Tim Gerdes is Sales Manager at Haver & Boecker. In this episode, Tim discusses the ways that water facilities uses wire cloth and mesh screens and how the evolution of materials has impacted effectiveness and efficiency. He also talks about the filtration of micro plastics and the future of wire cloth and mesh screen materials.
Tshoganetso Masunga is a Community Led Total Sanitation Coordinator and Data Collection & Analysis Specialist at Sarep in Botswana. In this episode, Tshoganetso talks about her work in Botswana and the status of water and sanitation in her country. She also discusses her time as a fellow at the Water Environment Federation, including what she learned, her impressions of WEFTEC, and what she will carry back to water work in Botswana.
Radhika Fox is Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In this episode, Radhika discusses a variety of issues that EPA is working on including infrastructure funding, water affordability, PFAS, and biosolids.
Hosted by Travis Loop From WEFTEC Live 2022, a broadcast sponsored by Teledyne Isco.
John Dyson is Product Channel Manager for AquaPrime at Aqua-Aerobic Systems. In this episode, John discusses the new approaches and solutions for utilities in addressing the challenges of wet weather. He also talks about the role of technology, meeting permit requirements, and what may lie ahead for wet weather management.
Ifetayo Venner is the new President of the Water Environment Federation and a Senior Vice President at Arcadis. In this episode, Ifetayo discusses her journey in water, from her time growing up in the Caribbean to her work for Arcadis. She also talks about WEF’s new Strategic Plan, including the goals of building the water workforce, community, and circular economy.
Wayne White is Vice President at Kimley-Horn and Ted Merrell is Vice President and Co-Owner of Merrell Bros. In this episode Wayne and Ted share perspective on how management of biosolids has changed over the years and how creativity in the design-build-operate process has helped harness the benefits of biosolids. They also talk about the way technology has changed biosolids management, differences across geographic regions of the U.S., and the challenges of PFAS.
Boyd Gregg is Senior Business Development Manager for Energy Solutions at ENGIE North America. In this episode, Boyd explains why the water sector needs to pay even more attention to energy use at facilities. He discusses how the energy profile at a utility can be improved through upgrades and optimization, as well as through a holistic approach. Boyd also shares an example of how ENGIE is working with West County Wastewater to unlock new revenue streams and reduce carbon emission.
Jose Velazquez is a Senior Wastewater Consultant with AE2S and Chair of the Task Force that developed the new Manual of Practice (MOP) – Planning, Design, and Implementation for New and Upgraded Water Resource Recovery Facilities. In this episode, Jose discusses how MOP serves as a guidance document to help utility managers and others, such as city engineers, public works directors, regulators, and contractors, navigate this process. It includes sections on how to procure an engineer, how do develop a scope of service for the facility plan, how to evaluate engineering proposals, how to make an informed decision on moving to more complex facilities, how to evaluate and select different project delivery methods, how to interact with the engineer during each phase, and a variety of other topics. Learn more about and order MOP.
Predicting 30 years into the future requires big, bold thinkers with strong voices, gathering with like-minded peers who might have opportunities to put those bold thoughts into action. At WEFTEC 2021, the Waterside Chat featured a group of water experts discussing the Future of Water in 2051. They discussed similarities, differences, sustainability, and change impediments for water in 30 years. Panelists also explored societal and technological influences on water. The panelists are:
– Albert Cho, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy & Digital Officer for Xylem – Amy Corriveau, Vice President and Director of Digital Solutions for CDM Smith – Zhen (Jason) He, Professor of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering and the Director of Center for Water Innovation at Washington State University in St. Louis.
Jane Madden is a Senior Vice President and Global Practice Leader for Water Reclamation at CDM Smith. In this episode Jane discusses various aspects of PFAS including ways to manage the chemicals at water facilities, their presence in biosolids, and gaps in research that need to be filled.
Anna Mehrotra is the Director of the Wastewater Surveillance Program for the Water Environment Federation (WEF). In this episode, Anna and Carley Truyens, Public Health Associate at WEF, explain how WEF is inviting applications from small utilities interested in receiving free automatic wastewater samplers to help expand participation in wastewater surveillance programs. They discuss the use of autosamplers with Aaron Anson of Hach and Kaushal Trivedi of Teledyne ISCO, who were selected through a competitive Request for Proposal process to supply autosamplers as part of this program. Visit this page to learn more about the program and how to apply.
Charlie Stevens is Utilities Operations Officer at KC Water and Chair of WEF’s Government Affairs Committee. In this episode Charlie talks about how it feels that after years of advocating for infrastructure investment to finally have Congress pass massive legislation to provide funding. He explains that the work is not done and the water sector needs to continue talking to legislators about appropriations and policy implementation under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Charlie also discusses the benefits of participating in Water Week in D.C. and urges people to attend this year’s events in late April.
Abhijeet Jain is Vice President and Business Line Manager of the Power and Flow Division for North America for Atlas Copco. In this episode, Abhijeet discusses current trends in pumps, including the changes to operations, drive for efficiency, and concern for sustainability. He also shares insights on what customers are asking for in pumps and where the equipment may be headed in the future.
Rajan Ray is Vice President of Strategy and Marketing at Trinnex and Eoin Howlett is Vice President of Product Development at Trinnex. In this episode, Rajan and Eoin talk about where the water sector stands on the path of digital transformation, including adaptation by different size utilities, the latest with sensors and data, and the role of digital twins. They also discuss the launch of Trinnex and the benefits of its affiliation with CDM Smith.
