine the new name and logo. Orvin said they came up with a list of 15 different names but finally settled on Renewable Water Resources. He said the name better reflects what the utility does, which is convert wastewater into biosolids, methane gas, and renewable water for nonpotable use.

To launch the new name and logo, the utility held a press conference at its new environmentally friendly administration building, which has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The utility also hired a public relations firm to help with the launch, wrote an op-ed piece for the local newspaper, and participated in an exhibit at the children’s museum in Greenville.

Getting community buy-in
DC Water (Washington, D.C.) launched its new brand in June 2010. The utility changed its name from the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DCWASA). A management shift in October 2009 spurred the change, said Alan Heymann, chief of external affairs at DC Water.


“George Hawkins [the new general manager] was hired to make a better connection between the utility and its customers,” Heymann said. Hawkins wanted the utility to operate a little differently, participating in the local community to help customers understand the purpose of the organization, he explained.

“We have quite a few mandates that will require costly construction and raising rates, so we want to get people to understand what we do and why we do it,” Heymann said.

A good starting point was the name and logo change.

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Top left, from left then-Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty, DC Water General Manager George S. Hawkins, and DC Water Board Chairman William M. Walker toast a glass of water to the authority's new brand. Top right, a crane places new DC Water sign and logo on the administration building. Left, Hawkings, Fenty, and Walker place new signage curb-side in front of the DC Water building. Photos courtesy of Ted Coyle, DC Water. Click for larger images.
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“The WASA logo was industrial and not easily seen from a distance,” Heymann said.

But the brand change couldn’t be done haphazardly, because to change the name substantially required a literal act of the U.S. Congress. “It still had to include the name District of Columbia somewhere,” Heymann explained.

So, the utility conducted a national contest, setting the parameters for the new name and logo. “We received more than 200 entries,” Heymann said. Of these, three were chosen, and the utility’s in-house graphic artists combined all three ideas into one, which eventually became the new name (DC Water), logo (a water droplet), and tagline for the utility (Water is Life).

“Coming up with the new name and logo happened quickly, but the transition to both was a slower process, because we didn’t want to waste ratepayer dollars,” Heymann said.

First, the utility used its remaining stock of old letterhead and business cards. Then it changed its website and administration building signage. Service truck decals were changed during quarterly oil changes, and patches on uniforms still are being changed.

Heymann said most of DC Water’s customers have responded well to the change, though there are a few exceptions.

An unforeseen consequence of the rebranding campaign was the perception that it was expensive, Heymann said. “We get complaints from a few customers asking, ‘Why are my rates so high? Is it because of that multimillion dollar campaign?’”

But between acquiring the new DC Water website address that was previously owned by someone else, signage, and other promotional items, the change only cost about $200,000, Heymann said. In total, that amount is about 0.05% of DC Water’s $400 million annual operating budget.

A shifting focus
In September, the Alexandria (Va.) Sanitation Authority (ASA) will become Alexandria Renew Enterprises, joining the growing tide of utilities that are making the brand identity shift.

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Karen Pallansch, general manager of ASA, said the utility started talking about the name change last fall. A small creative team received input from ASA employees and the board of directors and created a new name and logo in December 2011.

“We are still in the process of trademarking our logo and our brands,” Pallansch said at press time.

The launch of the new name and logo will coincide with the groundbreaking of a new “community-value project,” Pallansch said.

The site was once used by the city of Alexandria as a landfill, but it will eventually include a soccer field for public use, Pallansch said.

 

Alexandria (Va.) Sanitation Authority’s new project integrates the community and water treatment by incorporating a soccer field alongside the authority’s treatment works. Photo courtesy of the Alexandria Sanitation Authority. Click for larger image.

The utility felt that it needed an identity change because “ASA is changing, and over time, it will become an even greener, more innovative, sustainable facility,” Pallansch said. “We will do more to manage our region’s natural resources.”

Pallansch explained that the original name reflected the utility’s initial mission, which “was to ‘afford a nuisance-free discharge’ into Hunting Creek and the Potomac River.” But the mission for the utility today “is to produce clean, safe water and exceptional quality biosolids with environmental integrity,” she said.

