WATERCON is the Illinois Section of the American Water Works Association’s (ISAWWA) annual conference to bring together utility personnel, regulators, industry suppliers and manufacturers, and professional consultants. Each year, we are enthusiastic about new networking and learning opportunities. Several Clark Dietz staff participated in conference activities including Project Engineer Tom Foley, PE, who presented one of this year’s educational sessions. We left the conference reinvigorated by trends and topics important to our communities:
1. Project Funding
Several of this year’s presentations concentrated on funding options, infrastructure and financial planning, and asset management. Utility professionals will continue to be interested in grants and State Revolving Fund loans for wastewater/stormwater and drinking water projects.
2. Lead Services
Critically important to the health and safety of communities and constituents, new Lead and Copper service rules were the focus of a number of educational sessions. Illinois recently passed the Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) and Notification Act and municipalities/water utilities’ need to identify and replace lead service lines is an ever-increasing priority. Major concerns for conference goers were safety of public employees, funding/payment, coordination with residents for work on private property, and overall awareness. New federal funding for LSLR’s will be important to completing cities’ non-compliant infrastructure.
3. Committed Utility Partners
Clark Dietz wants to extend a special thanks to our client, the City of Elmhurst, for their continued trust in our commitment to engineering quality of life. Tom Foley presented Large Pump Station, Small Footprint, an overview of the design challenges and lessons learned to upgrade large capacity (100+ MGD) stormwater pump stations on very small sites on the banks of Salt Creek. The session detailed our approach to stormwater pump station improvements including pump design, energy efficiency, retrofit challenges, redundancy considerations, permitting, and construction challenges on a small site.
We also made time for special events like the annual drinking water taste test, once again chaired by Clark Dietz, represented by our own Michael Livermore. Congratulations to the City of Aurora for not only winning the contest, but for gaining the favor of President Lincoln. See you in 2023!