Kari Brisolara is Associate Professor of Environmental Health at Louisiana State University and Chair of the Disinfection and Public Health Committee for the Water Environment Federation. In this episode, Kari discusses the historic connection between water and public health and how the coronavirus pandemic raised awareness about the role of the water sector in public health. She talks about the increased collaboration between the water sector and public health sector, particularly to advance wastewater-based disease surveillance. Kari also explains the benefits to water organizations of closer relationships with health organizations and the role of wastewater epidemiology beyond COVID.
Randy Hayman is Commissioner and CEO of Philadelphia Water. In this episode, Randy talks with the Water Environment Federation about why proactive communications must be a priority for water utilities, particularly from his perspective in an executive leadership position. He discusses what effective communication looks like, topics that require expanded public outreach, and the importance of using different tools for connecting with an audience. Randy also explains the need for leadership support of communications activities, including through funding.
Mike Martin is Technical Services Director at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Chair of WEF’s Utility Management Committee and Zonetta English is Strategic Initiatives and Project Delivery Director at the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District and Vice-Chair of WEF’s Utility Management. In this episode Mike and Zonetta discuss some of the current issues and trends in utility management, including data management, workforce development, diversity, affordability, and PFAS. They also share how they are tackling these areas at their utilities in Milwaukee and Louisville. These topics are part of the programming at WEF’s Utility Management Conference on February 21-24.
Andres Quijano is a Solution Design Engineer for North America for Envirosuite. In this episode Andres discusses the rise of environmental intelligence and how it being driven by the evolution of technology, impacts of climate change, and growth of urban areas. He explains how the water sector can utilize environmental intelligence solutions to improve operations, benefit business, and deliver sustainability.
The emergence of the omicron variant presents unique challenges for wastewater utility managers related to staffing shortages and concerns about increased transmissibility of the virus. Yet omicron also highlights the continued value of wastewater-based disease surveillance due to the early detection of the variant in wastewater relative to clinical data. This podcast presents the latest information on omicron and wastewater. The guests are Dr. Andrew Sanderson, WEF Chief Medical Officer, and Amy Kirby, the CDC’s National Wastewater Surveillance System Lead.
In this episode, WEF Conference Committee Co-Chairs Amy Corriveau and Charles Bott discuss the slate of educational events scheduled for 2022. They explain how water professionals can advance knowledge and networking in the areas of utility management, public health, collection systems, biosolids, process engineering, and stormwater at a slate of events from February through June.
The 2022 schedule is:
WEF/AWWA Utility Management Conference 2022 Pre-Conference Workshop February 21 | Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, Florida
Public Health and Water Conference & Wastewater Disease Surveillance Summit Summit March 21 | Conference March 22-24 | Exhibition March 22-23 | Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Collection Systems Conference 2022 Pre-Conference Workshop April 19 | Exhibition April 20-21, Huntington Place | Detroit, Michigan
Residuals and Biosolids Conference 2022 Pre-Conference Workshop May 24 | Exhibition May 25-26 | Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio
Innovations in Process Engineering Conference 2022 Pre-Conference Workshop June 20 | Exhibition June 21-22 | Hyatt Regency Miami, Miami, Florida
Stormwater Summit 2022 Pre-Conference Workshop June 27 | Exhibition June 28-29 | Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Maile Lono-Batura is the Director of Sustainable Biosolids Programs at the Water Environment Federation. In this episode Maile explains how a campaign to make 2022 the Year of Poo aims to raise public awareness about the value of human waste as a resource in communities and to get people to realize they are part of this cycle. She also discusses the activities that WEF will conduct as part of the Year of Poo, including launching a website, posting to social media, sharing interesting fecal facts, and hosting conversations with influential figures.
Dr. Andrew Sanderson is Chief Medical Officer at the Water Environment Federation, a gastroenterologist with Weatherby Healthcare, and an Associate Professor at Howard University. Dr. Sanderson visited the WEFTEC Live studio at WEFTEC 2021 to talk about his role as CMO for WEF, what he learned during his first year in the position, and wastewater epidemiology, including WEF’s partnership with the CDC in developing a national wastewater surveillance network.
Antoine Walter is Senior Business Development Manager of GF Piping Systems. In this episode Antoine discusses the unique perspective on trends that a piping systems company has on the water industry. He talks about trends in upgrading facilities, onsite reuse and decentralized systems, and sensors and data, as well as how a manufacturer supports changes in these areas. Antoine also shares his perspective on the challenges in the global supply chain and how companies are adapting.
Shalene Thomas is Vice President and Global Emerging Contaminants Program Manager at Wood. In this episode Shalene discusses the meaning of One Water and how it promotes the value of all water. She explains how One Water can be a framework for increased collaboration, including among a variety of stakeholders in a community. Shalene also talks about using One Water as an approach for managing emerging contaminants and for planning for a sustainable water future, and shares a case study on solutions for drinking water impacted by PFAS.
Steve Dye is the Legislative Affairs Director for the Water Environment Federation. In this episode Steve provides a briefing on the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, which will provide nearly $1.2 trillion for the nation’s infrastructure. He explains that $51 billion is allocated to drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure and provides a detailed breakdown of the investments. Steve also discusses how the historic investment was driven by years of advocacy by WEF members and the broader water sector.
Jon Koch is the Director of the City of Muscatine, Iowa’s water resource recovery facility and Stormwater Department Director. In this episode Jon discusses shepherding a multi-year project that included planning, design, construction, commissioning, and start-up of new facilities to enable co-digestion of food waste and fats, oils, and grease from local food manufacturers and businesses with the facility’s wastewater biosolids. Jon talks about a variety of topics including gathering internal support for the ambitious program, equipment selection, feedstock profiles, setting tip fee pricing, and residuals management.
