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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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After 3 days of pulse-pounding action, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Virginia) crowned the winners of Operations Challenge 2020 during an awards ceremony on October 8.

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Operations Challenge — the annual skills-based competition between teams of the world’s most elite wastewater professionals — will adapt to a fully virtual format for 2020. The competition will be available via WEFTEC Connect with competitors live streaming their performances.

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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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This fifth installment of the Water Environment Federation's Coronavirus Roundtable Discussions brings you discussions with executive leaders from across the water sector examine how this pandemic is affecting operations, business, and people.

The guests for this discussion included Pam Elardo, Deputy Commissioner, New York City DEP; Michael Carlin, Chief Operating Officer, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; John McCarthy, President, Arcadis North America; Charlie Hocking, President and CEO, Hazen and Sawyer; Bill Decker, Vice President and General Manager of the Equipment and Services Group, Aqua-Aerobic; and Bill McDowell, Vice President of Operations, Blue-White Industries.

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This fourth installment of the Water Environment Federation's Coronavirus Roundtable Discussions brings you discussions with executive leaders from across the water sector examine how this pandemic is affecting operations, business, and people.

The guests for this discussion included Joone Lopez, General Manager, Moulton Niguel Water District; Kevin Shafer, Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; Sharon Peters, President, EMA; and Iver Skavdal, Executive General Manager, GHD.

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This third installment of the Water Environment Federation's Coronavirus Roundtable Discussions brings you discussions with executive leaders from across the water sector examine how this pandemic is affecting operations, business, and people.

The guests for this discussion are Jim D. Herberg, General Manager, Orange County Sanitation District; Diane Taniguchi-Dennis, CEO, Clean Water Services; Dave Dickey, Senior Water and Environment Business Line Executive, AECOM; and Dr. B. Narayanan, President and CEO, Carollo Engineers.

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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 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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During these challenging times, we want to be clear about what we know about coronavirus and water treatment. The obligations of the drinking water and wastewater treatment sector to the public and our workforce is not put on hold when new contaminants entering our systems come with unknowns. We follow the best science available and make decisions to protect public and occupational health.

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The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China on Dec. 12, 2019. Because this disease already has begun to spread worldwide, it is important that water sector professionals keep informed on the attributions of this virus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health, in general.

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