August 2011, Vol. 23, No.8

WEFTEC Preview

WEFTEC provides something for everyone

WEFTEC® 2011 has it all: a great location, a diverse technical program, interesting tours of local facilities, an expansive exhibition, and the chance to win a car

Los Angeles will host the 84th annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference Oct. 15–19. Since WEFTEC last visited Los Angeles in 2003, the area near the convention center has undergone a transformation. In 2007, L.A. LIVE opened near the convention center. L.A. Live is an entertainment district that offers sports and music venues, night clubs, restaurants, a bowling alley, a museum, and movie theaters.

“Since I was here last, in 2003, everything is new,” said George Martin, WEF Program Committee chairman. “There’s an air of excitement and just an alive feeling.”

“Any type of food is within a mile” of downtown Los Angeles, and it’s “the infusion of restaurants” that has made the neighborhood vibrant, according to Gary Lee Moore, city engineer with the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering.

As always, the WEFTEC technical program will cover the entire spectrum of water topics. This year attendees can chose from 114 technical sessions and 27 workshops. Of particular note is the new focus on stormwater. With 16 technical sessions and a workshop dedicated to stormwater, WEFTEC will help attendees learn how to implement and maintain stormwater projects and what regulations and technologies are on the horizon (click here).

Attendees who choose to take the tour — Stormwater Management Tour: Green Stormwater Infrastructure — will have the chance to see stormwater controls in action. WEFTEC also offers seven other tours (click here).

Even without venturing outside the convention center, there’s still plenty to see. The WEFTEC exhibition will have more than 900 exhibitors covering more than 26,000 m2 (280,000 ft2). What’s new this year is dedicated time to visit exhibits — Oct. 17, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., has been set aside just for the exhibition. Also new this year, the exhibition will host several technical sessions. These eight sessions will provide instant access to exhibitors during the scheduled breaks and between sessions.

And while exploring the exhibition, attendees can try their hand at winning a new 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid — a first at WEFTEC. All registered conference attendees will receive one free chance to play. To enter the drawing, attendees will answer technical questions and follow a series of clues through the exhibition.

To preview the digital Conference Announcement, get more information, or register, see www.weftec.org.

WEFTEC preview articles

 

Bringing attention to a good cause

WEFTEC 2011 opening general session guest speakers shine light on water quality in developing countries, but in different ways

Rita Colwell and Doc Hendley arrived at their humanitarian efforts and emphasis on water quality from two very different paths, but both are passionate about providing clean drinking water to developing countries.

One has used decades of academic research and an unassuming, everyday type of cloth to make water supplies safer, while the other has parlayed a relaxed approach, good music, and wine into new drinking water wells worldwide. Both will share their experiences at the WEFTEC 2011 opening general session in Los Angeles.

A lifetime of study leads to making a difference

Colwell, the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize recipient and a distinguished professor at both the University of Maryland (College Park) and Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore), studies Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes cholera in humans. She began her groundbreaking research in the 1960s and later developed environmental testing and modeling methods that enable the prediction of cholera outbreaks. But, Colwell said, her decades-long research in such places as remote villages in Bangladesh that are devastated by these epidemics has taught her that research and developing hypotheses alone are not enough.

“It struck me that here we were doing elegant and sophisticated research with satellite sensors and molecular biology, but we needed to do something to help the people affected by cholera,” Colwell said, “because they were not going to get purified water delivered to their homes — at least not in my lifetime, I think. They can’t afford bottled water, and they can’t afford to boil their water because there isn’t enough fuel wood available.”

So Colwell and her colleagues applied what they had learned over decades of research to develop a simple, economic way for Bangladeshi villagers to filter drinking water. The instance of cholera has dropped 50%.

 

Finding the cause

Colwell said she began her work on Vibrios when she was doing her doctoral thesis research at the University of Washington (Seattle).

“This was a long time ago when very little was known [about Vibrio],” Colwell said. “Vibrios turned out to be very common, the most easily and readily cultured in the laboratory.”

She learned more about the bacteria, eventually discovering through successive studies and DNA analysis at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) and the University of Maryland that Vibrio cholerae from the environment (in this case, the Chesapeake Bay) and from patients were exactly the same.

Colwell made another discovery years later in Bangladesh. She and her colleagues discovered why it was so difficult to isolate Vibrio cholerae in the environment between epidemics.

“We found that the bacterium goes into a dormant stage between epidemics when temperature and salinity change,” Colwell explained.