This is the first of a series of episodes hosted by WEF Residuals and Biosolids Bioenergy Subcommittee Chair Sarah Deslauriers and Vice Chair Dave Baran.
Evan Kirk is the acting Senior Project Director at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina. In this episode Evan explains the practice of integrated planning and the benefits it brings to utilities and communities. He discusses how utilities can evaluate if integrated planning is an appropriate fit. Evan also talks about common barriers to integrated planning and ways the Environmental Finance Center can assist.
Anniestacia Miskel is a water engineer at Arcadis, Lindsey Broderick is a structural engineer at ZFA Structural Engineers, and Gabi Itokazu is PhD Student in Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University. In this episode they discuss UNLEASH, a global innovation lab that gathers top talents to collaborate on solutions that help meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Anniestacia, Lindsey, and Gabi talk about the UNLEASH Hacks, which are are localized hackathons aimed at solving challenges. They explain how the UNLEASH USA 2021 hack focused on developing sustainable, equitable solutions for sanitation issues in Alabama’s black belt region.
Dave Ross and Lindsey Mann are Partners at Troutman Pepper. In this episode Dave and Lindsey discuss a preliminary class action lawsuit settlement between the Charleston Water System and wipes manufacturer Kimberly-Clark that could affect any entity that owned and/or operated wastewater conveyance and treatment systems since January 6, 2018. They discuss how the settlement, if approved by a court, would require Kimberly-Clark’s products to meet current flushability standards as published by the International Water Services Flushability Group, implement independent testing, and require educational content and label changes, as well as require the Charleston Water System to endorse these Kimberly-Clark products as flushable. Dave and Lindsey explain that the settlement would have no effect on claims by class members seeking money for harm caused by wipes but would release all claims for injunctive relief by any class member related to any wipe product of Kimberly-Clark.
Lauren Christopher is the Director of the Division of Energy Assistance in the Office of Community Services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this episode Lauren discusses the new Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program, which was established by Congress and has initially provided $166.6 million in grants to help ratepayers effected by the COVID-19 pandemic pay drinking water and wastewater utility bills. She explains that states, territories, and tribes receive these federal grants and work in partnership with water systems to ensure low-income households and families have access to services.
Paul Petersen is Municipal Sales Manager for Central & Eastern U.S. at Atlas Copco. In this episode Paul discusses the latest technology and trends in aeration blowers, including with canopy design, air filtration, and VSD/VFD. He also talks about the key areas of reliability and maintenance of aeration blowers, as well as how controllers and remote monitoring are improving connectivity.
At Kimley-Horn, Uma Vempati is Senior Project Manager of Integrated Water Solutions, Mark Miller is Senior Water Treatment Speciaist, and Tanya Miro is Senior Marketing Specialist for Water and Wastewater. In this episode they discuss the latest news and trends for PFAS, including challenges utilities face in treatment and a successful project in Stuart, Florida. They also talk about EPA action on PFAS, development of regulations, and how utilities should be preparing for them. Learn more about PFAS and treatment on Kimley-Horn’s comprehensive webpage.
Chris Hunniford is Chief Operating Officer of V&A Consulting Engineers and Mark Perkins is President and Owner of Perkins Engineering Consultants. In this episode Chris and Mark discuss a variety of trends in odors including challenges with getting new facilities permitted, the patchwork of regulations across the country, and the continued rise of data, sensors, and other technology. They also talk about the agenda and highlights at WEF’s upcoming Odors and Air Pollutants Conference.
Joanne Carpenter is Director of Research and Development for CHEMetrics and Kati Bell is Director of Water Strategy for Brown and Caldwell. In this episode they discuss the increased viability of peracetic acid for disinfection at water resource recovery facilities and its position as an alternative to chlorine and UV. Joanne and Kati talk about the importance of establishing standard methods for peracetic acid and the value of the WEF handbook on evaluating use. They also explain how a facility can determine if peracetic acid is feasible.
Jackie O’Brien is the Chief Executive Officer of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a nonprofit recognized as a Charity of Choice by the Water Environment Federation. In this episode Jackie explains how EWB and its 10,000 volunteers work in communities around the world to help provide basic human services including water. She talks about starting as CEO during the past year and how the organization has recalibrated in the midst of the pandemic. Jackie also discusses opportunities for volunteering and how WEF members can get involved in EWB.
Camille Sanders is Membership Director for the Water Environment Federation. In this episode Camille discusses WEF’s revamped Career Center that offers robust opportunities and tools for both job seekers and employers in the water sector. Job seekers can search for available opportunities by job type, industry, and state, receive a complimentary resume review, and access professional coaching and career planning resources. Employers can search and review resumes, post available positions, and increase the visibility of their organization through job advertising. WEF also offers exclusive member discounts of up to 60% on job advertising packages.
Maile Lono-Batura is the new Director of Sustainable Biosolids Programs for the Water Environment Federation. In this episode Maile talks about her background and experiences serving as Executive Director of Northwest Biosolids for 22 years. She discusses her new responsibilities and focus in leading biosolids programs for WEF, including the importance of improving collaboration, expanding communications, and advancing research. Maile also shares her perspective on the current trends and pressing issues in biosolids, ranging from PFAS to public perception.
Matt Bond is Past-President of the Water Environment Federation and Deputy Director for Engineering at KC Water. In this episode Matt discusses the challenges and opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic, including keeping capital improvement projects on track, navigating the financial crunch to utility revenue and affordability for ratepayers, and finding that there is now an availability of talented workers to hire. He also talks about the emphasis on green infrastructure in making Kansas City a more sustainable and livable city.
