Every year, water professionals gather at North America’s largest water event, the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC). During this year’s conference, water of course took center stage. Droughts, municipal wastewater challenges, reuse and alternative treatment were central themes. By Day 2, the event had already broken records with more than 25,000 attendees.

Many awards were presented including:

  • Innovative Technology Award to the Algaewheel by OneWater Inc.
  • Collection Systems Award to Bradley E. Fix
  • Water Quality Improvement Award to Roseburg Urban Sanitary Authority, Roseburg, Oregon
  • Water for People Robert W. Hite Outstanding Leadership Award to Elisa M. Speranza
  • WEF Safety Award to AR Wastewater Treatment Plant, Montrose, Michigan, and Orange County Sanitation District, Fountain Valley, California

As is usually true, new technology and featured solutions stood tall at all the booths on the floor. Some highlights are included below.

APG

This year, APG featured its submersible pressure transmitter for tank level measurement, water and wastewater applications, well depth measurement and offshore water depth measurement during the show. It has built-in lightning protection; is Class 1, Division 1/Zone 0; has a reusable cage; and has low power consumption.

Ashcroft

At its booth, Ashcroft displayed six pressure instruments:

  • 1279 Duragauge pressure gauge with diaphragm seal
  • Types 80 and 81 pressure media isolation rings
  • 1130 Series differential pressure gauges
  • GC52 low differential wet-wet pressure transmitter with LCD display
  • B400 pressure switch
  • SL17 submersible pressure/level transmitter

BioAir Solutions

BioAir Solutions — a provider of biological odor and air emission control solutions — has developed and built a tool to test new technologies and provide customers with proof of concept. Known as the Mobile Research Center (MRC), this portable laboratory consists of eight full-scale reactors contained in a 52-foot trailer. The MRC provides unlimited capabilities for creating variable operating conditions in highly controlled, measureable environments. This enables BioAir to test and optimize different odor control media under different process conditions and to effectively quantify the performance of different treatment solutions for an application. The MRC also enables customers to “test drive” BioAir’s biological technologies for handling odors and air emissions and to develop a customized solution for their specific situations.

Blue-White Industries

At its booth, Blue-White Industries featured its ProSeries-M peristaltic metering pumps. With the Flex-Pro M-2, end users have feed rates up to 17.2 gallons per hour, a 200:1 turndown ratio, a variable-speed direct-current motor and a tube failure detection system. These pumps can be used in municipal water and wastewater treatment, chemical metering, chlorination, polymer and many other injection applications.

BJM

The model SK submersible shredder pump from BJM Pumps LLC, can handle difficult municipal and industrial solids handling applications including sanitary sumps and controlling chemical wastes. The design can eliminate line blockages while reducing capital and operating costs.

RAD-AX submersible pumps are designed and engineered for superior solids handling. The RAD-AX/SKG Series pumps can easily shred items previous considered very difficult or near impossible to pump. The construction and new design of the Dual Shredding System offer solids handling technology never before available for 2-, 3- and 5-horsepower submersible pumps. The SKG Series pumps can shred a variety of municipal and industrial wastewater solids. Flushable wipes — currently a multimillion-dollar problem in the U.S. — may now be effectively handled because of the design of the SKG pump.

Crouzet Automation

Crouzet Automation featured the new em4 nano-PLC with remote capabilities and Millenium 3 Smart Logic Controller, both designed to control, measure, monitor and log data for a variety of water and waste treatment applications. The featured products offer water professionals unique advantages not available with other types of controls, including remote management capabilities and easier than ever software programming.

Fibrelite

Fibrelite’s technical team presented on “The Best Use of Composite Covers in Storm Water Management Infrastructure” in the Stormwater Pavilion. It was on hand to demonstrate the benefits of its lightweight composite manhole covers and modular trench covers.

Franklin Electric

A few of the new products featured at the Franklin Electric booth included the new FPS IGPH Series of high-head grinder pumps that are engineered for the tough demands of higher head conditions found in many low-pressure sewage transfer applications. The new, expanded VR Series line of vertical, stainless steel multistage pumps deliver clean water under pressure for a wide range of applications. Also featured were the new Pioneer Pump GT Series wet prime pumps that run full diameter at more than 2,000 rpm, making them ideal for wastewater management in industrial, municipal and rental applications. The new Little Giant Pit+Plus Basin was also displayed. It is an advanced, installation and service-friendly sewage basin option for plumbing contractors.

Grundfos

The Grundfos line of SL submersible wastewater pumps was one of many products highlighted by the company. They are designed to handle raw, unscreened sewage; effluent; large volumes of surface water; and process water in municipal, utility and industrial applications. The solids-handing pump series, in motor ranges from 1.5 to 15 horsepower (HP), is available with two types of impellers: the SLV/SuperVortex Impeller, which provides the free passage of solids up to 4 inches in diameter, and the SL1/S Tube Impeller, which accommodates solids up to 4 inches but is designed particularly for large flows of raw sewage.

Ham Baker Group

During WEFTEC, I was able to stop by the Ham Baker booth and see the AutoDam in action. It is a flood prevention device that needs to be seen to understand how it operates and protects homes, businesses, lift stations and pump stations from flooding. It first acts as a traditional surface drain under normal weather conditions. During extreme weather, the AutoDam deploys automatically to protect against flood damage.

Hydromantis

Starting in 2016, Hydromantis partnered with WEF to add process simulation into the annual Operations Challenge. During the 2015 event, the company featured its Operator Challenge simulations at its booth.

Khrone, Inc.

At its booth, Khrone displayed many of its water and wastewater products, including analytical sensors. The team also featured a stormwater collection system, a fully functional module that featured the TIDALFLUX flow meter and a number of automation and communication devices produced by Phoenix Contact. The module included lightning, thunder and a torrential downpour.

