Annnnnnd they're off! A team of wastewater operators and technicians begins WEFTEC's Operators Challenge. Kieffer Photography
Annnnnnd they're off! A team of wastewater operators and technicians begins WEFTEC's Operators Challenge. Kieffer Photography

Since 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) has championed innovation, connected industry professionals, and leveraged knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. Every year, the non-profit technical and educational organization’s 36,000 members meet to share their experiences and test new products, processes, and services.

And indulge in a little friendly rivalry vis-à-vis events like the Operations Challenge. The year-long battle of local WEF chapters culminates during WEFTEC with finalists squaring off to see which possesses greatest mastery of collection systems, laboratory, process control, maintenance, and safety.

At the same time, equipment manufacturers, chemical suppliers, and other vendors demonstrated their wares on the massive trade show floor. (Here are just a few new products from exhibitors.)

Four of those companies received an Innovative Technology Award:

Flygt Experior: a pumping system that integrates hydraulics, motors, and controls
Flygt, a Xylem Brand
Charlotte, N.C.

ThermWin: a process that recovers and uses heat generated by sewage
Huber Technology Inc.
Huntersville, N.C.

WAVE (Water Analysis via Exploration): a crowd-funded process for instantaneously sampling and mapping water quality results
Industrial and Environmental Concepts Inc.
Lakeville, Minn.

Webitat for Lagoons: a retrofit option for improving biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) removal and nitrification
Entex Technologies Inc.
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Finally, the recipients of WEF’s other annual awards were formally acknowledged:

Public Officials Award
Penelope Gross, Fairfax County, Va., Board of Supervisors
Ken Ulman, County Executive of Howard County, Md.

Water Quality Improvement Award
Narragansett Bay Commission
Providence, R.I.

WEF Safety Award?

Orange County Sanitation District
Fountain Valley, Calif.

Congratulations to all!