CSWEA Chair’s Message





    By Bob Swirsky

    It’s the end of August and I am a couple weeks late turning this article in, I guess it’s been a busy summer.

    The Illinois section meeting was held virtually on August 10th, the various committee chair people gave their reports and talked about the many interesting events and activities that have taken place and are being planned to take place both virtually and in person. Here is a summary of what was reported.

    Mike gave his Treasurer’s report and presented the 2021 Illinois section budget, it was put up for a vote via email and approved. The Public Education Committee reported that 120 essays were received for the essay contest that was held in April and the awards to the four winners were able to be given to the winners in person.  Mohammed also gave each winner a water garden/fish tank that helps them learn about the water cycle. Public Education Committee is also going to create a virtual tour of a wastewater treatment facility and then offer that service to other members that would like to create a virtual tour their facility that can be used for public relations and education. Other initiatives that are being pursued are different ways to engage students from all grade levels, diverse cultural backgrounds and communities. The Membership Committee reported that overall the results received back from the member survey were positive. The people responding said they really liked the operations training and that the response to training was very good. There was an interest expressed for more events to be held in the central Illinois area. The membership committee is also working with the other sections to do some kind of a WEFTEC giveaway. The Student and YP committee reported that shortly after the annual meeting a volunteer event to do maintenance on the 2019 WEFTEC project at the Maria Salsedo School in Chicago was held. Nick said the event went well and that some new plants were added and that some before and after drone photos of the maintenance being performed were posted on CSWEA social media pages. Nick is tentatively planning a trip to U of I in the beginning of September to make a presentation to the students there. The collection System/Stormwater Committee is continuing to consider the possibility of an in-person seminar to be held down state in November and will plan to hold the regular in-person seminar in Naperville in June. The Stormwater committee is presenting a joint Webinar with Minnesota and Wisconsin on November 18th, covering a variety of topics. The Operations/Safety committee is planning on moving to webinars for training through the rest of the year. Discussions with the Collections/Stormwater committees regarding a combined downstate seminar in November will continue. Government affairs reports that if IAWA is back in person in March they will team up with them for the seminar and if not they will do another virtual seminar. Biosolids/Energy/Resource Recovery reported the formation of an Ad Hoc regional resource recovery committee with members from all three states looking to act as a go between with WEF and local regional issues. Chris said the committee is just getting off the ground and is open to all. Global Water Stewardship is planning to head back to Costa Rica, and the 2022 (Montezuma) & 2023 (Santa Teresa) project communities have been selected. The PWO held their first practice in Janesville in August.

    With WEFTEC in Chicago coming up September looks like it will be a busy time as well.

    Thank you to all the committee members that keep working hard to make sure the association can provide all these opportunities for education, involvement and networking.

    Thank you,


    Mission Statement

    To provide a Water Environment Federation (WEF) organization (Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin) offering multiple opportunities for the exchange of water quality knowledge and experiences among its members and the public and to foster a greater awareness of water quality achievements and challenges.