Jaime Eichenberger is the President-elect of the Water Environment Federation and an Associate Vice President at HDR and Sarah Reeves is vice-chair of the WEF scholarship subcommittee and a Vice President at Brown and Caldwell. In this episode Jaime and Sarah discuss WEF’s new scholarships for water and wastewater operators pursuing education, and training and for individuals pursuing certification to enter the water sector. The scholarship will reimburse expenses up to $5,000 and is available to individuals seeking an entry level operator’s license or licensed operators seeking professional development in municipal and industrial treatment, reuse, collection and distribution, and stormwater. The scholarship application deadline is April 1. For more information and to apply, click here.
WEF’s Student Design Competition promotes real-world experience for students interested in pursuing an education and/or career in water/wastewater engineering and sciences. Individuals or teams of students are challenged to prepare a design to help solve a local water quality issue. Teams evaluate alternatives, perform calculations, and recommend the most practical solution based on experience, economics, and feasibility. This episode features conversations with Student Design Competition judges Bernadette Drouhard and Elias Katsoulas, as well as discussion with students from the winning teams from the University of Guelph and Colorado School of Mines. The University of Guelph team won the Environmental Design category with their project titled Innovative Stormwater Management in the City of Richmond Hill, Mill Pond. The Colorado School of Mines team won the Wastewater Design category with their project titled Nutrient Optimization for Municipal Wastewater Utilities in Colorado.
Steve Dye is Legislative Affairs Director for the Water Environment Federation and Jason Myers is a Partner with Barnes & Thornburg. In this episode Steve discusses how the recent coronavirus relief package passed by Congress impacts the water sector, including the $638 million it provides for a new program that will help low-income families cover the costs of their drinking water and wastewater utility bills, as well as $25 billion in rental assistance that can also be used to help offset utility payments. Jason talks about $275 billion for another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding and the extension of the deadline for using funding from the CARES Act. Steve also reviews the FY21 Omnibus Appropriations package that includes a myriad of key funding provisions for the Clean Water SRF, Drinking Water SRF, WIFIA, and stormwater and workforce programs.
Moriah Brown, Nadine Robertson, and Kayson Smith-Bejgrowicz are participants in the Water Environment Federation’s InFLOW program, which stands for Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water and identifies promising students from underrepresented minority groups who are interested in professional careers in the water industry and provides them scholarships to attend WEFTEC. In this episode they discuss how little they knew about water careers before InFLOW and how it was encouraging to interact with water leaders that reflected diversity. They also explain how InFLOW changed their perceptions of the water sector and led them toward water careers, with Nadine now working as an operator in New Orleans and Kayson as an engineer in Honolulu.
This episode is part of a series of conversations on the Words On Water podcast about equity and the water sector. It is co-hosted by Travis Loop and Rahkia Nance.
Frank Houston is Senior Regional Manager for the Eastern U.S. for DN Tanks and Alan Parent is Director of Business Development and Laura Simmers is Preconstruction Coordinator for PC Construction. In this episode Frank, Alan, and Laura talk about a $271 million bio-energy project at a Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s facility in Piscataway, Md. They explain the benefits of extensive collaboration in the project, the design-build process, and advancement of biosolids and energy generation, as well as how these are broader trends and opportunities for the water sector. Frank, Alan, and Laura also discuss the deliberate use of woman- and minority owned businesses in the project.
Martin Bureau is the Vice President of Innovation at Logistec Environmental. In this episode Martin discusses the problem of PFAS in water and the environment and the challenges facilities face in treatment. He shares the latest developments in PFAS solutions and the importance to calibrate the solutions based on the nature and size of the community’s specific needs.
Kevin Marsh is the President of FlowWorks. In this episode Kevin discusses the increasingly popular practice of wastewater epidemiology in identifying coronavirus in communities and on college campuses. He explains that to accurately measure the presence of the virus wastewater flow data must be normalized for inflow and infiltration in collection systems, and how his company is working with others on this approach. Kevin also talks about the latest in machine learning and automated data.
Steve Myers and Melody White are Application Development Managers at Hach. In this episode Steve and Melody talk about the increasing momentum in the sector for water reuse and nutrient recovery. They discuss how regional differences in water and regulations require different solutions for resource recovery and the technology and equipment that can meet those needs.
Sam Utley is Senior Manager for the Software Sales Engineering Team at Hach. In this episode Sam discusses the challenges water resource recovery facilities face in data, instrument, and process management. He explains how new solutions allow users to analyze and act on data, accurately ensure instruments are functioning, and automate processes to improve efficiency. Sam talks about the ability for facilities to adopt solutions one at a time or take a more holistic approach.
In this episode WEF staff provide a preview of WEFTEC Connect, the fully virtual event and online learning platform that offers attendees interactive education, an exhibitor showcase, and networking experiences. They explain how WEFTEC Connect is more than another webinar or virtual meeting – it is a dynamic, immersive learning amd networking experience, that takes the best of our in-person event, reshapes it for the virtual world, and delivers it all directly to attendees. WEFTEC Connect will be held October 5 to October 9 and more information is at www.weftec.org
Lucy Pugh is a Vice President and Industrial Water and Wastewater Technical Practice Director at AECOM. In this episode Lucy discusses water reuse challenges in the food and beverage industry and how its wastewater processes differ from municipal treatment. She also talks about technologies used in food and beverage can be transferred to municipal facilities. Lucy will be leading a session at WEFTEC Connect on Tuesday, October 6 at 3:30 p.m. on solutions to wastewater treatment and reuse challenges faced by the food and beverage industry.