The “renew” part of the utility’s new name will fit it well, Pallansch said. “We already renew our resources extensively,” she said. “Reclaimed water helps cool our equipment. Digester gas heats the facility. Class A Exceptional Quality biosolids are used as a nutrient-rich soil amendment for Virginia farmers.”

The terms … they are a-changing
It isn’t only utilities that are evolving. The wastewater industry is evolving as well, leading some within the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) to wonder if the term “wastewater treatment plant” is still adequate.

In October 2011, WEF’s Residual and Biosolids Committee proposed the creation of a task force to evaluate the rebranding of this term and its most common generic forms, such as “publicly owned treatment works” and “pollution control facility.”

The task force, led by Residuals and Biosolids Committee Vice Chair Chris Peot, prepared a report that recommended approaches — including terminology and education — to increase understanding of wastewater as a resource and treatment facilities as entities that allow recovery of these resources, including water energy, organic matter, and nutrients.

“As we recognize that we recover water and other resources that have inherent value, it is clear that we need to share that message,” says the report released by the task force. “If branded accurately, we will be able to better convey our message to the public and Congress when seeking funding for green infrastructure.” Instead of “wastewater treatment plant” or “wastewater reclamation facility,” the task force proposed such names as “recycling center” and “resource recovery facility.

The report makes three specific recommendations. The first is to educate about the value of resources recovered in treatment facilities, including water, nutrients, carbon for soil, and energy. The second is for WEF to act as a leader, establishing terminology guidelines within the organization that set the stage for others to adopt similar guidelines and communications practices. The third is to provide the right information and tools to disseminate the message, including websites, conferences, and publications. Thee efforts will be tied to the WEF Strategic Direction and other efforts such as the WATER’S WORTH IT™ campaign.

The WEF Board of Trustees recently accepted the task force’s report and has directed WEF staff to begin work on these recommendations.

— LaShell Stratton‒Childers, WEF Highlights

Task Force Members

  • Chris Peot, DC Water (Washington, D.C.)
  • Bob Wimmer, Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.)
  • Leonard Casson, University of Pittsburgh
  • Tad Slawecki, LimnoTech (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
  • Ifetayo Venner, Arcadis U.S. Inc. (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
  • Art Umble, MWH Global Inc. (Broomfield, Colo.)
  • Linda Macpherson, CH2M Hill Inc. (Englewood, Colo.)
  • Charlie Stevens, City of Liberty (Mo.) Utilities Department
  • Todd Williams, CH2M Hill Inc.
  • Chuck Boepple, Upper Occoquan Service Authority (Centreville, Va.)
  • Tyler Richards, Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources (Lawrenceville, Ga.)
  • Vince DeLange, East Bay Municipal Utility District (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Heather Thomas, Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
  • Diane Taniguchi–Dennis, Clean Water Services (Hillsboro, Ore.)
  • Laura Leslie, Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.)
  • Lorna Ernst, WEF 
2012 Water Matters! Fly-In Participants Combine Their Voices To Make a Difference
Attendees from around the country urge U.S. Congress to support infrastructure funding


Resolve and dedication emanated from those gathered at the 2012 Water Matters! Fly-In, held March 7–8. More than 160 water and wastewater industry professionals from approximately 45 states attended the Washington, D.C.-area event to make a difference in the U.S. Congress.

Hosted by the American Water Works Association (AWWA; Denver) and Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), the event brought members from both organizations together to visit with their members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

Congressman Bob Gibbs introduces new infrastructure funding legislation 
The event began with an issue briefing and discussion in which special guest speaker U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R–Ohio) urged water quality leaders to ask congressional representatives to co-sponsor the draft legislation that would create the federal Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA).

“Water is often something that we take for granted,” Gibbs said. He explained that water and wastewater infrastructure is necessary for obtaining clean water, and investing in it is something that will improve the economy. “We need to make investments in our infrastructure,” Gibbs added. WIFIA is the tool to ensure this investment when the government is forced to cut budgets, he explained.
 