When conditions are adverse for rapid growth, metabolism, and cell division, the bacteria will go dormant and not form spores, she said. Colwell also would later discover that Vibrios were the dominant bacterial flora in the gut and on the surface of shellfish and plankton, particularly copepods — a group of small crustaceans found in the sea and nearly every freshwater habitat.

Most of these discoveries were “received with less than enthusiasm,” Colwell said. They challenged conventional wisdom, but they were later confirmed by other scientists, particularly when there was an outbreak of cholera in Louisiana in the early 1980s, she said.

After the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had exhausted several leads on what caused the Louisiana outbreak, a medical technician at the New Orleans Public Health Laboratory, who had followed Colwell’s work, brought her in to help find the source of the outbreak.

“We went to the Lake Charles area where the cholera patients had collected crabs and where they had eaten some of the crabs that had been caught,” Colwell said.

Through analysis Colwell and her team were able to detect Vibrio cholerae in the Lake Charles Bayou water and on crabs from the bayou.

The patients had tossed leftover cooked crabs into the bushel baskets where the uncooked crabs had been. They tossed the basket of leftovers in the trunk of their car and drove to New Orleans on a hot summer afternoon and ate the rest of the crabs that night, Coldwell explained.

Colwell said the bacteria had become very abundant on the cooked crabs in the warm temperature of the trunk.

“That’s how they came down with cholera, a classic food-borne case,” she said.

 

Preventing the spread

Decades later, Colwell would apply what she had learned about how cholera spreads to help the public again — this time to benefit villagers in Bangladesh who had seen many cholera outbreaks over decades.

Colwell said she and her team figured that if copepods in the water carry cholera bacteria on their surfaces and the bacteria are transferred to particulate matter in the water, then filtering out the copepods and particulates could reduce cholera significantly.

So the team considered filtering methods that would be effective and affordable for the villagers. The answer turned out to be sari cloth.

“We gathered all kinds of materials used as clothing by the villagers and found used sari cloth to be available to all families,” Colwell said. “In the laboratory we tested Bangladesh pond water with copepods carrying Vibrio cholerae, and our experiments showed that we could remove 99% of the bacteria by folding the sari cloth four to eight times.”

When the copepods and particulate matter were removed by filtration, the number of remaining Vibrios left in the water was below the infective dose, Coldwell said.

The scientists educated the women in the villages about why it was necessary to filter their water and showed them how to fold the sari cloth and how to let the cloth air-dry later. Sunlight served as the disinfecting agent to kill the collected bacteria.

A 3-year study comparing villages using the sari cloth filtering method to those that didn’t revealed a 50% drop in cholera cases, she said. Five years after concluding the study, 75% of participants were still filtering their water before use.

“But we also found that it was hard to determine the effectiveness,” Colwell said. “The overall rate had gone down, but then we learned that the control villages were also filtering since they found out it was effective and fewer people got sick if they filtered their water before drinking it.”

 

An internal compass finds an answer

Doc Hendley, the cofounder and president of Wine To Water (Boone, N.C.) and one of the CNN Heroes of 2009, entered the realm of humanitarianism through a much different avenue: the local bar scene in Raleigh, N.C.

Before starting his philanthropic organization, Hendley was a guy who was — admittedly — without a strong sense of direction. After traveling the country on his motorcycle, he started bartending and went back to college. He studied communications at North Carolina State University (Raleigh) and realized as he approached his last semester in 2003 that though he loved bartending and the service industry, “it was something I couldn’t really do for the rest of my life.” Nor could he see himself enduring the daily grind of the business world.

He did a bit of soul searching during his Christmas break, remembering the emphasis on public service his parents had instilled in him when he was younger. He started to consider a bigger cause.

“It’s a little weird, and I know it sounds strange. But when I was lying in bed one night and I couldn’t get the phrase ‘wine to water’ out of my head,” Hendley said, “I started thinking it over and over again. Why? What’s the deal? That doesn’t make any sense. That’s backwards. It’s water to wine in the Bible. It’s the other way around.”

That night he did online research about water issues and saw the huge amount of people who live without access to clean water.

“I couldn’t sleep,” Hendley said. “I was just sucked in by how bad the crisis was, but more importantly than even how bad it was, that no one really seemed to be doing anything about it at the time. I couldn’t really find anyone. There were a few organizations out there, but it wasn’t anyone out in the media with campaigns that you would see for AIDS, breast cancer, and all these great causes. There was nothing in the public eye about water.”

He said he had to bring attention to the 1.1 billion people globally who don’t have access to clean drinking water. He decided to do it by raising money for clean water in developing countries.

