Tentative Schedule

VRWA 32nd Annual Conference

April 19-22, 2021

Select the link below to see our complete schedule.  Don't want to miss out on some great sessions.

Monday Class (up to 6 CPEs) - 2 Sessions
Protecting Employees from Internal and External Threats:  Strategies for Keeping the Workplace Safe (W, WW, M, S)
Thomas Bullock (Virginia Risk Sharing Association)

Virginia Risk Sharing Association will teach how to handle diverse situations at work ranging from active shooter and other threats to utilities.  VRSA will also address how to handle the aftermath of such situations with employees, citizens, and media.         

AM Session
9am-11am: Active Shooter/Workplace Violence Response and Prevention
11am-12pm: Crisis Communications

3 W/WW/ Safety/Mgmt CPEs

PM Session
1pm-2pm: How to Have Difficult Conversations
2pm-3pm: Corrective Action and Termination
3pm-4pm: Professional Behaviors in the Workplace
3 W/WW/Safety/Mgmt CPEs


Opening Session (1 CPE) 
Be Water Resilience Ready (W, WW, M)
Karen Edwards-Lindsey (USEPA Water Security Division)

This presentation will discussion the range of risks and the types of assets that are at risk.  AWIA requirements will be discussed and mitigation measures.  Participants will learn about the USEPA's guide, Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters: A Starter Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities.       

FOR COMPLETE SCHEDULE April 19-22, 2021 


Room 1
How to test Sold State Meters on Test Benches Designed for Mechanical Meters and Still Get Accurate Results  (W)
Jim Kiles (Kamstrup), Tom Kelly (Premier Metering Concepts)
While metering technology has seen a rapid development towards highly accurate solid state meters, the associated testing technology used by most US testing facilities has stagnated.  This creates a set of challenges for both manufactures and utilities.  Factors impacting meter testing will be discussed and examples given on how to adjust test benches designed for mechanical meters to achieve accurate results.

Piping Valve Material Thru the Years  (W)
David Burns (Core & Main) 
This presentation will cover our aging infrastructure in regards to types of pipes and valves.  Also there will be an overview of the design of those pipes and the challenges we all face in maintaining our distribution systems. 

Best Practices for Distribution Flushing, Fire Flow Testing, and Sampling  (W)
Pat Burke and Chris Burkett (Ferguson Enterprises) 
Distribution lines can accumulate all sorts of things that can have a negative impact on water quality, fire flows, and distribution system efficiency.  In addition, oversized water mains and dead ends can make it difficult to maintain desired chlorine residuals throughout your system.  It is therefore essential to maintain a flushing program, which consists of annual or semi-annual unidirectional flushing.  In addition it is critical to maintain fire flow testing.  This course will help provide new ways to perform sampling.

Piloting New Ceramic & Polymeric UF Membranes on the Dan River  (W)
Clay Samples (Halifax County Service Authority) and Timothy Natoli (Bowman Consulting) 
This session will discuss the piloting process of new ceramic and polymeric membranes in respect to the Leigh St WTP.  Participants will gain a better understanding of how to pursue a membrane pilot and gain confidence in operating the pilot process.

Water Leak – Practice & Pitfalls  (W)
York Grow (Duncan-Parnell) 
Non-revenue water loss is an important topic as the value of water increases and our responsibility to conserve water becomes more important.  The average age of a water system and the typical material of new installations bring a series of challenges to detecting where water is leaking.  There are various technologies available to assist with detecting water leaks.  This session will provide a review of some of those technologies but more importantly the cautions and pitfalls to ensure that time in the field are productive.

Design Build Success Story: Major WTP Upgrade On-Time & Under Budget  (W)
Timothy Natoli and Ken Baybutt (Bowman Consulting) and Kyle O’Brien (Town of Broadway) 
Hear the Town of Broadway’s success story in a WTP upgrade.  Through their experience, you can gain a better understanding of how to pursue a Design Build Project and how it can work for you.

Fast-Tracked Chemical System Upgrade to Meet Critical Regulatory Compliance  (W)
Brett Heim, PE (Dewberry) and Brenton Payne, PE (Gloucester County Engineering Director) 

In this presentation, see how Gloucester County dealt with regulatory concerns of TTHMS in water.  There will be a discussion about the effect of chlorine disinfection of DBP formation and regulatory environment.


Room 3
Water and Wastewater Plant Instrumentation  (W, WW)
TJ Johnson (Delta Systems Environmental) 
Participants will learn the reasons flow needs to be monitored at WWTP and water plants.  Instrumentation and procedures used to measure will be discussed.  Both open channel and full pipe flow applications will be addressed.

