WEFTEC Returns to New Orleans

The WEFTEC Show returns to New Orleans in 2014 (Sept. 27-Oct. 1) for its 87th annual event at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, a five-day event that is expected to draw thousands of water quality professionals and exhibitors to the Big Easy.

As the largest annual water quality conference and exhibition in the world, WEFTEC 2014 will feature 145 technical sessions, 35 workshops, 11 mobile sessions, eight facility tours, numerous events and nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies displaying the latest in water quality research technology and services. A wide range of topics and focus areas allow attendees to design their own, unique learning experience with the opportunity to earn continuing education credits.

WEFTEC 2013, held in Chicago, set new registration and exhibit floor space records, with 22,589 attendees and 971 exhibiting companies covering 297,400 sq ft. WEFTEC 2014 is expected to be an equally successful event.

A wide range of topics and focus areas allow attendees to design their own, unique learning experience while earning up to 35 contact hours for continuing education units and nine professional development hours. The 2014 technical and workshop sessions include: Collection Systems: Management, operations and maintenance, infrastructure, overflow reduction, wet weather planning, watershed approaches, and regulations; Energy Conservation and Management: Resource recovery, combined heat and power, biogas optimization; Membrane Technologies: Application in wastewater and water reuse, innovations, enhanced performance, regulatory compliance; Plant Operations and Treatment: Innovations, technologies, processes, and proven solutions in water and wastewater treatment; including nutrient removal and odor control; Regulations: CMOM/SSO Rules, TMDL/Watershed Rules, Nutrient Trading, and NPDES Phase II; Research: Leading edge process applications in water and wastewater treatment and recent developments; Residuals & Biosolids: Incineration, disposal, reuse through land application, research, regulations, politics, and public perception; Stormwater: Treatment, green infrastructure, wet weather management, modeling; Utility Management: Asset Management and financial planning for infrastructure, technology, regulatory compliance, and security; including environmental management systems (EMS); Water Reuse/Recycling: Research, regulations, emerging technologies, proven processes; and Water Quality & Watershed Management: Stormwater, wet weather, and watershed issues.

WEFTEC’s exhibition will complement the technical program by providing access to more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and their technical experts who will show the latest developments, research, solutions and cutting-edge technologies in the field. Also featured on the exhibition floor will be increased opportunities to interact directly with the experts, mobile sessions and special exhibitor demonstrations; the popular Innovation Showcase and Pavilion; and the Stormwater Pavilion.

Providing the best of both worlds for stormwater professionals will be the second annual Stormwater Congress. Once again co-located with WEFTEC, it will feature focused programming on everything related to stormwater and provide access to all conference exhibitors, including those in the Stormwater Pavilion.
Other conference highlights will include the Opening General Session and the Water Leaders Session on Mon., Sept. 29; the annual community outreach project, special sessions for the oil and gas industry, poster sessions, the design competition, the 28th annual Operations Challenge competition, and more.

Luke Williams, a sought after commentator on disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship and cultural change, will deliver the keynote address during the Opening General Session. He is the author of “Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business;” a professor of innovation and executive director of the Berkley Entrepreneurship Center at New York University’s Stern School of Business; and a fellow at frog, one of the world’s most influential innovation companies. During his keynote presentation, Williams will help water professionals learn how to thrive in an era of constant change by encouraging a new approach to innovation leadership that goes against conventional wisdom in favor of counterintuitive ideas and solutions that can more efficiently and sustainably address evolving, and often unpredictable, water management challenges.

Also expected at the Opening General Session will be remarks from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and recognition of the Water Environment Research Foundation’s 25th anniversary.

For more information about WEFTEC, visit www.weftec.org.

For a preview of the 2014 WEFTEC conference taking place in New Orleans, click here.
Sharon M. Bueno is managing editor of Trenchless Technology.
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