McCrometer

At its booth, McCrometer demonstrated its cost-effective flowmeter solutions for industrial process water treatment, district energy, cooling towers, HVAC and municipal water and wastewater. McCrometer’s FPI Mag Flow Meter is ideal for industrial and municipal water treatment systems. With ±0.5 percent accuracy, the FPI Mag installs without cutting pipe, welding flanges, dewatering lines or interrupting service. The V-Cone Flow Meter from McCrometer is a differential pressure instrument that measures liquid, steam or gas media in rugged conditions in which accuracy, low maintenance and cost are important.

Neptune

Neptune showcased several of its metering and transfer pump solutions at its booth. Neptune’s Series MP7000 mechanically actuated diaphragm metering pumps were specifically designed with water and wastewater applications in mind. Their mechanical design eliminates the use of contour plates on the liquid side of the diaphragm while the simple, straight-through valve and head design allows for improved flow characteristics. The Series MP7000 is self-priming and has a maximum capacity of 275 gallons per hour at 235 psi. Neptune also featured its PZ Series electronic diaphragm and Series 500 hydraulically actuated metering pumps.

Netzsch Pumps North America, LLC

Netzsch Pumps showcased its NEMO progressive cavity pump line and added sizes of the TORNADO rotary pump line during this year’s event. It also conducted daily product demonstrations. The company participated in WEFTEC’s interactive workshops highlighting the pumps on display.

Pentair

During WEFTEC, Pentair showcased its latest innovations and integrated solutions. These included:

  • Helix Technology for Ultrafiltration
  • Compact 75G Membrane
  • ECOPOD Advanced Wastewater Treatment System
  • Vertical Turbine Solids Handling Pump
  • Intelliboost System from Aurora Pump

Plast-O-Matic Valves, Inc.

During WEFTEC, Plast-O-Matic Valves presented several of its valves, actuators, gauges, flow indicators and switches.

Protein Matrix

Protein Matrix debuted at WEFTEC this year. It is a solution to naturally and more safely transform fat, oil and grease (FOG) on a molecular level, into a benign liquid byproduct that will not re-solidify and is compatible with the collection system, wastewater treatment plant infrastructure and biological treatment processes. By eliminating FOG buildup, Protein Matrix also controls odors and balances bacterial populations.

Singer Valve

During WEFTEC, Singer Valve featured a new app at its booth. Metro H2O allows users to navigate all areas of a city at which valves are used and critical to municipal processes. From anti-cavitation to pump control valves, app users can explore what processes they control and how they operate. In addition, Singer Valve featured its single-process control valve. Compatible with remote supervisory control and data acquisition Modbus, the panel is designed to complement a dual solenoid control valve. It offers a configuration for any single process application.

Vaughn

During WEFTEC, viewing the chopper pump at Vaughn’s booth is a tradition. This year, the company had its pump running throughout the show. The company also featured its Rotamix system for fats, oils and greases and high-strength waste.

Victaulic

Victaulic displayed its Advanced Groove System for 14-inch/350-millimeter to 72-inchj/1800-millimeter pipe. The system is strong and easy to install. It also featured the Victaulic Style 905 Refuse-to-Fuse HDPE coupling that installs without the need to disassemble the coupling, making it up to 10 times faster than traditional fusing. The product can be properly installed using an impact gun or standard socket wrench with no special training or regular certification needed.

Word Water Works

World Water Works was selected by the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority and the Hampton Roads Sanitation District to bring its patent pending AvN technology to the global marketplace. The technology, named for the balance it achieves in ammonia oxidizing bacteria versus nitrite oxidizing bacteria, is a wastewater process control and optimization technology that uses a proprietary control strategy, applying selective pressure to aid in the segregation of the desired bacterial populations. This allows wastewater treatment systems to achieve very low TN discharge parameters with upfront carbon diversion for other beneficial uses. The company also announced the availability of the DEMON treatment system for the removal of nitrogen from wastewater. It announced the availability of the new Ideal DAF, a dissolved air flotation system that handles flows from 1 to 9,000 gallons per minute and is ideal for industries including food processing, desalination pretreatment, oil and gas, and pulp and paper.

Xylem Inc.

Xylem Inc., a global water technology company, will present a portfolio of its latest advanced technologies designed to solve the world’s most challenging water issues at WEFTEC 2015. Xylem participated in real-time demonstrations, panel discussions and in-booth presentations.

Xylem Analytics also displayed its YSI and OI Analytical instruments that use U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved methods to measure many parameters including ammonia, nitrate/nitrite, dissolved oxygen and pH.

Patrick Decker, Xylem’s president and CEO, took part in the “Infrastructure Economics” panel discussion on Monday, Sept. 28, alongside other leaders from across the water sector. Water infrastructure is at the center of some of society’s most pressing challenges and the related economic impacts are extensive. I was happy to have the opportunity to conduct a podcast with Mr. Decker during his time at WEFTEC. Watch for it to be posted in the coming month.

Krausz USA

Krausz USA launched the HYMAX GRIP end cap, which uses universal teeth to securely cap pipes for a wide range of diameters. As pressure is applied to the end of a plastic or metal pipe, the HYMAX GRIP end cap’s unique radial gripping system increases its hold.

Made of durable ductile iron, the patented GRIP chain offers 360-degree restraint around the pipe. As the pipe applies axial pressure, the GRIP chain increasingly tightens over the pipe, preventing pipe pullout. The HYMAX GRIP end cap is suitable for many pipe diameters, replacing the need to use a range of end caps with a range of diameters and thus reducing inventory costs and saving shelf space.