Feb 04, 2009

WEF Vice President Testifies at House Water Resources Hearing

Feb. 4 hearing of the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee focused on improving energy efficiency of wastewater treatment plants

Jeanette Brown, vice president of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), testified Feb. 4 at a congressional hearing of the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The hearing, “Sustainable Wastewater Management,” was an information gathering exercise that specifically focused on improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s wastewater treatment plants.

The House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee has broad jurisdiction over water resources activities including the Clean Water Act and Clean Water State Revolving Funds that help state and local governments meet their water infrastructure needs. Recognizing that energy is one of the highest costs in the wastewater treatment process, it is estimated that our nation’s treatment plants consume more than one percent of all energy used in the U.S. The purpose of this hearing was to identify ways to mitigate this consumption by exploring energy efficient technologies and operations.

As the executive director of the Stamford Water Pollution Control Authority (Conn.) with more than thirty years of experience, Brown provided a real world perspective on energy use and the modern wastewater treatment plant. Her testimony, “Energy Efficiency and Energy Independence for Sustainable Wastewater Treatment,” included recommended approaches to energy efficient wastewater treatment and the relationship between treatment requirements and energy consumption, including the potential for wastewater treatment systems to generate renewable power.

A WEF member since 1976, Brown has made numerous contributions to the Federation through committee membership and leadership. In addition to serving on the WEF’s Board of Trustees and House of Delegates, she has also been a member or served as chair/vice-chair of several Federation committees including the WISE Committee-Developing Guidelines and Training for Wastewater Security and Municipal Wastewater Treatment Design and Technical Practice.