More than 350 municipal officials, engineers, managers, public works directors and wastewater industry professionals gathered under one roof for the ninth annual 3 Rivers Wet Weather Sewer Conference in Pittsburgh Oct. 3-4.

The event, which is designed to inform the public about the wet weather issues pressing the Pittsburgh region, was kicked off by the keynote speech presented by Caren Glotfelty, director for the Environment Program at The Heinz Endowment. In the opening address, Glotfelty spoke about how water and land use go hand in hand, as well as promised continual funding for 3 Rivers’ projects on behalf of The Heinz Endowments. Glotfelty is also the former Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary for Water Management.

Industry experts explored various topics including the necessity of water quality improvement in Allegheny County, the ALCOSAN consent decree and developing a long-term wet weather control plan. Discussions also touched upon water treatment in urban areas and implementing the use of a Web-based, real-time hydraulic modeling system.

More than 50 exhibitors were on-hand for the two-day conference to display the latest technologies and services available. Trenchless rehabilitation methods and no-dig repairs were also examined as a means to aid communities in finding new ways of maintaining their sewer systems.

The 3 Rivers Wet Weather is a non-profit organization created in 1998 to support Allegheny County, Pa., municipalities in addressing the wet weather sewage and storm water overflow issue. During nearly every rainfall or snow melt, excess storm water gets into the municipal sewer systems causing untreated sewage to overflow into area streams and rivers — a violation of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). System-wide, municipalities in the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) service area have begun sewer assessments, repair and monitoring under an EPA administrative consent order.