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Water Environment Association of (Austin) Texas members, from left, Richard Talley, Mary Gugliuzza, Christianne Castleberry, Charlie Maddox, Mike Howe, Carol Batterton, Glenda Dunn, and Betty Jordan, stand in front of the U.S. Capitol building during their visit to Congress in March. Photo courtesy of Batterton. Click for larger image.
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Congressman Bob Gibbs talks to attendees at the 2012 Water Matters! Fly-In. WEF staff photos/Jennifer Fulcher and Nick Bardis. Click for larger images.

WIFIA, which is based on the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, would be a federal loan guarantee program designed to fund larger projects or aggregated smaller projects, Gibbs said. Through this program, U.S. Treasury funds would provide low-interest loans, loan guarantees, or other credit support for projects. Utilities would pay back these loans over time, with interest, to guarantee that funds flow back to WIFIA and the U.S. Treasury, in what becomes a “self-liquidating program,” said Fly-In speaker Aurel Arndt, general manager of the Lehigh County (Pa.) Authority.

“Additional, more efficient funding will provide much-needed assistance for drinking water and wastewater facilities who are facing more stringent requirements from the EPA [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency],” Gibbs said. Replacing infrastructure now at a low interest rate would avoid large costs to repair and replace infrastructure in the future and equate to overall lower costs for utilities, he explained. In addition to benefiting water-intensive businesses and providing a relief for ratepayers, this also would create more jobs and free State Revolving Funds for other projects, he said.

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“To get this legislation moving, I need your help,” Gibbs concluded, urging attendees to spread the word on the importance of infrastructure funding.

Giving Fly-In attendees a mission
Aurel Arndt continued the discussion at the Fly-In, providing more specifics about WIFIA and answering attendees’ questions.

“[WIFIA] is meant to be a complement and supplement to the programs that we already use,” Arndt said. Because even with other funding programs, the gap between infrastructure needs and available funding continues to grow. “WIFIA becomes one of the ways to fill that gap,” he said. And it would fill the gap with a very small effect on the Treasury; it even could be the source for a net increase in Treasury funds, he added.

“Our goal for this Fly-In is to find as many members of Congress [as possible] who are willing to co-sponsor this WIFIA bill,” Arndt said.  

WEF members share their views
Attendees, who represented utilities around the country, took their mission to heart, holding more than 400 meetings with members of Congress and their staff.

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Participants in the 2012 Water Matters! Fly-In walk down the halls of Congress. WEF staff photo/Nick Bardis. Click for larger image.
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Carol Batterton, Water Environment Association of (Austin) Texas executive director, appreciated that participants had a unified message to share with legislators. “We had a great time,” she said. “We had a definite message with WIFIA, and we had fun getting to know our AWWA counterparts.”

“This was such a critical opportunity for water and wastewater professionals to address issues that cross boundaries, such as aging infrastructure, rates, and funding mechanisms, in an integrated and focused way, with one voice,” said WEF member Wesley Sydnor, Louisville and Jefferson County (Ky.) Metropolitan Sewer District senior technical services engineer. This year was the first time Sydnor had participated in the event, and he was impressed with its organization, accessibility of the legislators, and the congressional staffs’ knowledge on key drinking and clean water issues, he said.

“I left the event with a renewed energy to be an active participant in the process and to help organize my fellow environmental professionals to find and focus our voice to our representatives,” Sydnor said.

WEF members from Missouri visited with their senator and the staff of several representatives to find that all agreed on the importance of infrastructure but that funding proved difficult, said WEF member Mary West–Calcagno, Jacobs Engineering (Pasadena, Calif.) Water/Wastewater Market principal.

“It was obvious that the people in Washington are earnestly trying to balance the interests of their constituents, the economy, budget shortfalls, and the campaign cycle,” West–Calcagno said. “It was good to put a face on the issues and to relate how decisions made in Washington affect communities.”  

