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WEF News provides the articles, videos, and other conent from most of WEF's news sources. The items below represent a wide scope of the regulatory, organizational, membership, current events, and conference happenings at WEF.

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Chris Wilson is the Chief of Process Engineering and Research at Hampton Roads Sanitation District. In this episode Chris discusses how his utility is trying to understand how to treat certain contaminants like PFAS, develop effective tools for doing so, and determine which ones to apply for what end purpose. 

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Art Umble, chairman WEF's Blue-Ribbon Panel on Biological Hazards and Precautions for Wastewater Workers, discusses the panel’s conclusions that occupational risk of infection is low, standard wastewater treatment processes inactivate the virus, and additional research should be conducted to further increase understanding of hazards and protections for personnel. 

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Caitlin Feehin is the RiverRenew Program Manager and Allison Deines is a Senior Policy Analyst at Alexandria Renew Enterprises. In this episode Caitlin and Allison explain that the utility needed to continue construction during the coronavirus pandemic to meet a legal deadline for combine sewer system remediation. They discuss how AlexRenew used information from health authorities and other utilities to develop protocols to protect the health of employees and construction workers while allowing the project to continue. Caitlin and Allison also talk about the importance of messaging to the community during coronavirus, including explaining why and how construction is moving ahead.

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Kari Brisolara is an Associate Professor of Environmental Health at Louisiana State University. In this episode Kari discusses a review of current science that finds there is no evidence supporting the transmission of coronavirus through the wastewater system to biosolids. Because the coronavirus is more susceptible to treatment, including heat, no additional protective equipment or measures are required for managing properly treated biosolids.

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Dave Russell is the CEO of Global Environmental Operations. In this episode Dave explains the concept of a Black Swan, an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. He discusses how Black Swan events could impact the water sector and what hinders anticipation and preparation for such situations. 

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This podcast introduces wastewater epidemiology and explains what information related to the detection of RNA of COVID-19 virus in wastewater does and does not tell us. 

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Fred Andes is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg and the leader of the firm’s water team. In this episode Fred explains the County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, a U.S. Supreme Court case involving pollution discharges under the Clean Water Act, specifically whether pollution from a point of discharge into a groundwater source that can potentially reach navigable waterways must be regulated. 

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Ted Corrigan is interim CEO and General Manager and Kyle Danley is Director of Water Production at Des Moines Water Works. In this episode Ted and Kyle explain how the utility responded to coronavirus by activating a long-standing response plan and having essential staff shelter-in-place at its three treatment facilities. They discuss how 20 employees will stay onsite for two week rotations, working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week to provide clean water and sanitation for 500,000 people in central Iowa. Ted and Kyle say the staff understand they are serving in a public health role and helping their community, and that support is strong from external staff, the utility’s board, and the union.

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The Words On Water podacst features conversations with people who work on water issues and discussions about the opportunities and challenges facing one of Earth’s most precious resources. Topics include infrastructure, innovation and technology, workforce, resource recovery, management, research, and public awareness, and more.

Words On Water has been produced since 2017 and all episodes are available in the archive.

See the archive