Attendance Up at Annual Water Conference in 2013

Colorado Convention Center in Denver, June 9-13.The American Water Works Association (AWWA) held its Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE13) in Denver, Colo., June 9-13. Attendance was up this year as more than 10,500 water professionals from across the country and the globe gathered at the Colorado Convention Center to see the latest products and services available, and to discuss some of the major trends across the industry.

Attendees got down to business, as dozens of technical sessions began following the popular Opening General Session. The day?s professional program saw two pressing water utility issues attract especially rapt audiences: hydraulic fracturing and cyber security.

On Tuesday, public officials and water utility professionals spent the week in Denver getting a step up on the key policy and regulatory factors affecting community water service. Also Tuesday, more than 100 elected officials listened as AWWA president Charlie Anderson, Aurora (Colo.) Mayor Stephen Hogan and others spoke to the challenges of planning and paying for water supply and infrastructure projects in tough economic times.

Continuing the trend from recent years, the hot topic on the exhibition floor was efficiency, particularly on the side of operational efficiency at utilities, as well as maintenance, billing and work order efficiency. Water meters and products and services related to water loss management were also a focus for exhibitors.

Companies and service providers stressed the importance of new technology and how utilities can utilize it to make the best decisions possible in terms of managing resources and spending for infrastructure projects in a climate where budgets are stretched thin. The technology in particular, is one facet of the water utility industry that has seen considerable growth in recent years. Companies developing software dashboards for utilities to manage date are continuously looking for new ways to implement new features of data management, such as GIS, AMI and SCADA into various platforms to increase efficiency.

Among the popular competitions at ACE are the Pipe Tapping Contest, Top-Ops, Meter Madness and the Best of the Best Water Taste Test.

In women?s pipe tapping ? an event that features teams racing the clock to drill into a cement-lined, ductile iron pipe and install a tap ? the San Antonio Water System?s Alamo City Tappers defended their title with a winning time of two minutes and 23.81 seconds. The men?s title also went to a returning champion, with ALSL from Birmingham Water Works winning with a time of one minute, 12.09 seconds.

In the Meter Madness contest, in which competitors must assemble a water meter from a bucket of parts, returning champ Michael Dunavent from Virginia again secured the title, with a winning time of 35.87 seconds.

The Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust captured the 2013 ?Best of the Best? Taste Test title, which features regional winners from throughout North America competing for the best-tasting water. This year?s contest had 23 entrants; 21 section winners and two Colorado host utilities.

After a successful 2013 show, water professionals are looking ahead to next year?s ACE14 which will be held in Boston, June 8-12.?

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Attendance Up at Annual Water Conference in 2013

The American Water Works Association held its Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE13) in Denver, Colo., June 9-13, gathering more than 10,500 water professionals from across the country and the globe to see the latest products and services available and to discuss some of the major issues across the industry.

On Monday, June 10, attendees got down to business as dozens of technical sessions began following the popular Opening General Session. The day’s professional program saw two pressing water utility issues attract especially rapt audiences: hydraulic fracturing and cybersecurity.

On Tuesday, public officials and water utility professionals spent the week in Denver getting a step up on the key policy and regulatory factors affecting community water service. On Tuesday morning, more than 100 elected officials listened as AWWA president Charlie Anderson, Aurora (Colo.) Mayor Stephen Hogan and others spoke to the challenges of planning and paying for water supply and infrastructure projects in tough economic times.

Continuing the trend from recent years, the hot topic on the exhibition floor was efficiency, particularly on the side of energy efficiency, operations and maintenance, and billing and work order efficiency. Water meters and products and services related to water loss management were also a focus for exhibitors. Companies and service providers stressed the importance of new technology and how utilities can utilize it to make the best decisions possible in terms of managing resources and spending for infrastructure projects in a climate where budgets are stretched thin. The technology in particular, is one facet of the water utility industry that has seen considerable growth in recent years. Companies that develop software dashboards for utilities to manage date are looking for new ways to implement different features of data management, such as GIS, AMI and SCADA into certain platforms to increase efficiency.

Competition Winners

Among the competitions at ACE13 are the Pipe Tapping Contest, Top-Ops, Meter Madness and the Best of the Best Water Taste Test.

In women?s pipe tapping ? an event that features teams racing the clock to drill into a cement-lined, ductile iron pipe and install a tap ? the San Antonio Water System?s Alamo City Tappers defended their title with a winning time of two minutes and 23.81 seconds. The men?s title also went to a returning champion, with ALSL from Birmingham Water Works winning with a time of one minute, 12.09 seconds.

Birmingham Water Works won the Top Ops competition as well, which tests the everyday know-how of water treatment operators in a “college bowl” format.

In the Meter Madness contest, in which competitors must assemble a water meter from a bucket of parts, returning champ Michael Dunavent from Virginia again secured the title, with a winning time of 35.87 seconds.

The Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust captured the 2013??Best of the Best? Taste Test title, which features regional winners from throughout North America competing for the best-tasting water. This year?s contest had 23 entrants; 21 section winners and two Colorado host utilities.

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