Above, Congressman Timothy Bishop holds the Rockefeller Award presented by New York Water Environment Association leaders, from left, Nicholas J. Bartilucci, Anthony DellaValle, Congressman Bishop, Richard J. Lyons, Steve Fangmann, and Patricia Cerro-Reehil. Photo courtesy of Cerro-Reehil. Below, Missouri Water Environment Association (St. Louis) members Charlie Stevens (left) and Mary West-Calcagno (right) visit Senator Claire McCaskill during the 2012 Water Matters! Fly-In. Photo courtesy of West-Calcagno. Click for larger images.
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— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
WEF Launches WATER’S WORTH IT™ on World Water Day
Public messaging campaign features website and resources to help spread the word about the value, importance of water


Water should be clear, but not invisible. Indispensable to jobs, the economy, our health, and our communities, water runs through our lives in many ways. Everyone uses water, and everyone must be responsible for it. To do that, we each need to learn to value water and come together to share an important message about water’s worth. 

These are some of the messages of the new WATER’S WORTH IT™ campaign, which officially launched on March 22, World Water Day. Designed as an ongoing effort, this broad-based campaign will help to answer the question about how our actions, attitudes, and the things we most value are so closely connected with water.

“It’s time that water takes its rightful place in the national conversation,” said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. “It’s an issue that demands attention, understanding, and support. WATER’S WORTH IT was created to address that compelling need and to raise the profile of the water professionals who are on the front lines every day protecting public health and the environment.”

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Alexandria (Va.) Sanitation Authority (ASA) employees were recognized for their hard work by the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) during a WATER’S WORTH IT™ kick-off event at ASA. Photo courtesy of John Clarke. Click for larger image.
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WATER’S WORTH IT presents a series of simple, compelling messages that are designed to demystify water and wastewater treatment. One of its goals is to promote the direct connections between what the water profession does and what the public values — jobs, health, security, and clean water.

The new campaign website, www.WatersWorthIt.org, provides messaging, visuals, and other materials that demonstrate the importance of water stewardship and how water is inextricably tied to our quality of life. The site is intended primarily for water sector professionals and partners with a similar interest in water, but will appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about water and how to make a difference.

At www.WatersWorthIt.org, water professionals will find a comprehensive toolkit with a range of customizable materials — ads, fact sheets, brochures, bill stuffers, media outreach resources, and promotional items — that will help lay the foundation for water appreciation and set the stage for a call to action or behavior change. Going forward, WEF will develop materials with more specific messages on topics such as infrastructure investment, stormwater, biosolids management, and other important issues facing our communities.  

WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger speaks about his appreciation for operators and WEF’s new WATER’S WORTH IT communications initiative at ASA. Photo courtesy of John Clarke. Click for larger image.


“Out of sight and out of mind isn’t good enough anymore,” said DC Water General Manager George S. Hawkins. “We have millions of miles of hidden infrastructure and a service that’s been underpriced and mostly reliable for decades. No community can survive without clean water, and our systems need upgrading, so it’s past time to raise awareness of what we do and why we do it. This campaign serves to do just that.”

To kick off the WATER’S WORTH IT campaign on World Water Day 2012, Eger and WEF staff visited WEF’s local wastewater treatment plant, the Alexandria Sanitation Authority (ASA), to personally express their appreciation for the work ASA does every day. Eger recognized the important work of ASA, and ASA staff members spoke about what being a member of the water profession means to them. Later that day, Eger and ASA General Manager Karen Pallansch hosted a special webcast for WEF Member Associations about how to use the campaign in their communities.

“I’m really excited about the WATER’S WORTH IT campaign,” Pallansch said. “What a great way to help every WEF member get the word out now, and then ultimately grow that message. … It links our key concepts and needs — money, people, and technology and infrastructure — in an understandable way that can reach all kinds of segments of our community.”

Get Involved
To learn more about how you can be a voice for water, visit www.WatersWorthIt.org. Check out the World Water Day webcast. You also can take the WATER’S WORTH IT pledge at www.wef.org, and use the #watersworthit hashtag on Twitter.

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ASA General Manager Karen Pallansch speaks at the WATER’S WORTH IT™ kick-off event. Photo courtesy of John Clarke. Click for larger image.
— Lori Harrison, WEF Highlights
From the President: Enriching the Expertise of Our Professionals
Matt Bond 2012


We continue to hear a great buzz about the new Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) strategic direction. Our new mission is to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. WEF’s programs also are advancing the critical objectives that support our mission and vision.

