Those of you who follow the Water Environment Federation on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram might’ve noticed that when your April issue of WE&T arrived, it looked and smelled a little different than you might’ve been expecting. We just couldn’t resist pulling an April Fools’ Day prank.

We, technically and officially, did not create a scratch-n-sniff biosolids cover. However, after we finished writing the silly tweets and Facebook messages, we realized that we’d stumbled upon an unintended truth: biosolids, especially high-quality varieties, don’t need to smell any stronger than the ink on a magazine cover.

We set out to amuse and provoke in the spirit of April Fools’ Day, and we think we succeeded. Across all social media platforms, these posts received more than 170 likes, 35 shares, and many comments. Regarding the comments: In many cases, we still aren’t quite sure if we fooled some of you or if you have superbly dry senses of humor. Either way, it made us smile.

The appropriateness of this month’s cover featuring a professional sniffer is not lost on us. This cover also is not scratch-n-sniff — although Snipe, the Cocker Spaniel, would probably appreciate a few good belly scratches after a hard day of sniffing out water leaks. The May Splash shot section provides some more details about Snipe and shows him in action.

What this issue does contain is several examples of taking different perspectives and using new tools to address existing challenges. For example, the article, “The potable reuse continuum,” dissects the terminology used to describe reuse projects. Ranging from de facto reuse to direct-to-distribution projects, this article asks where and how the water sector should delineate indirect potable reuse from direct potable reuse.

Staying with the reuse theme, the article, “Disposal by tap,” tells how a Texas community is developing pipe-to-pipe direct potable reuse. The unique aspect, however, is the water supply sustainability is a secondary benefit. The real goal in this case is to avoid tricky and expensive effluent disposal regulations.

Finding new ways to approach such topics as water line breaks, reuse nomenclature, and effluent disposal, are at the heart of the innovation that drives the water sector forward.

The May issue of WE&T will be available online during the second week of May.

About Steve Spicer

Steve Spicer photoSteve Spicer is director of content creation at the Water Environment Federation. For the last 18 years, Steve has worked on Water Environment & Technology magazine as well as most of the other WEF periodicals. During this tenure, he has spent time in nearly every editorial role and also holds the title of Editor in Chief with oversight of all day-to-day operations of the editorial team and interaction with the magazine’s designers.

Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Gettysburg College. He combines this knowledge and appreciation for science and research with years of newspaper and magazine experience to help translate advanced technical information into relatable and clear articles for the water-sector audience.

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1These blogs offer the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy of the organization.