Art Umble is Senior Vice President of Global Wastewater Treatment Sector Leader at Stantec and Chair of the Water Environment Federation’s Blue-Ribbon Panel on Biological Hazards and Precautions for Wastewater Workers. In this episode Art discusses the panel’s conclusions that occupational risk of infection is low, standard wastewater treatment processes inactivate the virus, and additional research should be conducted to further increase understanding of hazards and protections for personnel. He also explains that the panel updated the guidelines for protection of wastewater personnel from potential pathways of exposure to biological hazards, including coronavirus. The panel’s report is available on Access Water.
Paul Freedman is a Past President of the Water Environment Federation and Co-Founder, President, and CEO of LimnoTech. In this episode Paul talks about using strategic planning to guide WEF through the financial challenges of the 2008 recession and how those lessons can be applied during the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. He discusses how a crisis can lead an organization to quickly reshape its approach to programs with positive outcomes. Paul also explains the critical importance of extensive internal communication during difficult times.
Dr. Andrew Sanderson is the Chief Medical Officer for the Water Environment Federation, a Gastroenterologist with Weatherby Healthcare, and an Associate Professor at Howard University. In this episode Dr. Sanderson describes his academic and professional background, including serving as a medical officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a fellow at Harvard Medical School. He explains his interest in serving as WEF’s Chief Medical Officer and how he will focus on the health and safety of the water workforce. Dr. Sanderson also talks about having assistance from a graduate student at Howard University.
Jamie Piziali is the Municipal Ombudsman at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In this episode Jamie explains integrated planning, which offers an opportunity for a municipality to meet multiple Clean Water Act requirements by identifying efficiencies from wastewater and stormwater programs and sequencing investments. She discusses her role as an ombudsman and the importance of integrated planning to EPA. Jamie also talks about the agency’s efforts to raise awareness among municipalities about integrated planning and how local governments should pursue the approach as part of NPDES permitting or enforcement orders.
Bob Dabkowski and Steve Myers are Applications Development Managers with Hach. In this episode Bob and Steve discuss the historic and current focus on nutrient management at wastewater facilities. They explain how regulations aiming to improve water quality in streams, rivers, and other water bodies are driving a trend toward more nutrient removal. Bob and Steve talk about ways to decrease costs and increase reliability in nutrient removal, as well as the opportunities presented by changing technology.
Kari Brisolara is an Associate Professor of Environmental Health at Louisiana State University. In this episode Kari discusses a review of current science that finds there is no evidence supporting the transmission of coronavirus through the wastewater system to biosolids. Because the coronavirus is more susceptible to treatment, including heat, no additional protective equipment or measures are required for managing properly treated biosolids.
WEF is convening a series of roundtable discussions with leaders from across the water sector to discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting operations, business, and people. The conversations are hosted by WEF Executive Director Walt Marlowe and explore current impacts, anticipated changes, and future plans in areas such as workforce, productivity, supply chain, projects, communication, and more. The guests for this episode are Kishia Powell, Commissioner for the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management; Paul Vogel, Principal and President of Greeley and Hansen; and Neil McAdam, Senior Vice President at World Water Works.
Dave Russell is the CEO of Global Environmental Operations. In this episode Dave explains the concept of a Black Swan, an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. He discusses how Black Swan events could impact the water sector and what hinders anticipation and preparation for such situations. Dave provides advice on how the water sector can be more ready and identifies a variety of resources to help.
WEF is convening a series of roundtable discussions with leaders from across the water sector to discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting operations, business, and people. The conversations are hosted by WEF Executive Director Walt Marlowe and explore current impacts, anticipated changes, and future plans in areas such as workforce, productivity, supply chain, projects, communication, and more. The guests for this episode are Rich D’Amato, CEO of Brown and Caldwell; Patrick Decker, CEO of Xylem; Ted Henifin, General Manager of Hampton Roads Sanitation District; Yuvbir Singh, CEO of Suez Technologies and Solutions; and Cindy Wallis-Lage, President of Black & Veatch Global Water Business. The roundtable is hosted by Walt Marlowe, WEF Executive Director.
Katie Henderson is manager of the Value of Water Campaign for the U.S. Water Alliance. In this episode Katie shares the results of the 2020 Value of Water Index, a poll that shows 84 percent of American voters want state and federal leaders to invest in water infrastructure. She explains the support for water infrastructure investment cuts across demographic, political, and geographic divisions. Katie also discusses other findings from the poll including people’s perceptions of local water services, climate change, and PFAS.
This podcast introduces wastewater epidemiology and explains what information related to the detection of RNA of COVID-19 virus in wastewater does and does not tell us. Wastewater epidemiology has been used for decades to track the presence of infectious diseases such as polio in communities. It has also been used to aid in the response to the opioid epidemic. Now it has gained a role in guiding state and local public health responses to COVID-19 outbreaks. This episode is the audio from a webcast moderated by Dr. Kyle Bibby (University of Notre Dame) with several speakers including Dr. Mariana Matus (Biobot), Dr. Amy Kirby (CDC), and Dr. Jennifer Murphy (CDC).
Fred Andes is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg and the leader of the firm’s water team. In this episode Fred explains the County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, a U.S. Supreme Court case involving pollution discharges under the Clean Water Act, specifically whether pollution from a point of discharge into a groundwater source that can potentially reach navigable waterways must be regulated. He discusses the 6-3 decision, in which the Court ruled that such discharges into groundwater sources may potentially require permits as they may be the “functional equivalent of a direct discharge.” Fred also talks about potential implications of the ruling and specifically what it may mean for the wastewater sector.
