Chris Wilson is the Chief of Process Engineering and Research at Hampton Roads Sanitation District. In this episode Chris discusses how his utility is like many others in 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. He says the session he is moderating at WEFTEC Connect on Tuesday, October 6 at 3:30 p.m. will seek to augment technical and policy information on PFAS with a look at where those areas intersect and what that means for water utilities. Chris is known for taking a creative approach to sessions and hopes that makes the content more memorable for attendees.
Emily Feenstra is the Managing Director for Government Relations and Infrastructure Initiatives at the American Society of Civil Engineers. In this episode Emily discusses the decision to add stormwater to ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Card, particularly because of data collection by the Water Environment Federation and National Municipal Stormwater Alliance. She talks about the how the report card is produced and used, as well as the recent grades for water infrastructure. Emily also outlines how the report card has impacted public opinion, policy, and funding over the years.
Sonja Michaluk is a high school student and the winner of the 2019 U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize, the nation’s most prestigious youth competition for water-related research. In this episode Sonja discusses how she explored the use of DNA barcoding to measure the health of waterways with larval Chironomidae, the most widespread macroinvertebrate family. She talks about her interest in the intersection of science and public policy and making data the language of debate. Sonja tells how her research caused a town board to change the planned path of a roadway to avoid a healthy creek.