Water Conservation on Tap at ACE12

The American Water Works Association’s 131st Annual Conference and Exposition, also known as ACE12, is flowing smoothly at the Dallas Convention Center. About 2,000 water professionals attended the opening session on June 11, hearing AWWA President Jerry Stevens and Executive Director David LaFrance discuss their contributions to public health and the huge challenge of updating the aging U.S. water infrastructure. The session was offered as a live webcast, as well.

LaFrance and guest speaker Steve Roberts, a veteran political journalist, both referred to the AWWA "Buried No Longer: Confronting America's Water Infrastructure Challenge" report, which said the job of restoring that infrastructure will cost $1 trillion by 2025. Roberts warned the audience to expect little support from a divided Congress.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke at a June 12 public officials breakfast about the importance of water conservation, which is a priority for the Dallas Water Utilities department. The breakfast and caucus was free to registered public officials, part of a public officials program including 12 hours of certificate training and a peer networking reception.

Other sessions that are being offered live online from the conference included one about advances and new applications in water treatment, a briefing on new regulatory actions, and a session on water main restoration. Five sessions will be available on demand July 24, Aug. 17, and Sept. 18.

Everything for water -– pipes, valves, filters, membrane treatment systems, flow recorders, leak detectors, gas detectors, fire hydrants, lab equipment, instrumentation, manhole covers, pipe linings, SCADA systems, screens, tank inspection machines, tapping equipment, corrosion inhibitors, UV systems, sludge collectors, chemicals, and much more -– are on display in the expo. The hotly contested pipe tapping competition finals will take place there June 13, with four-person teams from across North America competing to complete the fastest fault-free tap of a pressurized, cement-lined ductile iron pipe. The “Best of the Best” water taste test competition took place June 12.

Award winners honored during the conference include Dr. Mark LeChevallier, director of innovation & environmental stewardship at American Water (Voorhees, N.J.), winner of the Abel Wolman Award of Excellence; Steve Hrudey, A.P. Black Research Award winner and professor emeritus in analytical and environmental toxicology at the University of Alberta; and Kenneth Bouchard, retired director of facilities at the Vista (Calif.) Irrigation District, winner of the Distinguished Public Service Award.

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