ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and Virginia Water Environment Association (VWEA) are profoundly saddened by the tragedy in Virginia Beach that claimed 12 lives, including several people who worked for the City’s Public Works and Public Utilities Departments. Some of those who lost their lives or were injured are members of WEF and VWEA and are known across the broader water sector.

“The WEF Board and staff extend their deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and colleagues of those individuals impacted by this senseless tragedy,” said Tom Kunetz, WEF President. “We and our entire water family will keep them in our thoughts and prayers and provide support however we can.”

“On behalf of the VWEA Board, I want to offer my sincere condolences to the victim’s families and friends of the horrific tragedy," said Shawn Heselton, VWEA President. "We are much more than an organization; we are a family. I encourage all members to offer comfort and support in this time of need.”

Colleagues from the water sector are organizing a vigil, with details to be shared among water professionals in Virginia.


Media Contact: Travis Loop, 703.684.2465, [email protected]

About the Virginia Water Environment Association
Founded in 1947, the Virginia Water Environment Association is a non-profit, technical and educational organization focused on producing quality programs for continuing education and training for our members, the technical community and the general public. VWEA is a member association of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and collaborates with many other industry organizations, such as WEF and the Virginia Section of the American Water Works Association. To learn more, visit  

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