By Timothy Wedin
In October, I received a phone call from Patti Craddock, whom many of you recognize from her many roles in both the Minnesota Section and in CSWEA. She had been monitoring the work that several State agencies had been doing on a Water Reuse Guidance document. A draft document had been released for public comment, and we agreed that, as a professional association, we should weigh in on the document.
We began by creating an Ad Hoc committee, whose task was to review the document and determine what we thought they got right, and what we thought should be improved. Immediately, it was clear that the three weeks that we had would not be enough time to do a thorough review of the document. We each worked on the portion of the report that we felt the most familiar with, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the report. In the end, we submitted comments to the workgroup that we thought would help move the idea of water reuse forward.
Since our formation in 1927, wastewater treatment requirements have evolved. We have moved from focusing on BOD and TSS to discussions of Contaminants of Emerging Concern, including pharmaceuticals and personal care products. The State’s guidance document also indicates a beginning of a discussion around water reuse, both for potable and non-potable uses. These discussions will need to include input from wastewater professionals who are not only familiar with the technologies needed to provide this level or treatment, but who are also aware of the costs of these technologies.
The Minnesota Section, along with CSWEA and WEF, will continue to provide input on these discussions. I am continually impressed with the degree of knowledge our organization possesses. Again, our review of the State’s Water Reuse Guidance document relied on input from a variety of individuals, spanning several organizations and interests. As an organization, I hope that we can continue to provide our technical expertise to help shape the wastewater industry in the state.
As wastewater professionals, we need to continue to be a part of the conversation on topics that affect our industry. Opportunities such as the WEF Fly-in are a terrific way to keep us in front of our legislators as they draft laws that affect our industry. I hope that you will continue to find other ways to help CSWEA’s voice be heard.
In closing, I’d like to give a big, “Thank you,” to the people who stepped up to review the Water Reuse Guidance document.
Alison Sumption, HR Green – Secretary / Treasurer
Josh Gad, City of Mankato
Mark Doneux, Capital Region Watershed District – Stormwater Committee Chair
Tracy Hodel, City of St. Cloud – Resource Recovery & Energy Committee Chair
Patrick Haney, HDR – Resource Recovery & Energy Committee Vice Chair
Chris Harrington, HR Green – Government Affairs Committee Chair
Doug Henrichsen, Brown & Caldwell – WEF Delegate
Patti Craddock, SEH