Jeff Theerman, Executive Director of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, presented the 2011 keynote address, Technology and Our Future in the Water Industry. The water industry finds itself in a state of significant change.
Aging infrastructure and increased regulatory requirements from Washington are stressing utility budgets to the limit. Water, Wastewater and Stormwater utilities continue to seek solutions to problems through the implementation of proven and affordable technology. Instrumentation, once confined to plant control rooms, is now spreading to all facets of the water utility. Utilities are exploring the condition of their buried assets through various new technologies that allow for rehabilitation and replacement at the right time in the assets life. Real time control of sewer systems to maximize wastewater storage and thus reduce overflows is now a reality. Aided with real time flow measurement and other parameters from the field, modeling of system performance has been advanced to create better engineered solutions to capacity issues. To address water shortages, the future will include the addition of non-potable water systems which will allow reuse to supplement the existing potable water supplies. The future will include more expensive less plentiful water supplies and higher degrees of wastewater pollution control. Leveraging technology to meet our challenges will be a necessary component of our water future.
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