Ceramic Membranes, the Fiber-Free UF Offering a 20 year Life   (W, WW)
Thomas Stanton (Water Membranes Systems, LLC) 
The presentation discusses ceramic membranes for use in the municipal water and wastewater treatment fields.  The presentation traces the history and development of ceramic membranes.  It will discuss how these membranes are made, what they are made of and how they are assembled in order that they can be used in the various water and wastewater treatment applications.  Immersed and pressurized configurations will be discussed and completed projects will be shown.

Variable Frequency Drives for Pumping – Best Practices and VFD Reactive Maintenance  (W, WW)
Nathan Marks (Graybar Electric) and Theo Kekis (Schneider Electric)
This presentation will explain the difference between the variable frequency drives and soft starts for pump motors in the water and wastewater markets.  Presenters will also share applications for pump motors, reactive maintenance, disaster recovery plan, diagnostics, the correct wiring and grounding needed, H2S gas mitigation and corrective actions.

Water Loss Through Pressure Management  (W, WW, M, Safety)
Jason Barrettt (Flomec) and Ryan Carrol (Singer Valve)
In this presentation, participants will learn the cause of non-revenue water losses.  Leakage reduction measures and solutions to mitigate NRW losses will also be discussed.

Implementaiton of an Alternative Water Supply for the Old Oaks Community (W, Groundwater)
Bruce Strickland (Timmons Group) and Matt Longshore, PE (Goochland County)
This session will cover the Corrective Action Plan associated with the release of gasoline from an underground storage tank (UST) into the groundwater below Crozier, VA.  Presenters will discuss the history, funding, stakeholders, design, and construction of the Crozier water system expansion to replace the contaminated drinking wells in the Old Oaks community.

A Practical Foundation for Asset Management  (W, M)
Vernon Madrid (Madrid’s Maintenance Management Solutions) and Nathan Carroll (Bedford Regional Water Authority)
A variety of aspects of asset management will be discussed: the culture shift required for asset management; selecting software-core requirements; the pyramid of optimization; properly capturing maintenance work and costs; and getting on top of your PM work and heading towards optimization.

The Transition from Manual Read to Smart Metering in Rural Communities  (W, M)
Leslie Barksdale, PE (Dewberry) and Mark Estes & Scott Erhardt, PE (Halifax County Service Authority)
HCSA is transitioning to a completely radio based communication system that is interactive and transparent to customers.  Reliable water accounting, improved customer service increased revenue from water loss, and reserved resources are a few of many goals for HCSA achieved by this project.  Participants will learn the why from HCSA, the how behind specification development and bidding, and lessons learned to date with meter installation and AMI integration.

Room 2
Bioaugmentation and the Biological Process  (WW)
Dick Maccueski (Maryland Biochemical) 
The class consists of a description of the biological process of wastewater treatment.  Also there will be a discussion of augmentation for F, O, & G, nutrient removal, and reducing sludge handling costs.

Precast Manhole & Vault Installation – Best Practices  (WW, Safety)
Hank Gottschalk (Concrete Pipe & Precast) 
This session will cover best practices for installation of precast concrete manholes, vaults, and other buried structures.  Topics include delivery, safe lifting, handling & storage, inspection, accepting and/or repairing damaged sections, foundation & bedding, stacking & joining sections, pipe connections, and backfill requirements.

Infrastructure Rehabilitation with Spray Applied Coatings  (WW)
Mike Hoffmaster (Pleasants Construction) and Dustin Schlachter (OBIC LLC) 
Participants will get a look at how unprotected assets become costly repairs.  With the application of high quality coating, owners can protect and defend their infrastructure and systems against costly failures and future problems.  Many underground assets have outlived the original life cycle and with cost effective alternatives, the assets can be set for generations to come.

Protecting Against I&I in Manholes  (WW)
Bob Loughney (Aqueous Sales, Inc.) 
This presentation will discuss solutions for maintaining a watertight seal with manhole adjusting rings resulting in significant cost savings.  Learn about reducing I&I in manholes to meet EPA requirements.

Modeling for Success: Upgrading Lagoon Based Treatment Systems to Meet More Stringent Limits for BOD, TSS, and Nutrient Removal  (WW, M)
Mark Rasor (Lemna Environmental Technologies) 
Wastewater treatment process design modeling software, which models biological, chemical, and physical treatment processes, can be used to optimize the design, performance and reliability of lagoon based treatment systems.  Learn how this software can simulate models which analyze performance of existing facilities and the expected performance of proposed facilities.  It can be used to investigate the impact of various changes in loadings and temperatures and performances with regards to BOD, TSS, and ammonia removal.

