Cincinnati conference to focus on safe, clean water, improved public health

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Source: Water Environment Federation (WEF)

While most people expect clean water to run from our taps and through our waterways, it would not be clean without the water professionals who work continuously to improve water and public health around the world. Many of these water quality experts will be meeting April 11–12 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Cincinnati for Disinfection 2011, a Water Environment Federation (WEF) specialty conference focusing on the research, methods, and technology of water disinfection and reuse.

Disinfection 2011, a biannual meeting covering all aspects of the disinfection of water, wastewater, reuse water, and biosolids, including treatment and disinfection of wastewater in small communities and households, will be held in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Water Environment Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The research and practices discussed in this conference are simply vital to public health protection,” said Matt Bond, the 2010–2011 WEF president-elect and an associate vice president of Black & Veatch, a global engineering, consulting, and construction firm.

“We just need to think about factors such as emerging pathogens and diseases and how climate change and population growth are increasing interest in water reuse to appreciate the important work of these disinfection experts,” Bond said.

Engineers, scientists, consultants, academics, health officials, wastewater and water treatment plant operators, regulators, graduate students, nongovernmental and stakeholder organizations, government agencies, researchers, manufacturers and their representative groups, and both North American and international industrial communities are scheduled to attend.

WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger is a northern Kentucky native and the former general manager of SD1, which is responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in northern Kentucky.

“What is unique about the conference is it brings together a mix of experts from the U.S. and around the world, sharing unbiased information on the science and application of both high-tech disinfection systems in this country and lower-tech practices to protect public health in developing countries,” Eger said.

“In many ways this is WEF at its best,” he said, “providing a forum for the exchange of research and practice information by the leaders in their respective fields.”

Research and education are key components of the conference. Confirmed presenters include representatives of Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) of Greater Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati, Harvard University, Purdue University, Tulane University, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, Emory University, University of Virginia, National Research Council, and the American Water Works Association.

Conference attendees also will have the opportunity to tour the Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center Facility located adjacent to The University of Cincinnati and one of two major U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research centers in the nation.

  • Local topics to be discussed include:
  • Disinfection along the Ohio River.
  • The use of ultraviolet light in disinfecting cleaned wastewater. SD1 is a national leader in this treatment method.
  • Disinfection issues related to combined sewer overflows (CSOs). Both SD1 and the MSD of Greater Cincinnati are required under federal consent decrees to reduce and mitigate CSOs, which are discharges of untreated storm and wastewater from combined sewers into the environment.

“There is a lot of local expertise, as evidenced by the presentations on local case studies as well as the visit to the EPA’s Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center, a highly respected research and testing facility,” Eger said.

About WEF
Formed in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF and its Member Associations proudly work to achieve our mission of preserving and enhancing the global water environment. www.wef.org

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