Dallas is known for many things: oil, cattle, shopping centers, football and even a long-running television series. The city’s southern hospitality, however, is what many attendees of the Water Environment Federation’s 79th Annual Technical Exhibition & Conference (WEFTEC.06) may encounter. This year, North America’s largest water quality event will be held at the Dallas Convention Center, Oct. 21 to 25.
Each year, WEFTEC draws thousands of water/wastewater professionals from around the world to learn the most current practices, solutions and regulations in the field. According to WEF President J. Michael Read, more than 16,000 attendees are expected at this year’s event.
With hundreds of exhibiting companies expected to showcase cutting-edge technologies in the water treatment field, the WEFTEC.06 Exhibition Hall is the place to see and touch the industry’s latest innovations. As of mid-June, 821 exhibitors had reserved a record-setting 232,620 net sq ft of floor space, with numbers expected to increase until the show’s opening, according to Read. This year’s exhibition will be located in Halls A through F of the Dallas Convention Center, where exhibiting companies will be on-hand to answer questions and demonstrate new technologies to attendees.
The WEFTEC.06 Technical Program offers a dynamic educational and training experience, with 94 sessions and 25 workshops devoted to the latest advances in water treatment technology and solutions. Sessions are typically lecture format with time allotted for questions and answers, while workshops offer a more in-depth experience with hands-on demonstrations and exercises.
Technical program attendees can expect to hear a variety of experts sharing information on the most critical issues of today and tomorrow, while earning up to 26 contact hours for a maximum of 2.6 Continuing Education Units. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to make important contacts and network with other professionals from around the world at these sessions and workshops.
Focus areas for the technical program include: Collection Systems Management; Membrane Technologies; Facility Operations and Treatment; Regulations; Research; Residuals and Biosolids; Industrial Issues and Treatment Technology; Utility Management; Water Reuse/Recycling; and Water Quality and Watershed Management.
One session of special note is the Clean Water Policy Update 2006 (Session 56), which will be held Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. At this session, attendees will have the opportunity to speak with high-ranking EPA officials, including Jim Hanlon, director of EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management; Ephraim King, director of EPA’s Office of Science and Technology; and Diane Regas, director of EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds.
In addition to updates on EPA policy initiatives and activities, this session will feature important legislative developments at the state level as well as clean water policy issues being dealt with by state and federal courts.
Besides the exhibition and technical program, WEFTEC.06 will feature eight facility tours to allow attendees to gain insights on various facilities and technologies. This year’s tours, scheduled to take place in the Dallas metropolitan area, include:
- The city of Dallas’ Southside Wastewater Treatment Plant;
- Trinity River Authority of Texas’ Central Regional Laboratory;
- Lockeed Martin Aeronautics Co.;
- Tarrant Regional Water District’s Richland Chambers Water Reuse Wetland;
- The city of Fort Worth’s Village Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant;
- North Texas Municipal Water District’s Wilson Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant and Southfork Ranch;
- Collection Systems Tour: Trinity River Authority of Texas’ Large-Diameter Interceptor Projects; and
- Trinity River Authority of Texas’ Denton Creek Regional Wastewater System and the Texas Motor Speedway.
WEFTEC.06 also will feature many other events and programs, such as the WEFTEC Orientation, Opening General Session, Operations Challenge, and various receptions and luncheons. One event that shouldn’t be missed is the Water is Life, and Infrastructure Makes it Happen event on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
This program was designed as an ongoing grassroots effort with the goal of educating the general public, local leaders and the media about the value of water and wastewater infrastructure and the importance of investing in its long-term stability. This event will provide a unique opportunity for attendees to hear pilot utilities and WEF MA pacesetters discuss their experiences, the progress they’ve made, and what did and didn’t work in their public outreach efforts.
With the variety of opportunities presented at WEFTEC.06, the show has something for everyone. To help utilities take advantage of this, WEF has introduced its new Utility Partnership Program. Through this program, WEF will work with utilities to customize a registration package that allows for the maximum number of employees to participate at WEFTEC.