WEFTEC® Conference – What We Learned

WEFTEC®, the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, is the largest conference of its kind in North America and offers water quality professionals from around the world the best water quality education and training available today.  Craig Pozega and Amy Deitchler both attended this year’s event held in New Orleans. The following are three reasons why we attended:

  • Keep our finger on the pulse of the industry so that we know where it is going and how these changes will affect our clients and industry.
  • Establish contacts with regulatory agencies, vendors and other utilities that can help us continue to deliver high performance, consistent regulatory compliance and great value to our clients in Montana and Idaho.
  • Discover the newest innovations and solutions for our clients.

With nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies, the expansive show floor provides unparalleled access to the most cutting-edge technologies in the field. WEFTEC exhibitors bring their very best technical experts and the latest equipment.  The following are some pictures of some unique and exciting technology from the technical exhibition.

Pure Sensor

This sensor is one of a number of proprietary sensor technology tools used by Pure Technologies® to evaluate pressure pipe, such as water main & forcemain, while still in service.  This technology is ideal for pipelines that cannot be removed from service due to lack of redundancy or operational constraints. It can be effectively deployed for long inspections on several types of pipe to determine baseline condition.  The sensor is typically inserted into a live pipeline through a hot tap connection, an existing access or a submerged tank, the tool travels with the product flow and is able to navigate most butterfly valves and bends in the pipeline.

YSI Probe

This YSI probe is being shown to Craig by our Montana Xylem representative Irina Gokhman.   This probe provides continuous and reagentless monitoring of Ammonium, Nitrate, Potassium and Chloride simultaneously. This probe could be a good, low maintenance solution, for wastewater process control.

60 inch PVC pipe

Viewing a 60-inch PVC pipe at an exhibit is just kind of cool.

As the picture states, this ultrasonic flow meter is incredibly easy to install and program.  This meter could be great for checking existing meters, flow verification, pump testing or other similar needs by a community.

Satellite Leak Detection

This is not a great photo but the technology is cutting edge and may prove to be very beneficial and cost effective for community water systems.  As the sign says, “leaks can be detected from space”.   This technology uses satellite images and advanced algorithmic analysis to find water main leaks in the ground.  The leaks are then displayed in GIS reports that include street locations and leak size.

Great West Engineering has installed EDI’s high-efficiency fine bubble FlexAir® diffusers in many lagoon systems for Montana communities.  These aerators have proven to provide the optimum combination of a aeration efficiency and mixing performance, which is crucial in lagoon environments.  All of these installations have focused on operator friendly and easy access aeration.

Reuse Beer Tasting
Probably the most popular event of the show was the RESUABLE BEER SMACKDOWN. The brewers use treated effluent to make homebrew as a way to educate the public and policymakers about the feasibility of potable reuse.  Because of regulatory constraints, the treated effluent beer cannot be sold, but can be supplied for personal use in homebrew. Both Craig and Amy reported that the beer was good, really, it was!