125 Years & Still Going Strong

The opportunity to celebrate a 125th anniversary is indeed a rare occasion. The American Water Works Association will bring together more than 13,000 water professionals in celebrating “125 Years of Safe Water” at the association’s 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE06), June 11 to 15 in San Antonio, Texas.

ACE06, operating under the theme “The World’s Water Event,” will take place over the course of five days at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and feature a program with more than 100 sessions and 21 in-depth workshops. More than 1,000 experts will cover industry topics such as engineering and construction, water resources management, conservation and reuse, legislative and regulatory issues, and public affairs.

According to Andy Richardson, president of AWWA, “ACE06 is the World’s Water Event, with the most extensive professional program in the industry and an exposition showcasing the latest and most significant water technology in the world. ACE06 will bring focus to the issues that matter most, including communicating the value of water service, managing utility assets, solving water supply challenges, complying with new regulations and much more.”

Workshops/professional program

During ACE06, 22 in-depth and interactive workshops are scheduled to enhance the attendees’ conference experience, allowing them to thoroughly examine the issues most pertinent to their work. Scheduled to begin June 10, a day before the opening of ACE06, and continuing on the following day, the workshops will be led by industry leaders who can offer the latest information needed to do a job better and more effectively, based on their own experiences from the field.

Please note: The majority of the workshops require a fee not included in the conference registration fee; however, two workshops scheduled for June 11 are free. CEU credit may be offered pending Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approval.

The ACE06 Professional Program will comprise more than 100 sessions, which include close to 600 presentations representing the work of more than 1,000 experts in the water industry.

“For the past 12 years, ACE has served as the source of knowledge and information for water professionals,” said Jack Hoffbuhr, executive director of AWWA, in an interview with WWD earlier this year. “ACE06 will feature a professional program with more than 100 sessions and 19 in-depth workshops. The presenters are experts in the field, sharing cutting-edge research and exceptional best practices for attendees to apply.”

Exposition

In the ACE06 Exhibit Hall, more than 500 exhibitors will offer state-of-the-art technology, products and services for water professionals. Attendees can expect to see the latest in pipes, valves, meters, hydrants, engineering systems, tanks, membrane technology and more.

Exhibitors are available to answer any questions and educate attendees about the latest technology, while offering valuable insight and contacts with manufacturers who seek to help attendees improve their water quality.

“ACE06 will bring focus to the issues that matter most to water professionals and will offer numerous opportunities for attendees to interact and gather valuable insights to help aid their professional development,” Hoffbuhr said.

Again this year, the ACE06 New Product Technology Showcase features innovative products and technology available to the water industry. Companies found in this exclusive area within the exhibit hall are chosen by a group of AWWA volunteers, and selection is based on various criteria.

Additionally, a new area to be featured during the exposition is the ACE06 Product Information Forum where attendees will be able to experience detailed presentations from exhibitors on new technology.

“In the exhibit hall, we’ve added a new product information forum that includes presentations from exhibitors on advances in product technology, innovative ideas, research, timesaving tips and other relevant product information,” Hoffbuhr said.

ACE06 Exhibit Hall Hours

Sunday, June 11 3 – 6 PM

Monday, June 12 10 AM – 5 PM

Tuesday, June 13 10 AM – 5 PM

Wednesday, June 14 9 AM – 12 noon

Detailed information on ACE06 Workshops, Professional Sessions, Exhibitor List, Facility Tours and more can be found at the AWWA website (www.awwa.org/ace06).

Tours

Facility tours are always popular with AWWA ACE attendees. These tours offer opportunities to gain insight, find out how the facilities handle various operations, and compare technology from a vast array of water-related facilities in the San Antonio area.

“ACE06 Facility Tours include the Bexar Met Membrane Plant, San Antonio River Authority River Tunnel, Sea World Filtration Process, San Antonio Water System Conservation Program, Dos Rios Wastewater Treatment Plant, CPS Energy Power Plant, Edwards Aquifer Authority, and GBRA Western Canyon WTP & Intake Plant,” Hoffbuhr said.

125th anniversary celebration

As mentioned previously, ACE06 marks AWWA’s 125th anniversary. During ACE06, exhibitors and attendees will be able to celebrate the association’s contributions to safe water and public health protection.

A display in the exhibit hall will showcase the association’s history, and the Fiesta 125 celebration is scheduled for Sunday, June 11. Fiesta 125 will take place within the plaza of La Villita, directly across from the exhibit hall, and is free to all full-conference and operator attendees.

“Fiesta 125 will kick off the conference with a grand anniversary celebration featuring regional cuisine and live entertainment. The 125th Anniversary Display will mark the history of the association with a timeline featuring AWWA’s contribution to the pursuit of public health protection through a safe and secure water supply,” Hoffbuhr said.

Other events of note

ACE06 will feature special sessions on Hurricane Katrina, information on the AWWA Benchmarking Program, the AWWA State of the Industry report, the Pipe-Tapping Contest and Top Ops Competition, and the ACE06 Water Taste Test.

One final event to note is the Water Industry Luncheon featuring former NBA player Bill Russell. This event is scheduled for Tuesday, June 13 and costs $55 per person.

Tim Gregorski is editorial director for Water & Wastes Digest. He can be reached at 847/391-1011 or by e-mail at tgregorski@sgcmail.com.

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