Wastewater Cleaning: Nozzles  (WW)
John Goughenour (ENZ USA, Inc.) and Mark Tredway (Atlantic Machinery)

This training class will cover efficient sewer cleaning – soft blockages, hard blockages, sewer back-ups, removal of roots, removal of grease and removal of mineral deposits for sanitary collection and storm water systems.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Clousres: Flow Diversions Using Multiple Construction Delivery Methods to Facilitate WWTP Closures  (WW)
Ryan Delo (RK&K, LLP) 
The topics will focus on contracting delivery methods for projects required to close up to three WWTP and divert flows to other facilities.  Closure of the facilities was determined to be a cost effective alternative to costly upgrades.  The projects include the design and construction of pipeline and pump station projects to convey flows to other treatment plants.  The projects will be constructed under multiple construction delivery methods including Design-Bid-Build, Design-Build and Construction Manager at Risk.

Room 4
Transform Your Utility into the Digital World  (W, WW, M)
Michael Brindle & Scottie Short (Lee County PSA)
It’s time to transform your utility into the digital world to become more efficient, save money and make the overall management of your utility safer and easier.  Convert to digital work orders to save time and paper.  Introduce tablets and smartphones into the field to make communication between departments more seamless while making sure everyone is “on the same page”.  Place your billing software in the cloud for security, constant backups and easier management, including the ability to work in the software from anywhere.  Use texts alerts, social media to connect directly to customers.  Peer into this world to see how it can help your utility.

Water Resiliency in Puerto Rico & Global Water Crisis  (W, M)
Christopher Fewster, PE (Blue Ridge Engineering & Construction) and David Inman, PE (Water Mission)
This presentation will cover the impacts of Hurricane Maria on the public water system and how the project stakeholders responded to the emergency and how they are developing a more resilient water system for their emergency shelters in the event of another disaster like Maria.  Water Mission has done some solar water projects in Puerto Rico, and currently are discussing ways to work with Rural Water in Puerto Rico to further strengthen their efforts  in improving these rural water systems.

Strategic Funding Solutions for Rural Water Districts  (W, WW, M)
Austin Shaw (Holman Capital)
This presentation will discuss design bid vs. design build finance strategies and operating lines of credit for short term expenses.  Also learn about the acquisition of lines of credit for fixed assets and about master financing agreements to fund multiple projects.  The cost of waiting is that projects only get more expensive over time.

A Central Virginia Utility’s Road Map to Asset Management Implementation  (W, WW, M)
Jack Reed & Frank Haltom, PE (Prince George County, VA) and Brian Houston, PE & Adrianna Dimperio, PE (Draper Aden)
Asset management is a critical component to every water and wastewater utility, regardless of size, complexity, or system type, and can help a utility maximize the value of its capital and O&M funds.  Prince George County has developed a comprehensive program that provides a road map to move the county to a proactive and robust asset management program.  This presentation will discuss Prince George County’s experience and implementation along with lessons learned.

Utility Benchmarking – Richmond Study (M)
Aziz Ahmed (Cha Consulting)
This presentation will discuss benchmarking idea, scope, and process through an actual benchmarking project done for Richmond.  Through this discussion, see how to compare one’s performance with other utilities and to develop programs/projects to eliminate or minimize the performance difference.

Communicating Emerging Contaminants to Your Customers and the Media  (W, WW, M)
Mike McGill (WaterPIO)
The growing drumbeat of chemical discoveries represents the greatest threat to public confidence in drinking water.  Water utilities have long relied on regulatory guidance to help them handle discoveries in emerging contaminants.  Unfortunately advances in water testing are outpacing the regulatory process and when they make news, the result in drinking water standards that are difficult for utilities to meet without millions in new treatment.  Learn how to develop a communications plan and how to help customers and media understand contaminants in water.

Arc Flash – Awareness, Safety, and Action  (W, WW, M, S)
Nick Huffman, PE (McGill Associates) 
An arc flash is a dangerous condition associated with the explosive release of energy within an electrical distribution system caused by an electrical arc due to either a phase-to-ground or phase-to-phase fault.  This session will dive into what you need to know about arc flash including how to protect employees, understanding of compliance with state and federal laws, and look at risk of facilities.  Attendees will learn about action steps to implement in their organization.