When I started working on WaterWorld magazine in December of 2015, I knew little about the way water — or wastewater — was treated. I knew I liked water, but unless there was a problem with the tap in my home, I rarely thought much about the steps involved in getting clean, drinkable water to my sink — let alone the treatment process for things that went down the drain. Since that time, however, I have come to be a bit of a water nerd. It’s not just hyperbole when I say that I love water — in particular the water industry, and the folks that work in it.
I am continually humbled by the efforts of those in our industry working to make it all happen, often times unseen or unknown. That is why working on this magazine is so great: I get to help share the story of what goes on behind the scenes. When I was approached by our Chief Editor, Angela Godwin, about taking the reins of this publication beginning with the January 2020 issue, I was initially apprehensive. But in this, our first issue of a new decade, I think you will find that we have some pretty interesting stories to share with you.
We begin this issue with a look at the legislative and regulatory requirements coming down the pike in 2020 as lead and copper, PFAS, and other contaminants top the list of water and wastewater issues across the nation. On page 10, author Lori Lovely looks at states’ rights, funding, and other legislation to watch in the coming year. With so many changes aligning to affect distribution systems and impact public health, it is truly an exciting time to be a part of the water industry.
In the fall of 2019, I had the pleasure of attending AWWA’s California-Nevada section conference in my hometown of San Diego, Calif. During the event, I attended lectures and programs put on by member utilities. They shared what worked for them in the hopes that their experiences could help other water utilities in the future. During that event, Todd Brewer, senior manager of partnership programs for AWWA, spoke to me about the agency’s efforts to protect wastewater through its Partnership for Clean Water program, providing resources, networking opportunities, and training for outstanding wastewater treatment operations. On page 20, you can read about the program and its successes.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are emerging as one of the most significant public health crises facing drinking water and wastewater utilities. Angela Godwin caught up with Battelle’s PFAS program manager Amy Dindal to talk about these substances and what she and her colleagues are doing to better understand how they work and, ultimately, how to destroy them. It’s exciting research and something that I will look forward to following in 2020, as I know all our readers will. Read more on page 22.
Wrapping up this issue, author Nathan Gastineau talks about connecting with customers through the cloud (page 16), and ABB’s Muhammad Abbas discusses desalination, particularly how technology is helping the industry digitally optimize energy usage and life cycle costs in desalination plants worldwide (page 24).
As we usher in a new year, I want to thank you, dear reader, for your continued support. Here’s to a great 2020 together! WW