WEFTEC Goes Industrial in Windy City

It will be hard to top the record numbers from last year's WEFTEC, but Chicago – which hosts the 81st annual event – isn't one to shirk off a challenge.

by Carlos David Mogollón, Managing Editor

It will be hard to top the record numbers from last year's WEFTEC, but Chicago – which hosts the 81st annual event – isn't one to shirk off a challenge.

In 2007, the San Diego event drew some 19,929 attendees and hosted 1,017 exhibiting companies covering 268,405 square feet of trade show floorspace – all records. The conference program covered 15 technical tracks and included a record 119 sessions, 29 workshops and eight facility tours.

WEFTEC.08 will be held in the expansive confines of McCormick Place. Keynote speaker for the Opening General Session, Sunday, Oct. 19, is Prof. John Anthony Allan, the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate and a professor at King's College London who pioneered the concept of "virtual water" which measures how water is embedded in the production and trade of food and consumer products.

The by-invitation-only Industrial Networking Reception, Monday, 5:00-6:15 p.m., offers an opportunity to develop relationships with key leaders working on a variety of industrial water and wastewater issues. For details, email: indreception@wef.org

The Industrial Tour is Tuesday, Oct. 21, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., at Abbott Laboratories Wastewater Pretreatment Plant. Other tours during WEFTEC.08 include the Jardine Water Purification Plant, Chicago Center for Green Technology, Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, Chicago's Deep Tunnel, John G. Shedd Aquarium and Chicago River.

There are three purely "industrial" themed workshops or sessions:

• W202: Tackling Industrial Wastewater Treatment Challenges, Sunday, Oct. 19, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., chaired by Ajit Ghorpade, of N.A. Water Systems LLC, and Wes Eckenfelder, of AquAeTer Inc., who was the subject of Industrial WaterWorld's "Executive Corner" column interview in January-February 2008.

• S76: Innovative Water Reuse in Industrial and Commercial Applications, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 1:30-5:00 p.m., with moderators Intel's Vyacheslav Libman, CDM Inc.'s Don Vandertulip, and Doosan Hydro Technology's Jorge Aguinaldo.

• S84: Optimization of Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 8:30-10:00 a.m., with moderators Brown & Caldwell's David Marrs, Eastman Chemical's John Barber and Ghorpade.

Companies with presenters include Veolia Water North America, Arcadis, Patterson Environmental Consulting, Singapore Utilities International Pte. Ltd., Malcolm Pirnie and Craddock Consulting Engineers

Themes on pharmaceutical, PPCP and antibiotic contaminants are included also in sessions such as Water Reclamation & Reuse, Leading Edge Research and Public Communications & Outreach, and other industrial themes are touched on in Safety & Security as well as Microconstituents sessions.

Additional highlights include a luncheon and lecture co-hosted by the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) and the 23rd Annual EPA National Clean Water Act Recognition Awards Program.

For more, see: www.weftec.org

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