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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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November 19 is World Toilet Day, the annual reminder about the importance of sanitation to health, communities, the environment, and the economy. While the day organized by the United Nations (UN) is an opportunity to celebrate how much the toilet has done for civilization, it also serves as a stark reminder that over 4 billion people live without access to safety managed sanitation.

Lynn Broaddus discusses World Toilet Day

In this Words on Water podcast, listen to Chris Wilson, Chief of Process Engineering and Research at Hampton Roads Sanitation District, share how his utility is addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). He also will moderate a WEFTEC Connect session discussing these issues.

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A panel of wastewater and public health experts has determined that occupational risk of COVID-19 infection for wastewater workers is low. The panel also found that 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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Look inside this preview publication to learn more about the WEFTEC Connect educational programming, Exhibitor Showcase, and networking opportunities that are being developed for this October.

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We want to help share your stories about the helpful, productive, inspiring, and kind actions that you have witnessed. Tell us about those moments where everyday water sector heroes came through and deserve to receive some recognition and gratitude.

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Listen to Dr. Andrew Sanderson, WEF Chief Medical Officer, share his views on the scope and vision for the position and how it will support water sector worker safety.

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Dr. Sanderson, MD, MPH of Howard University, will guide and assist WEF in providing reliable medical information to wastewater utility managers and workers, as well as conduct research and serve as a spokesperson on medical issues for the sector. The CMO position was created in a collaboration between WEF and global water technology company Xylem, which has provided foundational funding.

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To provide further clarification on the virus that causes COVID-19 infections and concerns about how it relates to residuals, sludge, and biosolids for water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) as well as the wastewater sector at large, this article includes a review of available data related to the virus and surrogates as well as their potential associations with residuals, sludge, and biosolids.

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An update and expansion on “The Water Professional’s Guide to COVID-19.”

In an effort to keep the water community informed of coronavirus developments, this update highlights the latest scientific findings, as well as topics not previously addressed. The goal is to contextualize these new results and state the implications and significance from a water and wastewater collection and treatment, public health and water resource recovery facility worker perspective.

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With the water sector deeply involved in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, WEF administered a second in a series of quick, informal polls concerning the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector. The focus of this poll was to gain some general insights into the effects on the supply chain.

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WEF has made access free to “Biological Hazards at Wastewater Treatment Facilities,” via Access Water. This book chapter is written by water professionals for water professionals to help protect them against workplace exposure to pathogens, including viruses.

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Water professionals on the front lines in the water and wastewater sector, especially those in maintenance and facility operations, may not have the option of working from home during shutdowns like those caused by the coronavirus outbreak. In addition, each member has technically specialized knowledge unique to their community systems.

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With the water sector protecting public health throughout the coronavirus pandemic, WEF administered a quick, informal poll to gain some insights into how this situation is effecting the water workforce. The results below were collected between March 23 and 28.

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On March 27, U.S. EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, issued a letter to State Governors requesting that water and wastewater workers, as well as the manufacturers and suppliers who provide vital services and materials to the water sector, be considered essential workers and businesses by state authorities when enacting restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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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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