WWAC2018 Closing Remarks from general symposium chair Don Dickinson

The 15th annual ISA Water/Wastewater & Automatic Controls (WWAC) Symposium was held August 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, MD just a few miles from the heart of our nation’s capital.  Highlights from the three-day event include a plant tour, presentations from industry leaders, more than thirty technical sessions, a forum on Smart Cities initiatives, and an exhibitor showcase featuring automation solutions for the water sector.

The symposium kicked off on Tuesday with a tour of the DC Water Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, the largest plant of its kind in the world. On an average day, the facility treats close to 300 million gallons of wastewater and has capacity to treat over 1 billion gallons a day at peak flow.  Many thanks to our hosts at DC Water for the tour.

Speakers Dinner was held Tuesday evening.  The gathering is a means to organize the many symposium speakers but more importantly, it helps to establish the great camaraderie that is an important ingredient of the symposium.

The WWAC Symposium officially kicked off Wednesday with the keynote speaker, Dr. Charles Bott, Director of Water Technology and Research for Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD).  Dr. Bott energized the symposium with his passionate account of HRSD’s vision for advanced water treatment and managed aquifer recharge in eastern Virginia known as SWITF – Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow.

The invited speaker for Wednesday was Matt Barrett, Program Manager for the NIST Cybersecurity Framework who provided context for the recently updated Framework and how it connects with cybersecurity guidance from ISA and AWWA.

The engaging presentations by Charles and Matt were a perfect set up for the first of more than thirty technical sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.  The technical sessions covered a wide range of topics relating to the application of technology and automation in the water sector.

A highlight of the technical sessions on Wednesday was a presentation on insights gained from the IEEE Smart Cities Technical Community and the role intelligent water systems play in the Smart City movement.  The presentation was followed by a forum discussion on Smart Cities initiatives led by Barry Liner with the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

An additional benefit for symposium attendees was CEUs/PDHs offered by symposium Technical Co-sponsor, the Chesapeake section of AWWA.  The Chesapeake Water Environmental Association (CWEA) and the Water Environmental Federation (WEF) were also Technical Co-sponsors for the symposium.

Wednesday was capped off with a reception in the exhibitor showcase area that provided the opportunity to continue discussions spurred by the day’s presentations and to further engage the more than 25 exhibitors.  Special thanks to our sponsors who are listed below.

On Thursday morning Barry Liner, Director of WEF’s Water Science & Engineering Center, returned to give an industry update and to introduce attendees to the LIFT Challenge.  The LIFT (Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology) Intelligent Water Challenge is a joint effort of The Water Research Foundation and the Water Environment Federation (WEF).  The purpose of the Challenge is to demonstrate the value of intelligent water systems to utilities and thereby foster the adoption of smart water technologies. The Challenge is supported by American Water Works Association (AWWA), Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN), and the ISA Water and Wastewater Division (WWID). The winner of the LIFT Challenge was announced in October at WEFTEC.

Kevin Morley, AWWA Manager of Federal Relations, provided an industry update from the perspective of AWWA and then adroitly filled in for invited speaker Patricia Lamb, DC Water Program Manager for Critical Infrastructure Protection, who unfortunately was unable to attend the symposium as planned.  Kevin shared Patricia’s presentation that reviewed DC Water and Sewer Authority’s first, enterprise-wide AWWA J100 Risk and Resilience Assessment completed earlier this year.

Before starting the second day of technical sessions, Pavol Segedy, ISA WWID Industry Director presented awards for the best paper and presentation from the 2017 WWAC Symposium, along with awards for WWID Member of the Year and Exceptional Service to WWID.  The list of individual awards is listed below. (list to be included at end of article for newsletter).

After another day of informative technical sessions, the WWAC Symposium concluded Thursday afternoon with a wrap up session and a reminder to save-the-date for the 2019 symposium to be held in Orlando.  Hope to see you there!




  •                Bedrock
  •                Delta
  •                Phoenix Contact
  •                RealiteQ
  •                Rockwell Automation


  •                Hach
  •                OWL Cyber Defense


  •                Indegy
  •                Schneider Electric
  •                VTScada


  •                EMA


  • Chesapeake AWWA
  • Chesapeake WEA
  • Water Environmental Federation (WEF)