‘Tis the Season for Conferences

The beginning of December was filled with conferences for Jones Edmunds. We sponsored and/or gave presentations at five different annual conferences, taking the opportunity to learn, engage, and share knowledge with our colleagues, both in-person and virtually.

The Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (FSAWWA) 2020 Fall Conference kicked off the month in a virtual format. Each year, the conference brings together utilities, consultants, manufacturers, regulators, professionals, and students to learn from the industry’s best through technical sessions, workshops, and exhibits. Jones Edmunds’ Infrastructure Project Manager, David Yonge, moderated and presented on Potable Reuse and Water Resiliency, both topics of much interest since passage of the Clean Waterways Act by the Florida Legislature this year.

Next, the Florida Stormwater Association (FSA) held their Winter Conference, also in a virtual format. The conference featured presentations by stormwater experts from across the state including our Water Resources Senior Manager, Justin Gregory, and Senior Vice President, Brett Cunningham. Brett, an FSA Past President who currently serves as the FSA Educational Foundation President, also gave the welcome and Education Scholarship Presentation on the final day of the conference.

The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Legislative Conference and the Florida Association of County Engineers and Road Superintendents (FACERS) Fall Meeting were held in concert together from Jacksonville. The organizations tackled the complicated logistics of hybrid events – offering safe, socially distanced in-person and virtual attendance options to allow members to receive continuing education afforded by the conferences. The FAC conference offered a much-appreciated opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues from across the state. Their legislative agenda was established and there were several interesting presentations on resiliency, water funding, and the impacts of COVID-19. Jones Edmunds Senior Vice President, Terri Lowery said, “It was good to see so many old friends and meet some of the newly elected commissioners from across the state.”

The FACERS conference also included a presentation by Brett Cunningham on the development and implementation of the Mosquito Lagoon Reasonable Assurance Plan (RAP). This project focused on development of a plan to restore water quality in the Mosquito Lagoon within 15 years. Implementation of the restoration activities and projects included in this plan provided a more cost-effective and locally driven path toward attaining water quality standards. Five years since this concept was developed, more than 75% of the projects identified in this plan are in design or beyond, which is a testament to the speed of restoration activities using this process.

The marathon of conferences wrapped up this week with the American Water Works Association Virtual Summit which focused on Water Quality and Infrastructure solutions. The fully interactive online event delivered premier learning and networking opportunities around the latest in water quality, managing aging infrastructure, and utility risk and resilience. David Yonge once again served as a moderator for the first PFAS session at the summit. PFAS are stubborn bioaccumulating forever chemicals that utilities are finding in some drinking water supplies. The presentations covered a Technology Evaluation for PFAS Removal, Innovative Treatments for PFAS Removal, and Resin Treatment for PFAS Removal. David said, “It was a pleasure moderating the PFAS session at AWWA’s Water Quality and Infrastructure Virtual Summit. The speakers did an excellent job on reviewing the effective treatment technologies for PFAS and PFOS removal and explaining the challenges that remain in dealing with residual handling.”

Terri Lowery and newly-elected commissioner Maria Marino at the FAC Legislative Conference