During the coronavirus pandemic, water and wastewater utilities are essential for delivery of clean water and sanitation during the response. Ensuring those services during a pandemic while protecting human health and the environment requires strong leadership. This episode provides insights into key considerations for decision-makers and operational staff on the frontlines. This episode is the audio from a Water Environment Federation webcast. Speakers include George Hawkins of Moonshot Missions, Andy Kricun of Moonshot Missions, Todd Swingle of Toho Water Authority, and Bruce Husselbee of Hampton Roads Sanitation District.
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.
During the coronavirus pandemic, water utilities are triggering their response plans for continuity of operations. A significant component during a pandemic is a consideration of critical functions that include essential personnel whose role does not allow for telework. Critical services must continue and COOP activities in the face of potentially severe staff shortages and absenteeism are of concern. This episode is the audio from a Water Environment Federation webcast. Speakers include Sue Schneider of Spartanburg Water, Joseph Lockler of Charlotte Water, John Bennett and Taylor Huynh of Trinity River Authority, Dusti Lowndes of DC Water, Cathy Davis of U.S. EPA, Teresa Jakubowski of Barnes & Thornburg, and Steve Frank of SDF Communications.
This episode is the audio from a Water Environment
Federation webcast. During the coronavirus pandemic, water and wastewater
utilities are currently triggering their response plans for continuity of
operations. These events also trigger regulatory issues under the Clean Water
Act as utilities work to maintain compliance during this pandemic. Utilities
need to consider special conditions in their Consent Decrees and/or permits,
consider regulatory obligations and maintain close contact with their
regulators. Speakers include Susan Sullivan, Executive Director of the New
England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission; Fred Andes, Partner at
Barnes & Thornburg in Chicago; Melanie Davenport, President of the
Association of Clean Water Administrators and Director of the Water Permitting
Division for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality; and Shellie
Chard, Director of Water Quality for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental
Dr. Rasha Maal-Bared is Senior Microbiologist at EPCOR and Scott Schaefer is Wastewater Practice Leader at AE2S and Chair of WEF’s Disinfection & Public Health Committee. In this episode Rasha and Scott discuss the coronavirus, its origin, and the agencies involved in response. They explain why the water sector should pay attention to coronavirus, how treatment addresses the virus, and that water workers should follow standard safety protocol. Rasha and Scott say the water sector should stay informed of developments but remain calm.
Toby Weir-Jones is the Chief Product Officer for Bayshore Networks. In this episode Toby talks about the water sector’s increasing emphasis on security assessments and what can be done to quickly implement practical solutions without creating a human capital gap. He discusses if the water industry is ready for attacks and how it compares to other industries. Toby also explains the opportunities for increasing security from both accidental and malicious threats.
George Sprouse is Manager of Process Engineering and
Research and Development at the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities and
Co-Chair of the 2020 Residuals
and Biosolids Conference. In this episode George explains the importance of
capturing the energy and nutrients that are concentrated in biosolids and
circulating those resources back into the community. He talks about using
creative approaches to manage biosolids during uncertain times, particularly with
PFAS concerns. George also discusses how the Metropolitan Council uses
biosolids to generate energy and the role of technology in the future of
John Fletcher is Atlantic Regional Manager at Duke’s Root Control and Kraig Moodie is President of FloWav. In this episode John and Kraig discuss the YH2O Mentoring Program that prepares young adults ages 18 to 24 to be employed in full-time jobs in the water industry and is run by the Baltimore Department of Public Works in partnership with the Chesapeake Water Environment Association. They explain that 97 percent of graduates have found employment in the public or private sectors in a variety of positions both in the field and in an office. John and Kraig talk about the program’s ability to transform lives, with many graduates having a checking account, apartment, or car for the first time.
Dr. Linda Lee is a Professor in the Department of Agronomy at Purdue University. In this episode Linda discusses the science of PFAS in water treatment, her recent article published in the Water Environment Research Journal, and how her work began 15 years ago when DuPont asked her to help expand knowledge of the so-called “forever chemicals.” She talks about current science on the presence and removal methods of PFAS in drinking water, wastewater, and biosolids. Linda also explains what is known about the fate and transport of PFAS into the soil, groundwater, and crops when biosolids are applied to agricultural land.
Vaughan Harshman is Capital Sales Director at Evoqua Water
Technologies and Chair of the 2020 Odors
and Air Pollutants Conference. In this episode Vaughan discusses how odor
problems develop for water utilities, methods for controlling and reducing
odors, and community engagement that happens when there is a problem. He also
talks about corrosion issues that can accompany odors and the role of aging
infrastructure in odors.
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.
Andrew Minogue is the Director of Engineering at DN Tanks. In this episode Andrew explains the swift, significant shift in the security of water tanks after September 11 and outlines today’s standard practices for securing the critical infrastructure and protecting the water supply. He talks about the recent trend of adding mixing systems to tanks to circulate water, prevent stagnation, and improve quality. Andrew also discusses how tanks fits into the aging infrastructure picture, noting that concrete tanks have a long lifespan.
Jackie Jarrell is the new President of the Board of Trustees of the Water Environment Federation and Operations Chief at Charlotte Water. In this episode Jackie talks about the value of WEF membership, including how networking and educational opportunities fueled her professional growth. She says that expanding the water workforce, increasing diversity and inclusion, and gaining attention for operators are among her priorities for WEF during the upcoming year. Jackie also discusses why she enjoys working at Charlotte Water and the benefits of engaging with the water sector in other countries.
