WEFTEC 2022 Show Preview

Sept. 23, 2022
Largest water industry show returns to New Orleans.

For the first time since 2019, WEFTEC will return to New Orleans. The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will host water and wastewater professionals alike Oct. 8 to Oct. 12 for education, networking, and an exhibit hall.

Attendees will have access to educational workshops, technical sessions, learning exchanges, main stage events, technology spotlights and company demonstrations. The show floor also boasts more than 850 exhibitors that will be releasing new technologies, sharing updates to current models and demonstrating their products at the show.

Among the 29 topics covered by this year’s educational track are PFAS, Stormwater and Green Infrastructure, Asset Management, Biosolids and Residuals, Nutrients, and Policy and Regulation.

To help you navigate this event, the Water & Wastes Digest editorial team has reviewed the happenings at the show and have curated a list of editor-selected sessions and events you will not want to miss. Also included in this section are profiles on companies and products that can be found on the show floor along with the company’s booth information.

If you would like to catch up with any of the WWD staff, come visit booth #137. To view the full program, visit weftec22.mapyourshow.com.

Editor’s Note: All times are in Central and all summaries are from WEFTEC’s programming guide. Room locations were not available at press time.

Keynote Address

Kicking off WEFTEC 2022 during the opening session is Keynote Speaker Shama Hyder, CEO of Zen Media, in Dallas, Texas. Hyder is also brand strategist, global speaker and best-selling author. In her address, Hyder will speak to the rapidly evolving water and wastewater sector as it relates to the acceleration of digital technology advancement and use.

According to WEF’s website, Hyder will “share her insights on how modern communications, marketing and branding are more important than ever in the water sector.” Visit Great Hall B at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 10 to hear her keynote speech.

Editor Selected Sessions

Monday, Oct. 10, 2022

Co-Digestion of High Strength Wastes

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Co-digestion, including laboratory research results on fats, oils, and grease (FOD) co-digestion will be the focus of this highly engaging panel discussion. This session will also look at research results on organic feedstock pretreatment and management practices and lessons learned from a recent co-digestion and cogeneration projects. Attendees will get the most from attending the full session.

New Tools for Planning and Executing Effective Storm Water O&M

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

New strategies and resources for addressing the perennial stormwater 'hot topic' and challenge of operation and maintenance are the focus of this session. Participants will explore the new WEF Stormwater O&M Manual of Practice, see how maintenance of the SCMs in Chesapeake Bay is going, and learn how to blend their green infrastructure into their grey infrastructure asset management systems. This is a must see for those looking for ideas on how to keep their systems going.

PFAS From Coast to Coast: Five Perspectives on Strategies and Next Steps

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Our exciting panel discussion assembles a lineup of PFAS experts from across the United States, representing the federal government, state agencies, a large metropolitan water provider, and the private sector. They will provide insights on current topics such as upcoming federal PFAS regulations, pre-treatment efforts taken to prevent PFAS from entering wastewater systems, removing PFAS from contaminated drinking water sources from a utility, and solutions for PFAS destruction and disposal. After remarks from each, you will have the opportunity to engage in a lively panel discussion around the subject of PFAS.

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022

Funding, Financing, and Grants

8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Come to this learning exchange to talk with peers about making capital plans a reality through a variety of approaches for funding, financing, and grants. We will be discussing avenues of cashflow from traditional revenue bond financing and state-revolving loan programs, recently enhanced thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to regionalization efforts for cost-sharing benefits or new fees for existing services, such as stormwater management. In addition to discussing sources of funds, we will dig into challenges of different sources, such as Buy American provisions, packaging projects strategically and successfully for grant opportunities, and discussing the latest on rating agencies criteria on revenue and fiscal stability, environmental, social and governance, (ESG) and affordability.

Guidelines for Optimizing Nutrient Removal Performance

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The findings and outcome of the Water Research Foundation project WRF 4973 Guidelines for Optimizing Nutrient Removal Plant Performance will be presented during this session. This research investigated approaches used to optimize existing WRRFs for nutrient removal, utilize full-scale examples for how it is done and to produce a guide on how to optimize WRRFs for nutrient management.

PFAS in Biosolids: New Approaches to Removal

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

PFAS in biosolids have the potential to derail beneficial reuse via land application due to the potential impacts to groundwater and transfer into agricultural crops. This session will compare different PFAS removal technologies in biosolids in terms of their development and implementation, and further summarize the lessons learned from different case studies employing these technologies. A detailed summary on the fate of PFAS through pyrolysis systems and optimum analytical methods for establishing a PFAS mass balance across solids treatment process will also be presented during this session.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

Workforce – How do we engage the next generation?

8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. | 348-349

The Great Resignation (also known as the "Big Quit") has led to labor shortages across the globe, and the Water Sector has not been immune. WEF's Water's Worth It campaign has been developed in an effort to attract more young people to our industry – but what can we do to keep them here? The goal of this learning exchange is to provide an opportunity to discuss workforce challenges with all levels from young professionals, to C-level executives. Learn from each other about what is important to the individuals across the workforce generations.

Cybersecurity Strategy and Tactics

10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

WaterISAC, the water and wastewater sector's security information provider, will lead an interactive panel discussion among subject matter experts and audience members on cybersecurity risks and best practices. Panelists from utilities both large and small will share their experiences with cyber incidents and recovery and discuss in practical terms the types of best practices water and wastewater systems can affordably adopt to reduce the risks of a cyber attacks.

Rates, Complaints, and Floodgates: Examples of Successful Stakeholder Engagement

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Engaging stakeholders is paramount to the success of publicly acceptable rate increases, construction projects, or community-based art and education programs. This session will cover three examples of how two utilities and a WEF student chapter engaged their communities successfully on issues that might otherwise have received public pushback.

Networking Opportunities

Throughout WEFTEC there are networking events to find new friends, experts and colleagues in an environment to share ideas, tips and tricks, and technical knowledge to others. Grow your professional network by attending these professional gatherings.

Monday, Oct. 10, 2022

Utility Management Meetup | 11:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. | Booth #3300

Biosolids Resource Recovery Meetup | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | Booth #6513

Collection Systems and Conveyance Meetup | 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. | Booth #1729 Hall C

Government and Regulatory Affairs Meetup | 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. | Booth #3300

Facility Operations and Maintenance Meetup | 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Booth #4562

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022

Small Communities Meetup | 11:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. | Booth #4609

Women in Water Meetup | 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. | Hall G

Water and Wastewater Treatment Meetup | 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. | Booth #3300

Pathways for Emerging Professionals Meetup | 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. | Booth #1729 Hall C

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

Industrial Water Resources Meetup | 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Booth #1729 Hall C

People of Color Meetup | 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Booth #3300

Competitions & Notable Events

Monday, Oct. 10, 2022

Operations Challenge Process Control Event | 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. | Booth #4562

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022

Utility Leaders Afternoon, including the Utility of the Future Today Awards, co-hosted by WEF, NACWA, US Water Alliance, WateReuse, and WRF | 1:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

WEF Awards and Presidential Celebration Ceremony | 5:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Operations Challenge Awards Reception | 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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