He held Wine To Water’s first event in 2004. The former bartender took a relaxed approach, inviting people to drink, listen to good music, and donate money to a good cause. He said he did not want to embrace what he called the “cookie-cutter model” of fundraising where donors pay for tickets and sit down at a plated dinner.

“It was something different that people really grabbed ahold of because we incorporated the things that I loved about the bar scene: the community, the live music, and the good food and good wine,” Hendley said. “It was very low pressure. It was like, ‘Hey, if you like what we’re trying to do, here’s how you can help. If not, we’re glad you’re here.’”

Hendley said he tried to give the money he raised at the first event to an organization in Raleigh that was renowned for its water work. But instead of accepting the funds, the director of the program “turned it around on me and said, ‘Why do you care? Why does a bartender from Raleigh care about this?’”

He told Hendley that instead of just giving the money away, he should come with their organization to Darfur in Sudan, and install drinking wells.

“He said, ‘You bring your money with you and write back to your supporters and e-mail them pictures saying this is exactly where your money is going and you can feel confident about it,’” Hendley said.

Hendley went to Darfur and worked on the project for a year. After that, he began overseeing the global water projects that use Wine To Water funds, but has left the work itself to indigenous organizations.

“Basically, I decided that the most important thing was for local involvement on the ground with these projects,” Hendley said. In order for the projects to last for decades, locals had to be taught to build it and take care of it themselves, he said.

Wine To Water also has expanded the ways in which it raises funds over the years. It began with wine tastings. It now also offers a catalog.

“Christmastime is a big time of the year for us,” Hendley said. “We have a little catalog where people can buy a well in Cambodia or a filter.”

Hendley said the organization largely survives thanks to word of mouth and small donations. “What has kept us going are people who give 10, 15, or 20 bucks here and there pretty regularly, instead of a few big folks giving us a few thousand.”

Wine To Water has helped raise enough funds to drill new wells and distribute filtering materials in Sudan, Uganda, India, Cambodia, Peru, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Haiti.

 

—LaShell Stratton-Childers, WE&T

 

Preparing for stormy weather

How to handle stormwater projects, and what regulations and technologies are on the horizon

WEFTEC 2011 in Los Angeles will feature a stormwater focus area that includes one workshop and almost a half-dozen technical sessions where attendees will be able to hear about real-life applications and learn about emerging technologies in stormwater.

The focus area reflects a growing trend in the wastewater industry. Srinivasan Rangarajan, associate engineer at HydroQual (Mahwah, N.J.) and a moderator for one of the stormwater technical sessions, said wastewater agencies are starting to understand and explore the complexities of the technical and administrative aspects of stormwater.

“Traditionally, municipalities have focused on the WWTP [wastewater treatment plant] to address regulatory aspects, but now they will need to take a broader view to incorporate wet weather programs,” Rangarajan said.

 

Presenting many perspectives

Sunday’s Workshop 209, “Green Infrastructure: Beyond the Hype to Real Results,” will present the municipal, regulatory, design, and research aspects of green infrastructure. Speakers will offer case studies that demonstrate how green infrastructure is regulated and implemented.

“We’re trying to bring the real-life ‘lessons learned’ perspective,” said Carol Hufnagel, national wet weather practice leader at Tetra Tech (Pasadena, Calif.) and chairwoman of the workshop.

According to the workshop description, there will be a discussion by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representative on the role green infrastructure can play in combined sewer overflow (CSO) prevention and stormwater and watershed control. Also, because the workshop will occur just after EPA is scheduled to release its new stormwater rule, the EPA presenter may be able to provide early insight into how EPA will incorporate green infrastructure into the rule.

Attendees also will hear case studies from Kansas City, Mo., and Portland, Ore., that examine green infrastructure applications that have varying site limitations, such as design layout. The discussion also will examine how much these applications control CSO discharges.

A case study from Battle Creek, Mich., will delve into the economic and institutional perspectives of green infrastructure operation and maintenance. Attendees will examine not only inspection and maintenance issues, but also cooperation with property owners, ongoing effectiveness of infrastructure, and how to sustain a maintenance program operationally.

Finally, attendees will hear about the institutional and financial challenges of green infrastructure implementation with a case study from Philadelphia. The presenter will discuss the institutional barriers that have to be broken down in order to implement these projects.

One of the challenges for municipalities that begin green infrastructure programs has been institutional arrangements, Hufnagel said. Because stormwater control implementation affects many different departments within city government, it requires cooperation, and these departments may not have previously worked together, she explained.