Adam Blaser is a Regional Manager for DN Tanks. In this episode Adam explains
how the water sector uses concrete tanks for a wide variety of essential
purposes and how they have evolved over more than a century of use. He talks
about the options utilities have to replace or rehab concrete tanks, including
to address changing needs for water quality, sanitation, and security. Adam
also talks about the resilience of tanks to natural disasters such as
earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
Susan Moisio is Global Solutions Director for Conveyance and Storage for Jacobs. In this episode Susan discusses how sanitary sewers, particularly in coastal areas, are impacted by infiltration from increased rainfall, sea level rise, and higher groundwater tables from climate change. She explains how the impacts are assessed by reviewing the historical record, analyzing the current sewer system, and consulting with climate scientists. Susan says sanitary sewers can be rehabbed to increase resilience to climate change but a lack of financial resources for such projects is the greatest challenge.
Melissa Meeker is Director of The Water Tower for Gwinnett County, Esteban Azagra is Water Business Advisory Lead for Arcadis North America, and Zakiya Seymour is Principal Management Consultant for Arcadis North America. In this episode they discuss the most important attributes of a fit-for-future water utility, offering adjectives such as tactical, human-centric, and connective. Melissa, Esteban, and Zakiya explain the roles that a diverse workforce, advanced technology, innovation, and culture play in utility resilience. They also talk about the growth potential for software developers, information security analysts, and marketing specialists as water occupations. For more information about utility resilience, visit: www.arcadis.com/utilityresilience
WEFTEC 2019, the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference, will be held September 21-25 in Chicago. This episode provides a preview of content in the program topic areas of research, utility management, future issues, and municipal design, including suggestions for highly recommended sessions to attend.
Carlos Williams and Steve Myers are Application Development Managers at Hach. In this episode, Carlos and Steve discuss how higher temperatures affect wastewater and drinking water plant operations. They talk about the impact of water temperatures on aeration, bacteria, phosphorous removal and collection systems and what else can impact water treatment, including rainfall.
Welcome to a mashup episode of the Words On Water podcast and Water In Real Life podcast that explores the role of communications in building the next generation water workforce. Listen to Travis Loop of the Water Environment Federation and Stephanie Zavala and Arianne Shipley of Rogue Water, aka The H2duO, discuss the importance of internal communications that excites and inspires employees to be working in water, shows they are part of a talented team, and highlights their work to the public. Travis, Stephanie, and Arianne also stress that water utilities could emphasis innovation and technology in external marketing, display more personality to the community, get creative with storytelling, and create exciting job titles and descriptions.
Episode #102 Hosted by Travis Loop, Stephanie Zavala, and Arianne Shipley.
Noah Loop is the 11-year-old son of Travis Loop, host of the Words On Water Podcast. In this episode, father and son talk about why water is important, favorite activities when living by the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, and GenX pollution in the drinking water in their community of Wilmington, N.C. Noah and Travis also talk about marine biology, plastic pollution, and climate change.
Brown is a Research Professor in the School of Environmental and Forest
Sciences at the University of Washington. In this episode, Sally says biosolids
are a science communication tool for the public, particularly as learning about
the benefits help them get over the yuck factor. She also discusses innovative
ways to use biosolids, including in urban stormwater management and growing cannabis.
Sally says decades of research have shown biosolids to be safe and the sector
must talk about the low level of risk from contaminants including PFAS compared
to other household sources.
Greg Quist is CEO of SmartCover Systems, on the Board of Directors of the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, and Chair of the Urban Water Institute. In this episode Greg discusses real-time monitoring of sewers and the role of smartphones and satellites in water management. He talks about founding a number of water companies and his frustration with the sector’s slow adoption of technology. Greg also shares his views on water in Southern California, including the changes he has seen and optimism for solutions.
Jon Schladweiler is the historian for the AZ Water Association and curator of The Sewer History Exhibit. In this episode Jon talks about the history of sewers, including the origins of sewers 5,500 years ago in what is now Pakistan, the introduction of clay pipes in Babylon, the Roman Empire’s improvements, and that the Dark Ages led to its rebirth. He explains how combined sewer systems and separate sewer systems developed in the United States, and how demand and funding for the infrastructure played a role. Jon says sewers are one of civilization’s most significant achievements for human health and that the perfect sewer has not yet been built.
is Public Affairs Supervisor for the San Diego County Water Authority. In this
episode Teresa says developing and retaining current employees is a vital part
of shaping the next generation of the water workforce. She discusses how
employees should be connected to an organization’s priorities in communications,
policy, and the community. Teresa explains that employees should feel part of an
innovative culture and be encouraged to think about the direction of their
is Executive Director of the Water Services Association of Australia. In this
episode Adam provides an overview of the water utility sector in Australia and issues
such as urbanization, extreme drought, water reuse, and energy neutrality. He
also explains the water sector’s focus on customer value, affordability,
stormwater, and community livability. Adam discusses the special collaborative
relationship that Australia has with the United States and United Kingdom.
Lori Weigel is Principal at New Bridge Strategy. In this episode Lori discusses the results of an annual public opinion poll conducted through the Value of Water Campaign, which found that 85 percent of voters support increased funding for water infrastructure, a level of support that cuts across demographics, geography, party affiliation, and income level. She also talks about questions on affordability that show four in five voters believe water rates are affordable and are willing to pay more. Lori also explains that only 12 percent of voters are familiar with recycled water.
Lori Harrison is Director of Creative Projects and Jon Harrison is Art Director at the Water Environment Federation. In this episode Lori and Jon talk about Why Water’s Worth It, a fun and engaging children’s book featuring a little girl who guides readers through the world of clean water, how it’s managed, and the importance of everyone working together to protect it. They discuss the positive response to the book, how it can be used as a public outreach tool and STEM resource, and versions to be released in Spanish and French. Lori and Jon also explain what it was like to write and illustrate the book, with its rhyming text and more than 40 original, hand-drawn illustrations. The book can be ordered on WEF’s website, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.
