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Latest News & Quarterly Newsletters: E-Newsletter Spring 2016


Monday, May 23, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lisa Anderson
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After 15 years, the 2015 Water Quality Technology Conference (WQTC), a prime conference for drinking water quality professionals, came back to Salt Lake City.  And it came with a bang! 

This conference was organized by the American Water Works Association and held at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City on November 15-18, 2015.

Among over a thousand participants, there were 188 attendees from Utah, which set a record high for local participation (historically, only a handful speakers and attendees are lucky participants of WQTCs).  The WQTC is an intense conference, known for high quality of technical presentations, arranged in seven concurrent tracks over three days.  Utah was well represented at technical sessions, with 19 presentations given by local speakers. 

The opening general session was initiated by a dance, performed by a group of young Ute artists and included a welcome from Gene Koontz, AWWA President, and a keynote speech by Dr. Mac McKee, director of the Utah Water Research Laboratory in Logan.  An all day workshop on harmful algae, held at the Utah Public Health Lab, attracted many attendees, who praised the organization, presentations, and enjoyed hands-on experience and depth of learning. 

Another success story came from the organization of the technical tours, offered as pre- and post-conference events.  This year, all four technical sessions combined technical aspects with sightseeing and fun.  These tours took participants to Alta and Snowbird (including a tram ride), Kennecott reverse osmosis plant (and the copper mine!), newly upgraded plant in Orem (as well as a scenic drive to Sundance, and the Point of the Mountain plant, where participants could walk through a plant with no water in it!

The Conference organizers have received several positive comments about the Grand America Hotel; its design, elegance of the interiors, lecture rooms and guest rooms, as well as the services provided by the staff and the food catering.  The out-of-state and the international visitors were praising the City - its beauty, cleanness, the surroundings, the warmth of its people, and the layout of shops and restaurants.   A networking reception organized by the Local Host and sponsored by local consulting and manufacturing firms and held at the Squatters, turned out to be a special attraction, bringing over 250 attendees to enjoy this social event, food and drinks, and an auction organized to support Water For People. 

As Chair of the Local Host Committee for the 2015 WQTC, I would like to thank all the volunteers: the Local Host members, room monitors, and the local booth hosts for the professionalism, effectiveness, and for the extra “touch” in assisting us with the Conference.  This Conference was rated by many as the best of all of its kind held to date by very many of its attendees, presenters, exhibitors, spouses, as well as the staff of American Water Works Association.  The 2015 WQTC left both local and visiting attendees with warm feelings, satisfaction of time well spent, and appreciation for Salt Lake City.  Several conference participants wish that they could come back to another conference in Salt Lake City in the near future. 

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