The presenter from Philadelphia will detail how the city is funding, organizing, and delegating responsibilities for its green infrastructure project.

Though workshop attendees will listen to several speakers throughout the workshop, they also will participate in discussions and role play during two interactive sessions, said Tad Slawecki, senior engineer at LimnoTech (Ann Arbor, Mich.), co-chair of the stormwater workshop, and moderator of one of the stormwater technical sessions.

“During the first interactive session, participants will have a tabletop discussion about what they think they know about green infrastructure. Then the facilitators will get together immediately after to present the themes that kept popping up in the groups,” Slawecki said.

In the second interactive session, attendees will assume the role of a character, such as regulator, environmental organization leader, utility director, etc., in a hypothetical green infrastructure-related problem. They will be given such details about their characters as how much he or she knows about stormwater, what his or her motivations are, etc. The challenge will be for participants to stay in character and work together to solve the problem.

“The goal is for them to see the different perspectives on stormwater,” Slawecki said, and prepare them for when they may have to interact with these different groups when implementing their own green infrastructure projects.

 

Practical lessons and future opportunities

After attending the Sunday workshop, attendees can continue to explore the stormwater focus area with technical sessions throughout WEFTEC. For instance, Technical Session (TS) 18, “Quantifying the Benefits of Green Infrastructure” will focus on some of the largest national stormwater management programs that include green infrastructure.

“The session is a further expansion of the topic from the workshop,” Hufnagel said.

One of the speakers will share how to complete a triple-bottom-line analysis of green infrastructure, considering the economic, environmental, and social aspects of each project. Another speaker will explore CSO control technologies.

The ideal audience for the session will be municipalities that have CSOs, Hufnagel said.

In TS65, “Solving Stormwater Issues Through Monitoring and Modeling,” speakers will discuss how they solved stormwater management problems by conducting modeling to determine the best option for a design.

This session talks about the significant variability of flows and the pollutant loads and how they influence watersheds. There also will be a discussion of how flows and pollutant loads can be monitored using comprehensive field programs and mathematical tools, Rangarajan said. Water utility decision-makers, such as public works directors and chief/senior engineers, are the target audience for this session, Rangarajan said.

In TS66, “Emerging Solutions to Stormwater Problems Through Applied Research and Development,” Slawecki said, “we will be looking toward the future of stormwater technologies.”

He said the session will be unique because the two alternate “poster” presentations — “Experimental Study of Particle Clogging of Biofilter Device in Urban Areas” and “Metals Concentration on Particles in Highway Runoff” — will be prominently featured during the session.

 “We felt that they deserved equal attention for the work that they’ve done,” Slawecki said.

 

—LaShell Stratton - Childers , WE&T

 

Stormwater focus area

Sunday, Oct. 16
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.   
Workshop 209, “Green Infrastructure: Beyond the Hype to Real Results”

Monday, Oct. 17
1:30 – 3 p.m.
Technical Session (TS) 18, “Quantifying the Benefits of Green Infrastructure”
 

Tuesday, Oct. 18
8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
TS42, “Stormwater Management Challenges and Solutions in the Urban Watershed”

1:30 – 3 p.m.
TS65, “Solving Stormwater Issues Through Monitoring and Modeling”

3:30 – 5 p.m.
TS66, “Emerging Solutions to Stormwater Problems Through Applied Research and Development”

Wednesday, Oct. 19
8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.   
TS90, “Sustainable Solutions to Stormwater Issues Through Green Infrastructure”

1:30 – 5 p.m.
TS109, “Green L.A. Stormwater Infrastructure”

 

 

 

Get out and learn something by taking a tour at WEFTEC 2011

If you are planning on attending WEFTEC 2011, don’t stay in the Los Angeles Convention Center for the entire conference. Take the opportunity to learn while seeing the city by attending one of WEFTEC’s eight facility tours. The tours feature everything from water reclamation and treatment facilities to stormwater infrastructure.

Los Angeles converts biosolids to clean energy

The City of Los Angeles’ Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant will host Tour 3 (T3) Oct. 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees will see an innovative technology used to convert biosolids to clean energy through deep well placement and geothermal biodegradation.

Through the Terminal Island Renewable Energy Project, the city installed technology that injects biosolids 1615 m (5300 ft) into the ground into subsurface natural geological formations of permeable sandstone. Over time the geothermal heat, which reaches temperatures between 46°C and 71°C (114°F and 159°F), sterilizes the solids and converts them to methane, carbon dioxide, and residual solids, using anaerobic biodegradation.

