Wastewater Digests' top 10 videos of 2023

Jan. 2, 2024
From Xylem's $7.5 billion acquisition of Evoqua to a 2022 interview about PFAS in biosolids, these are the top 10 videos of 2023.

2023 was an interesting year for the water industry. Starting off with Xylem's acquisition of Evoqua, a monolithic $7.5 billion transation and followed just two months later by U.S. EPA's PFAS Maximum Contaminant Level proposal for drinking water, it was a year marked by big headlines.

There also were some interesting trends brewing beneath the surface, which Wasteawter Digest covered all year long via video interviews with industry insiders and experts from the outside looking in. 

What stood out to Wastewater Digest editors was the interest in digitization, artificial intelligence and machine learning for collection systems and wastewater treatment, which bears out in our Top 10 Videos of 2023.

1. Xylem acquires Evoqua Water Technologies

Xylem shocked the water industry Jan. 23 when it announced a $7.5 billion dollar, all-stock transaction to acquire Evoqua Water Technologies. The announcement is just the latest development in an on-going trend of mergers and acquisitions throughout the water industry.

Xylem's Al Cho and Evoqua's Snehal Desai discuss the $7.5 billion all-stock transaction Xylem initiated to acquire Evoqua.

2. Meet the future CEO of Xylem Matthew Pine

Xylem COO Matthew Pine assumed the role of CEO Jan. 1, 2024 following the retirement of current CEO Patrick Decker. Pine was previously the chief operating officer for the global water company and has used 2023 to prepare himself for the shift in his new role, which he discussed with Wastewater Digest at WEFTEC 23 in Chicago.

3. Wastewater, AI and aeration blower performance

Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority used AI to improve the performance of its aeration blowers. But that is only the beginning.

Clint Swope, remote and systems manager for Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority (Delcora) explains how his team learned to trust artificial intelligence and the benefits it has brought to the facility. Chris MacNeel, COO at Freya Systems, shares his thoughts on the future of AI in wastewater and what his team has learned during implementation at Delcora.

4. Demystify collection systems with machine learning

Engineers and utility executives often see machine learning as a mysterious entity that returns results they don't understand, but Chris Ranck from Black and Veatch says that perspective is backwards.

Ranck explains how machine learning can demystify collection systems to create more efficient designs and more reliable outcomes.

5. Build America, Buy America and its implementation issues

A year after it's implementation, projects in the water and wastewater sectors are only just now beginning to grapple with the full effects of the Build America, Buy America Act.

In this interview with Wastewater Digest, Vanessa Leiby, executive director of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA), talks about the law and the issues with its guidance and compliance.

6. Can you trust predictive wastewater analytics?

Automation and AI, such as ChatGPT, are dominating headlines, but what do these digital advancements mean for wastewater operators?

Jenn Baldwin, digital one water strategic growth lead for Jacobs, shares how Jacobs has introduced these systems with its operators and addressed their concerns. She also shares a vision for the future through a one water lens.

7. Are pyrolysis and gasification the answer for PFAS in biosolids?

With the increased focus on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are found in biosolids, the public has growing concerns about destruction of the organic materials that result from wastewater treatment, particularly due to how difficult PFAS are to destroy.

Pyrolysis and gasification are useful tools for managing biosolids, and research from Brown and Caldwell shows it also holds promise for PFAS destruction.

8. California treatment plant uses wastewater gas to fuel garbage trucks

The City of Roseville, California aligned the missions of its wastewater treatment plant and the solid wastes utility to create a greener future while improving its bottom line. The Pleasant Grove Wastewater Treatment Plant uses a co-digetion program to generate renewable natural gas that fuels its solid wastes truck fleet.

Bryan Buchanan and Devin Whittington from the City of Roseville explain how the Pleasant Grove Wastewater Plant generates fuel for the city's solid waste truck fleet.

9. A new way to evaluate the cost effectiveness of I/I reduction

Inflow and infiltration is a problem for all wastewater systems, accounting for a significant portion of overall flow in older systems. Reducing this inflow and infiltration can be very expensive — and so it can be essential to measure the cost-effectiveness of reduction efforts beforehand.

Andy Lukas, wet weather practice leader for Brown and Caldwell, describes a new approach to evaluating infiltration and inflow reduction cost-effectiveness.

10. Jacobs' $450 million contract to remediate the Great Lakes

Jacobs has secured a $450 million contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for clean-up and remediation of the Great Lakes, which is the largest group of fresh water lakes on Earth by total area, and is second largest by total volume.

Susannah Kerr and Huck Raddemann from Jacobs explain how the company is remediating the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total area, accounting for 21% of all freshwater on the planet.

About the Author

Bob Crossen

Bob Crossen is the editorial director for the Endeavor Business Media Water Group, which publishes WaterWorld, Wastewater Digest and Stormwater Solutions. Crossen graduated from Illinois State University in Dec. 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in German and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. He worked for Campbell Publications, a weekly newspaper company in rural Illinois outside St. Louis for four years as a reporter and regional editor.