On October 6, Milnes Companies president and CEO Tom Milnes attended seminar “Does Size Really Matter? The Case for Scalable Decentralized Wastewater Treatment” at the 86th annual Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC). The session, which lasted from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., covered the role of decentralized/distributed wastewater treatment in watersheds, the economics of decentralized-distributed systems, successful implementation of decentralized/distributed infrastructure at the community/wastewater level, and making distributed-decentralized treatment profitable.
Dr. Robert Rubin, emeritus professor in Biological and Agricultural Engineering at North Carolina State University, discussed “Scale, Viability and Sustainability of Distributed Wastewater Infrastructure.” He explained the opportunities for distributed infrastructure within growing sub-urban and growing and declining rural areas, options evaluation, environmental assessment, and the five pillars of sustainability.
Ronald Crites, who has 44 years of experience in wastewater treatment and water reuse, presented “Comparative Economics of Conventional and Decentralized Distributed Wastewater Systems.” Crites described the technologies used in decentralized distributed wastewater systems, the conventional treatment costs, natural systems costs, and a comparison of costs. He discussed case studies to emphasize the importance of economics within these systems.
Craig Lindell, president of Aquapoint, spoke about “Closing the Infrastructure deficit Gap by Opening the Policy Options.” In his session, Lindell talked about the non standardized value of onsite and pollution control codes, the infrastructure budget deficit gap, the legislative agenda, perspectives, and adaptive management.
Ted Henifin, the General Manager for Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD), explained “Integrating Large Scale Decentralized Treatment Within a Utility Infrastructure.” Henifin explored the history of HRSD, financial and regulatory considerations, and opportunities for integrating decentralized treatments into utility infrastructures.
Jeffrey J. Keller, P.E., Senior Project Manager in the Water Global Practice at Burns & McDonnell Engineering, talked about “Big Firms and Small Systems: How to Make It Work.” Keller explored the traditional model, the distributed model, and the distributed model 2.0. He talked about the two different paradigms of clients – those who know wastewater and those who do something else – as well as how to bridge the gaps between the two. Keller also explained bettering the team and the future role of the consultant.