The carbon dioxide is absorbed by the water that occurs naturally in the sandstone, while the methane migrates up and is trapped in a reservoir. Los Angeles plans to use the stored methane as renewable energy. Between 45 and 360 Mg (50 and 400 tons) of biosolids are placed underground each day.

This is the first full-scale demonstration project for this technology in the nation and features three wells — one for injection and two for monitoring.Construction began June 2007, and the demonstration phase will end in 2012.

“[The tour] shows biosolids being off-loaded and mixed, a pumping system, and wells that are receiving and monitoring the process, and the ability to view real-time data being monitored and examined as the process is operating,” said Diane Gilbert Jones, biosolids regulatory liaison for the City of Los Angeles.

Operators, utility managers, engineers, and laboratory personnel interested in learning about the plant’s technology and new options for handling biosolids and other residuals should attend, Jones said. 

Inside look at Orange County’s reclamation and groundwater replenishment systems

Also on Oct. 18 — this time from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — T4 will visit both the Orange County Sanitation District’s (OCSD’s) Reclamation Plant No. 1 and the Orange County Water District’s (OCWD’s) Groundwater Replenishment System Advanced Water Purification Facility.

The reclamation plant stop highlights the source control program and the secondary treatment facilities, which are two features of OCSD’s operations that support the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), said Jim Herberg,OCSD director of engineering.

The source control program enforces and administers OCSD’s wastewater discharge ordinance and federal pretreatment regulations. The program also manages the urban runoff diversion program; the fats, oils, and grease program; and the nonindustrial source control program.

The plant also features a $200 million secondary treatment facility expansion that will provide biochemical oxygen demand and biological nitrogen removal. The new secondary facilities include six aeration basins, six circular clarifiers, and a blower building. The expansion project, which began in 2007 and is scheduled to be completed in December 2012, will increase secondary treatment capacity by an additional 227,100 m3/d (60 mgd).

“Tour guests will be able to talk to OCSD staff experts who will be showcasing the source control program, secondary treatment expansion, and operations of the facilities,” Herberg said. “It is an opportunity to learn about ways to deal with an ever-increasing demand on clean water supplies by using technology and building strong public support for projects like these.”

At the water purification facility, attendees will see the “world’s largest advanced wastewater purification system for indirect potable reuse,” said Eleanor Torres, OCWD director of public affairs.

The district needed to replenish local water supply as water flow in the Santa Ana River decreased and legal mandates to protect endangered fish, competition for water, and drought reduced the delivery of imported water supplies, especially with expected population growth and increasing water demands.

In January 2008, OCSD and OCWD launched the GWRS, which purifies highly treated wastewater. Water is purified through microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light disinfection to levels that far exceed drinking water standards. This water, which previously was released into the ocean, is now released into the groundwater basin, providing a high-quality, reliable, local water supply. (See the article on p. 56 for more information on this project.)

“Anyone who wants to learn more about water, from the most technical person to someone who has no clue about water or engineering, will benefit and will enjoy the tour,” Torres said. “Guests get to see firsthand how we transform wastewater into purified drinking water, and they actually get to sample it onsite.”

Cleaning groundwater with reverse osmosis in Santa Monica

Another unique tour (T5) will take attendees to the City of Santa Monica’s Charnock Well Field Restoration project Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The well field, which supplied 50% of the city’s drinking water in 1995, was contaminated by methyl-tertiary butyl ether (MtBE), a gasoline additive that leaked from gas stations in the area. This contamination led to the field being shut down for 15 years.

But now, the city has installed a cleanup and filtration system that includes pretreatment by greensand filtration to remove iron and manganese followed by filtration through granular activated carbon to remove MtBE and tertbutyl alcohol. The well water receives further treatment with reverse osmosis (RO) filtration. The three-stage RO system uses membranes to filter out minerals, such as calcium and magnesium to soften the water. Next, the water is sent through aeration and storage processes that use air-stripping technology in an 18.9 million-L (5 million-gal) reservoir to remove any remaining volatile groundwater contaminants.

After banning MtBE and installing the system, the city has been able to bring the wells back on-line and produce approximately 70% of the water it needs daily.

 “In addition to the reverse osmosis unit, tour attendees will see a site with two active groundwater wells, pretreatment with greensand filtration, a 5 million-gal [19 million-gal] reservoir and pump station, and a state-of-the-art SCADA control center,” said Myriam Cardenas, water treatment and production administrator for the city. Cardenas encourages engineers, water managers, operators, and regulators to attend the tour to learn about the challenges of treating groundwater in a highly urbanized, coastal area.

