The Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) and the Canadian Association for Water Quality (CAWQ) hosted the joint Wastewater Management Conference, March 6 – 8, in Hamilton, Ontario. This was the first collaborative event hosted by the two associations. The CWWA Wastewater Management Conference has traditionally focused on management and policy issues surrounding municipal wastewater and biosolids, while CAWQ’s focus is much broader, offering a primarily academic program on research relating to all aspects of water quality, including wastewater and biosolids treatment, drinking water quality and environmental water quality. This collaboration offered a new opportunity for members of both organizations to meet, and opened a dialogue about how to truly move research from the laboratory to reality.
The conference featured presentations focused on utility management and regulatory issues, as well as technical presentations on the latest research on water quality science. The conference included a Q&A session with Environment Canada about the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations, and included panel presentations on implementation challenges for CWWA members across the country. Water researchers, led by Dr. Chris Metcalfe from Trent University, also conducted a panel discussion on emerging contaminants in wastewater, which was very well received and resulted in a very interesting discussion.
Because of the joint nature, and high student attendance, the Conference provided a great opportunity for networking and exploring new ideas. The conference included a “Research to Reality Reception” which showcased our sponsors and exhibitors in a fun, relaxed setting. CWWA also arranged technical tours highlighting the innovative work being done by the City of Hamilton, including a tour of their LEED certified laboratory, their biogas facility, and the restored wetland at Windermere Basin. Overall, the collaborative conference was an unprecedented success for both CWWA and CAWQ. Both associations will be exploring the potential for future collaborations.