Environmental Protection

Big WEFTEC Crowd Heading to New Orleans

Only a month after Hurricane Isaac swept past the city, the largest annual water quality conference will bring an estimated 18,000 attendees to the downtown Morial Convention Center.

Only a month after Hurricane Isaac swept past New Orleans and caused extensive flooding near the city, WEFTEC®, the Water Environment Federation's Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, will attract an expected 18,000 water quality professionals to the city’s downtown Morial Convention Center. It is the largest annual water quality conference and will feature 150 sessions, 24 workshops, six facility tours, and nearly 1,000 exhibitors.

The event begins Sept. 29 and will close Oct. 3. WEFTEC 2011, which took place in Los Angeles, was slightly smaller, with 114 technical sessions and 923 exhibitors.

WEFTEC 2012 includes a stormwater pavilion encompassing more than 10,000 square feet of exhibit space, a laboratory mobile session, a thickening and dewatering mobile session, and an Innovation Pavilion Oct. 1-3. The Water Leaders' Summit from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Oct. 2, another highlight, is a session where CEOs and utility managers discuss issues affecting the water industry.

Workshops and technical sessions cover the full spectrum of water and wastewater issues, including facility operations and maintenance, watershed management and sustainability, disinfection and public health, collection systems, stormwater management, and water reclamation and reuse.

Cleanup of Isaac's debris continues in the city of New Orleans, with city workers and contract crews having collected 118,075 cubic yards of debris citywide as of Sept. 17. Deputy Mayor for Operations Michelle Thomas is leading the cleanup effort. "We are continuing to deploy crews and utilize all of the resources that we have at our disposal to conclude a compelete cleanup of debris following Hurricane Isaac," Thomas said. "We have made significant progress and are committed to getting things back to normal as soon as possible."

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