Jul 26, 2010

AMTA Sets New Attendance Record With Recent Conference

Conference took place in San Diego and welcomed 730 people to topics including brackish and seawater desalting, wastewater treatment and reuse and bioreactors

“The wave of the future has arrived,” stated the American Membrane Technology Assn. (AMTA) theme for its San Diego annual conference, which was held July 12 through 15, 2010, with a record attendance of 730 people, according to an article written by Program Chair Irving Moch, Jr., Ph.D. The conference covered membrane topics including technical information on brackish and seawater desalting, wastewater treatment and reuse and bioreactors. News from an international perspective was discussed, as well as project financial planning. Papers covered concentrate management and the successful use of membranes in significant plants.

Bud Lewis, chairman of the San Diego County Water Authority, opened the conference; and the keynote address was given by Michael Gabaldon, director of technical services, U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, who discussed the bureau’s role in water resources.

Paul Shoenberger, general manager of Mesa Water District, talked about the advocacy objectives of CalDesal, a voice in California’s municipal water distribution and treatment districts.

Prior to the AMTA conference, the Second Osmosis Membrane Summit took place with 125 attendees. The summit covered forward osmosis (FO) in desalination and pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) in power generation industries. Speakers from all over the world, led by Statkraft, presented their latest results in membrane and system development, as well as the current status of the different applications, according to Moch.

AMTA and Southwest Membrane Operator Assn. (SMOA) held a successful workshop on operator training. An added feature to this year’s conference, wrote Moch, was a student forum that presented oral and poster papers by tomorrow's scientists.

Post-conference, a facility tour of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District water treatment plant was held. Best Paper was awarded to Bob McVicker of Mesa Consolidated Water District for “Treatment of High Color, Low TDS Groundwater Using Low Rejection Polyethersulfone Nanofiltration Membranes.”

Best Poster was awarded to Jami Cerone of HDR Engineering for “Got Treatment...What About a Place for the Waste? The Need to Develop a Concentrate Management Plant Prior to Desalination Treatment Selection.”

The Best Student Paper award went to Loreen Villacorte of UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft, Netherlands, for “Irreversible Fouling of Ultrafiltration Membranes caused by Transparent Exopolymer Particles (TEP) in Seawater UF-RO Treatment, (Inline) Coagulation or Precoating for Seawater UF/RO Systems?”

Next year’s conference, “Membranes are the Solution,” takes place July 18 to 21, 2011, in Miami Beach, Fla.