Seeing green stormwater practices in Los Angeles

To see some of the stormwater management systems installed throughout Los Angeles, join the Stormwater Management Tour: Green Stormwater Infrastructure (T7), on Oct. 19 from 8:15 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Stops will be made at two stormwater management systems including the South Los Angeles Wetland Park, which includes an area that captures urban runoff and filters pollutants. The historical rail yard, which had been used by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a maintenance facility, recently was renovated, converting asphalt and concrete into a 3.6-ha (9-ac) park and wetland with community facilities.

The other stop will be the Elmer Avenue green street project. Swales with native plants and a perforated pipe gallery under the streets capture 16.2 ha (40 ac) of residential runoff and provide infiltration and biofiltration for groundwater recharge. 

Register today

Tours sell out quickly, and tickets must be purchased beforehand. For more information on the tours, visit the facility tours page on My WEFTEC Planner at
bit.ly/jPjnLm. To register, visit www.weftec.org/register.

 

—Jennifer Fulcher, WE&T

 

WEF pursues CEU approvals

Goal is to keep process simple for attendees

With 27 workshops and 114 technical sessions planned, WEFTEC 2011 will offer a number of opportunities for education. This year, the guesswork is being taken out of whether state licensing agencies will recognize the continuing education units (CEUs) and professional development hours (PDHs) that attendees earn.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) has applied for approval for all WEFTEC workshops and technical sessions in all 50 states, according to Matt Jones, continuing education administrator at WEF. WEF received approval from 49 states for WEFTEC 2010 and expects to receive the same for WEFTEC 2011.

The approval status of every state can be found online at http://bit.ly/jvRIr2. The list will be updated weekly, Jones said.

Scanning for credits

For most attendees, receiving credits is as simple as checking out of the grocery store. To record continuing education credits, attendees need only to scan their badges when they enter and exit each workshop, technical session, and the exhibit hall. They will receive CEUs for workshops, PDHs for technical sessions, and contact hours for time spent in the exhibit halls.

Regarding contact hours for the exhibit hall, Jones explained that the scanners used by security staff at the doors are not for contact hours. The contact hour scanners are located inside the halls. The onsite program will list exact scanner locations.

Progress report

About 6 to 8 weeks after WEFTEC, each attendee will receive a hard-copy transcript detailing participation in the conference, Jones said. He added that WEF maintains these records electronically for a minimum of 7 years in keeping with guidelines from the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (McLean, Va.). WEF also uses the electronic files as a backup for attendee records, to issue reports to states upon request, and for general auditing purposes.

With the transcript in hand, attendees can file the credits with their state licensing agencies. (Even in approved states, it is still up to the individual attendee to investigate his or her state policies for continuing education approvals and the procedures for reporting, Jones explained.)

At WEFTEC 2011, attendees can earn up to 1.2 CEUs, 16.5 PDHs, and up to 8 contact hours per day for time spent visiting the exhibition. Actual credits earned are dependent on where attendees choose to spend their time.

 

Special reporting requirements

Three states — Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas — require that WEF report the credits earned directly to the licensing agency through Web-based systems. These systems all require detailed information, including full names exactly as they appear on the license and license numbers.

Attendees should ensure that this information is on file with WEF by visiting the page “Earn Educational Credits at WEFTEC” at http://bit.ly/jNJ65a to fill out and submit a form. Attendees also can submit this information by contacting Matt Jones at mjones@wef.org. Onsite in Los Angeles, attendees can visit the Proceedings counter in the WEF Bookstore to submit their information.

Once this information is submitted, keeping track of credits onsite is the same as for all other attendees: Just scan in and scan out.

 

Types of continuing education credits

Continuing education units (CEUs)
CEUs are offered for full participation in workshops, which are held as full- and half-day sessions in a classroom setting conducted by industry-leading professionals. One CEU is the equivalent of 10 hours of training or formal instruction. These are distributed for structured, relevant professional training above and beyond that of initial certification or employment in a particular field.

Professional development hours (PDHs)
PDHs are offered for participation in technical sessions. One PDH typically is defined as 1 hour that is spent engaged in an activity that contributes to the advancement or enhancement of professional skills or scientific knowledge of a professional engineer.

Contact hours
These credits are given for time spent visiting the exhibition and participating in facility tours. One contact hour is defined as 1 hour spent engaged in an activity that contributes to the professional skills of the participant.

 ©2011 Water Environment Federation. All rights reserved.