Today, I want to focus on the second critical objective, enrich the expertise of our global water professionals, which expands on the mission language to connect water professionals. Of course, this is at the heart of everything that we do for our members. We already have WEFTEC®,a great annual conference that is the largest technical conference and water exposition of its kind, and phenomenal specialty conferences. At our conferences, professionals network and learn about fundamentals and innovations that advance their careers. Also, our Manuals of Practice and other publications are indispensable to everyone in the industry. 

So what’s new? As water practitioners find it more difficult to travel to our events due to budget and time constraints, we are launching new ways to deliver knowledge and new ways for members to connect. These include WEFCOM, the Utility Partnership Program, webcasts, and WEFTEC On Demand content capture. 
 

Matt Bond, 2011–2012 WEF President


WEFCOM
Our new WEFCOM collaboration platform will allow our members to communicate in an online social environment and collaborate on documents. The system facilitates the formation of communities based on members’ areas of interest and allows members to communicate, blog, and work together on documents and projects. You will be able to find and “friend” all WEF members, providing endless chances to network and maintain relationships with the top water experts around the world.

WEFCOM is active now for WEF technical committees. Look for the announcement of its upcoming launch for all members and its training opportunities this spring.

Utility Partnership Program
We launched the 2012 Utility Partnership Program (UPP) at The Utility Management Conference™ in January. UPP has several incredible value elements, including single invoicing for all WEF members in a utility, member registration rates and product discounts for everyone in the utility, and member value packages tailored to the needs of the utility. All employees of the utility can obtain a WEFTEC exhibit-only pass, free of charge. Click here for more information.

Free webcasts
Our popular webcasts, which provide current information on technical and management topics, now are provided free of charge to our members and to the water sector. Archived webcasts also are available at no charge. See the current schedule of webcasts.

WEFTEC On Demand
We continue to expand our program to capture presentation from WEFTEC and specialty conferences. Through WEFTEC On Demand, members can access presentations from WEFTEC 2011. The system includes PowerPoint slides and synced audio, as well as videos. We also have launched the new WEF Knowledge Center, which offers water-sector content on topics related to the fundamentals of wastewater and utility management. In the near future, members will be able to view content from other conferences online and receive Professional Development Hours for watching. Stay tuned to WEF Highlights for more details about this new knowledge center.

WEF staff and committees continue to identify new programs and services for you as part of our business planning and budgeting process. I trust that you agree we are well on the way to fulfilling our new vision: WEF — essential to water professionals around the world 

— Matt Bond, 2011–2012 WEF President
Louisiana Develops Plan To Protect its Coast

Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is taking action to protect the state’s coastline. The authority released 2012 Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, which identifies projects that would “substantially increase flood protection for communities and create a sustainable coast,” according to an authority news release.

The master plan is based on a 2-year analysis involving local, national, and international scientists and specialists. The analysis confirmed that the state’s coast and area residents are threatened by land loss that requires action.

In the master plan, the authority identifies 145 projects that, if fully funded at a cost of $50 billion, could deliver measurable benefits to communities and the coastal ecosystem, the news release says.

The authority recommends spending $25 billion for restoration projects and $25 billion for protection projects during the next 50 years. Protection projects include building new levee and pump systems, elevating homes and businesses, and floodproofing buildings. Restoration projects include restoring wetlands, marsh areas, and barrier islands, as well as using sediment and water from the Mississippi River to rebuild land area, according to the master plan.

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The Goose Point Marsh was restored  through the deposition of dredged material in open water areas. This project created 437 acres of new marsh and nourished 114 existing acres of marsh. Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Click for larger image.
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“Projects in the plan strike a balance between providing immediate relief to hard hit areas and laying groundwork for the large-scale efforts that are essential if we are to protect communities and sustain our landscape,” the master plan says. “The plan includes a wide variety of project types distributed throughout the coast. We are using every tool in the toolbox to protect and restore Louisiana’s coast.”

The analysis uses the expected annual damages model to provide an average of costs incurred by minor and major flood events during 50 years. This model predicts that a $50 billion investment would reduce expected annual coastal flood damage by $5.4 billion to $18.1 billion, according to the master plan.

