By Lori Burkhammer
The latest in water quality research, technology and services will be on display Oct. 2-6 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA, during WEFTEC®.04 – the 77th annual technical exhibition and conference of the Water Environment Federation (WEF).
The "Water Quality Event" is a mega show that offers a wide array of educational and training opportunities for the water and wastewater professional. This year's program will feature 95 technical sessions and 23 conference workshops.
"Abstract submission for WEFTEC.04 increased by a record-breaking 35 percent," said WEF President Lawrence P. Jaworski. More than 75% of the papers were received through WEF's online abstract submittal system, first unveiled at WEFTEC.03 in Los Angeles, which drew nearly 16,000 attendees onsite.
"This increase from previous years permitted a higher level of selectivity, adding value to the already comprehensive program," Jaworski said.
Ten technical focus areas draw upon the expertise of respected water quality professionals and incorporate regional, national and international themes, including: Collection Systems, Membrane Systems, Facility Operations and Wastewater Treatment, Regulations and Public Communication, Research, Residuals and Biosolids, Utility Management, Water Reuse and Recycle, Water Quality and Watershed Management, and Industrial Issues and Treatment Technologies.
Attendees can design their own learning experience, network with other professionals from around the world and visit the WEFTEC Exhibition, one of the largest gatherings of water and wastewater products and services in the world. With over 800 exhibiting companies and 91% in sold square footage space, WEFTEC consistently ranks within the top 1% of all trade shows in North America.
Conference highlights include the Opening General Session on Monday, Oct. 4. The program will include a special presentation by photographer/ author Marjorie Ryerson and musician John Ruskey. Water Music is based upon Ryerson's best-selling book of the same name that features nearly 100 of her art photos showcasing water from many regions of the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, along with the contributions (writing and music) of 66 renowned musicians from around the world. In February, Ryerson won the 2003 Paul Keough Award from the New England Water Environment Association for the Water Music Project (www.watermusicproject.com), which uses net royalties for sales of the book to fund the Water Music Fund. The fund was established at the request of the United Nations Foundation to help protect water in the natural environmental and provide clean drinking water for families around the world. She also was honored at a UN reception in New York City last fall for her contributions to that cause.
Topics relating to the Gulf Coast area will be addressed during Technical Session #93: Local Issues: Hot Topics in Louisiana. Presentations will highlight total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), privatization, wetlands and non-point source pollution. In addition, Technical Session #33: Emerging Contaminants in Water Reuse will address the increasingly important issue of meeting water quality standards that do not account for the presence of antibiotics, hormones, personal care products and other emerging contaminants.
Other activities include the intense skills competition of Operations Challenge 2004; the AEESP/WEF Scientist Luncheon and AEESP/WEF Lecture; the 10th annual WEFTeach; the Global Center, poster presentations; facility tours; award presentations, student activities, and more.
About the Author:
Lori Burkhammer is public affairs manager for the Water Environment Federation, which is based in Alexandria, VA. For complete event details, call 800-666-0206, email [email protected] or visit www.weftec.org.