WEFTEC.09 Makes a Splash

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Entering its 82nd year, the Water Environment Federation’s ever-expanding Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference is headed for the Sunshine State. From Oct. 10 to 14, some 20,000 water and wastewater professionals from across the globe will gather at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., to take advantage of WEFTEC.09’s educational opportunities, exhibit hall and peer-to-peer networking.

Come Discover

From regulations and research to membrane technologies and water reuse, WEFTEC.09 is water and wastewater professionals’ one-stop source for keeping tabs on today’s most pressing industry topics.

Pre-conference workshops, an abundance of technical sessions, site and facility visits, committee meetings and more grant attendees the opportunity to exchange knowledge, lessons learned, opinions and ideas.

The event will offer 31 workshops and 122 technical sessions, of which some highlights to consider include:

  • Workshop: Aeration 101 – The Fundamentals. Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Workshop: A Practical Guide for Utility Asset Management. Oct. 11, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Session: U.S. EPA Water Reuse Guidelines Update – We Need Your Input! Oct. 12, 10:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Session: Raining Cats and Dogs – Effective Wet-Weather Flow Treatment Strategies. Oct. 12, 1:30 to 5 p.m.
  • Session: The Future of Water Infrastructure Beyond the Stimulus Package. Oct. 13, 8:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Session: Workforce Issues. Oct. 14, 1:30 to 5 p.m.

A limited number of tickets is available for each of nine Orlando-area site and facility tours, including the city of St. Cloud’s Southside Wastewater Treatment Facility, Orange County Utilities’ South Water Reclamation Facility, the Orlando Easterly Wetlands and SeaWorld. Workshop, technical session and facility tour participants are eligible for up to 1.2 continuing education units and 19.5 professional development hours (PDHs), in addition to a number of contact hours.

Time spent exploring the exhibit hall, too, can count toward PDHs and contact hours. Open Oct. 12 to 14—9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily—WEFTEC.09’s exhibition will comprise more than 1,000 companies showcasing their latest innovations. Stick around for an extra hour on Oct. 12 and 13; exhibitors will offer private demonstrations from 5 to 6 p.m.

Come Together

WEFTEC.09’s special events calendar has something for everyone. Consider the following when planning your schedule:

  • Water For People Cycle the West Orange Bicycle Trail. Oct. 11, 9 a.m. to noon. Novice and avid cyclists alike are invited to participate in this second-annual event and pedal for a cause.
  • First-Timers’ Orientation. Oct. 11, noon to 12:45 p.m. Providing handouts and advice, tradeshow trainer Linda McKinney will prepare first-time WEFTEC attendees and new WEF members for a successful event.
  • Opening General Session. Oct. 12, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Dr. Mike McGee, author of “Healthy Waters: What Every Health Professional Should Know About Water,” will deliver WEFTEC.09’s keynote address, discussing the connection between potable water access and public health.
  • Students and Young Professionals Networking & Career Fair. Oct. 12, 1 to 4 p.m. Meet with top environmental firms. Students who submit their résumés one month prior to the event may be eligible for onsite interviews.
  • Industrial Networking Reception. Oct. 12, 5 to 6:15 p.m. Registrants will get together to network and discuss topics such as cost-effective compliance and energy efficiency over food and drinks.
  • Operations Challenge. Oct. 13, 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. For the 22nd year, teams of operators will compete for the title by demonstrating their skills in five events: collection systems, laboratory, process control, maintenance and safety.

Come Prepared

To make the most of their investment in WEFTEC.09, registrants and potential attendees can create a customized agenda using the complimentary Personal Planner available at www.weftec.org. This tool allows a user to search the event’s lengthy list of educational offerings and special events, pulling a to-do list from more manageable day and time, topic, keyword and speaker sections.

Finally, mark your calendar for WEFTEC.10, scheduled to take place Oct. 2 to 6, 2010, at New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Caitlin Cunningham is associate editor for Water & Wastes Digest. Cunningham can be reached at 847.391.1025 or by e-mail at ccunningham@sgcmail.com.

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