Saul Kinter is Business Development Manager at DC Water. In this episode, Saul explains how the utility has built support for biosolids – including its Bloom soil amendment – from third-party validators including soil scientists, farmers, homeowners, and construction companies. He discusses the need to build understanding of biosolids in the community and that meeting directly with people is vital because any message spreads best by word-of-mouth. Saul says to gain third-party endorsement of a product and drive sales, a utility needs the science, data, and research to back up the marketing.
Fariha Hassan is a project manager and Brit Merola is an applications
engineer at AdEdge. In this episode, Fariha and Brit explain the process of dewatering,
including why it is necessary, how the water is treated, and the role of
regulations. They discuss the typical water quality challenges and the great
variability from project to project. Fariha and Brit also talk about
improvements and changes taking place in dewatering.
Indra Maharjan is the Director of Innovation, Technology and Alternate Delivery at the Ontario Clean Water Agency in Canada. In this episode Indra explains how new technology, right-sizing equipment, conservation programs, and behavior change have increased energy efficiency at water facilities. He also discusses differences in the water sector between Canada and the U.S., including the size and ownership of systems as well as government-led efforts to address climate change. Indra also talks about starting his career in water in Nepal, where even as a part of management he was involved in the groundwork of operating traditional systems.
Steven Drangsholt is Northwest Infrastructure Market Sales Leader for Brown and Caldwell and a member of the House of Delegates for the Water Environment Federation. In this episode, Steve shares his view that mentorship is how different people bring you along in different ways at different times. He explains that the types of mentorship he needed for professional growth evolved from a technical focus to soft skills to leadership. Steve says that mentorships do not have to be part of formal programs and that organic relationships can be very impactful.
Mel Butcher is an engineering consultant at Arcadis, facilitates a career support group for women in male-dominated fields called CollabSuite, and is launching a podcast for Empowering Women in Industry. In this episode, Mel discusses what the low number of women in the water workforce means for those individuals and the whole sector. She talks about challenges women continue to face, from overt sexism to unconscious bias, and how both male and female colleagues can be allies in addressing these obstacles. Mel also says that there are many opportunities for women to have an impact on solving water challenges and the sector should have more honest conversations about diversity and inclusion to better reflect the communities they serve.
Ingrid Bella on BAYWORK Ingrid discusses the origins of BAYWORK, its focus on showcasing water sector jobs to students and educators, and the many resources available to help utilities address workforce challenges.
Haley Falconer on Sustainability in Boise Haley discusses managing environmental services for one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and how water fits in the portfolio with energy, waste, and air quality.
Abigail Gardner on Public Opinion Poll Results Abigail talks about the results of a public opinion poll that found 88 percent of voters support increasing federal investment to rebuild America’s water infrastructure and how that support cuts across age, gender, political party, and geography.
Kishia Powell on Atlanta’s Community Investments Kishia discusses Atlanta’s extensive use of green infrastructure, including using it to create public spaces such as the Historic Fourth Ward Park and to educate citizens on water management.
Britt Sheinbaum on Conflict and Resolution Britt discusses her view that water conflict is an opportunity for cooperation, the role of water scarcity in tensions in places like Syria, and the remarkable cooperation found along transboundary waters.
Kathryn Sorenson on Water in Phoenix Kathryn discusses how the utility collects, distributes, and treats water in the desert home of the fifth-most populated city in the United States.
John Van Nostrand is the South and Municipal Manager for FLEXIM.
In this episode, John explains the role and importance of flow metering for
water utilities in collections, treatment, and distribution. He discusses the
problem of water loss and leaks, and how flow meters can be used to monitor the
integrity of a system. John talks about the problem of aging infrastructure and
improperly installed meters, as well as how improvements in technology allow
for tracking of extremely low flows, particularly during off-peak times for
Adam Davis is Senior Counsel at DHM Research. In this episode Adam discusses results of a national opinion survey conducted with Blue Drop that found one-third of people do not know the source of their drinking water and two-thirds do not know the destination of their wastewater after it is cleaned. He also shares that 50 percent aren’t familiar with the quality of their drinking water and three-quarters don’t know about water infrastructure projects in their community. Adam explains how a lack of public awareness can lead to other types of infrastructure and services being prioritized for investment before water. He says it is important for utilities to poll locally, engage customers, use focus groups, and partner with other organizations as a way to build relationships.
Haley Falconer is Environmental Division Senior Manager for
the City of Boise. In this episode, Haley discusses managing environmental
services for one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and how water fits
in the portfolio with energy, waste, and air quality. She talks about the
choice by Boise to use the term “water renewal facilities” and familiarizing
the public with the phrase. Haley reflects on Boise’s recent experience producing
several beers and ciders with purified wastewater. She also explains why she
has been a very active volunteer for the Water Environment Federation.
Dr. Jason He is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech and the new Editor-In-Chief of the Water Environment Research (WER) Journal. In this episode, Jason explains that while it is an exciting time to be water research, it can be challenging to address all the areas of need, such as on emerging contaminants, and to secure funding. He also discusses the history and importance of WER to the water sector, as well as the overall role of peer-reviewed journals in providing high-quality research. Jason talks about recent changes to the journal, including a publishing partnership with Wiley, a new editorial board, and an emphasis on practical research, case studies, and viewpoint columns.
John Gonzalez is Manager of Communications at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. In this episode, John discusses how the utility uses its wildly popular and funny Twitter account @neorsd to educate, engage, and entertain customers. He explains that to gain creative freedom on social media there is a need to build trust with management, particularly by being clear about strategy, structure, and substance. John says that to maximize the impact of Twitter, utilities must latch onto trending topics, be timely, and localize content for followers.