The authority was created in 2006 and charged with developing a coastal master plan every 5 years. The first plan was approved in 2007, and this updated plan was submitted to the Louisiana Legislature on March 26. 

Restoration projects along the New Orleans coast seen before (left) and after (right) completion. Above, the East Grand Terre Island project restored 620 acres of shoreline and 450 acres of marsh. Below, the dedicated dredging on the Barataria Basin Landbridge created 1211 acres of intertidal marsh and nourished an existing 1578 acres of marsh. Photos courtesy of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Click for larger images.
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— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

Interested in Seeing the Louisiana Coastline for Yourself? Come to WEFTEC 2012

 
Register online now for the 85th annual Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Technical Exhibition and Conference, WEFTEC® 2012. The event will be held Sept. 29–Oct. 3 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.  WEFTEC12 Logo


This year features a new and expanded exhibition that includes

  • the Stormwater Pavilion, an area dedicated to stormwater treatment products and services;
  • the Innovation Pavilion, an area dedicated to innovative water treatment technologies; and
  • the Trenchless Technologies and Thickening and Dewatering tours, which will visit various vendors so participants can learn about related technologies and technical details. 

Also this year, more than 20 technical sessions will be presented in the exhibition hall and be open to all attendees. Public officials also will have the chance to take guided tours of the exhibition to learn more about the water and wastewater industry.

To maximize utility attendance, WEF also is offering an updated WEFTEC Utility Partnership Program. Under this program, a utility can customize a single comprehensive membership package for all of its employees.

Find tips, benefit worksheets, and video guidance for getting approval to attend at www.weftec.org/approval.

 
U.S. EPA Announces Urban Waters Ambassador Program in Seven Cities
Watersheds in urban and metropolitan areas of seven cities now have their own champions dedicated to improving water quality, restoring surrounding forest resources, and fostering community stewardship, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) news release. These champions, known as Urban Waters Ambassadors, are individuals who will work with a coalition of federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as local nongovernmental organizations, to improve waterways.

The Urban Water Ambassador for the Los Angeles River watershed pilot project has been selected. Ambassadors also are being selected for the Anacostia River watershed (Washington, D.C., area), Patapsco River watershed (Baltimore), Bronx and Harlem River watersheds (New York City), South Platte River (Denver), Lake Pontchartrain (New Orleans), and northwest Indiana, the release says.

The program was developed by the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, which includes 11 federal agencies. It is sponsored by EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, the news release says. Ambassadors will drive community efforts to clean water and create thriving waterfronts, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in the release. “They help the members of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership connect with the needs of the individual communities we serve, so we can put our expertise and resources to use in ways that will protect health, improve the environment, and strengthen local economies,” Jackson said.

For more information, see www.urbanwaters.gov/projects.html.
Small Water Supply Website Provides Catalog of Information For Operators
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Water and wastewater operators have a new resource for finding information relevant to the industry and key events to attend. The Midwest Technology Assistance Center (Champaign, Ill.) has developed the free website www.SmallWaterSupply.org to catalog resources for water sector professionals, especially those working in small communities.

“From downloading an emergency response plan template to finding a local training on biosolids, the website covers the breadth of topics that operators, local officials, and industry professionals care about,” said Jennifer Wilson, SmallWaterSupply.org communications coordinator. The website is a searchable database that includes more than 11,500 downloadable documents and 21,000 training event listings from 750 organizations, Wilson explained.

In addition to documents and the calendar, the website includes a blog, discussion forums, career listings, training resources, state and federal public reporting requirements, tribal resources, and news items. The website aims to share timely and reputable information, Wilson said.

Wilson recommends keeping up to date on the sites’s new and featured content by subscribing to the website’s weekly newsletter at http://ow.ly/9AoT3

SmallWaterSupply.org was developed collaboratively by the Illinois State Water Survey (Champaign) and the Illinois Water Resources Center at the University of Illinois (Champaign) with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

A screen shot of the Small Water Supply website that provides wastewater operators with a catalog of industry information. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wilson, SmallWaterSupply.org communications coordinator. Click for larger image.