Watercon 2013 – Day 2

On the second day of Watercon, I alternated between attending sessions and visiting with exhibitors. Because of access to an outlet, I was only able to live blog a few of the sessions. The links to those are below:

Ice Pigging: Cleaning Mains with Ice – I first heard of this technique from a co-worker and really wanted to learn more about it. The talk was very interesting and informative. One of the key points I took away is that it is a cleaning technique only. You can’t use this for the purpose of removing significant iron and other formations that have formed on the interior of your pipe. You can see in the image below a photo of the slide the speaker showed to demonstrate the type of material removed throughout the process.

WATERCON 2013 Ice Pigging Slide

What is Expected Coating Life for a Water Tank – the presenter showed many case studies and photos from inspections to explain their findings. He said their inspections are showing that the coatings are lasting much longer than the expected life.

Illinois Stormwater Group Recommendations – Regular readers of this blog may remember we reported on the work of this group several months ago and urged people to send in comments regarding the group’s proposed draft (Why is the Illinois Department of Agriculture Determining Stormwater Rules for Cities? and Illinois Considers New Stormwater Regulations). The speaker mentioned they received hundreds of responses and are now revising the recommendations to reflect this input.

Antenna Contracts: What you Need to Know Before you Sign – if you always wondered what you might be missing in reviewing antenna contracts, this is the session you want to check out. Keith Dixon, an attorney with Dixon Engineering, brought up many issues to consider such as ownership, safety, damages, and security. This was a follow up session to the one before: Antennas & Water Towers: Why or Why Not? While I wasn’t able to live blog that one, I did manage to snap this photo showing a huge truss that was installed on a tower for antennas:

WATERCON 2013 Antennas on Tower

The other two sessions I attended but was not able to live blog were Tips for Ductile Iron Pipe System Design & Installation and “Give me a Break” Uncovering the Truth of Water Main Breaks. When I get a chance I will follow up with a summary of those in a later post. In the meantime, I would urge everyone interested in design of ductile iron water mains to stop by the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association booth in the exhibit hall. They have many design guides and resources you can pick up to help you at work. (They also have an interesting website with many resources and some great graphics.)

Vendors – Products

There were many vendors I was able to visit with. I enjoyed talking with Andrew at the Seiler Instrument booth and learning about their new products. Andrew is a good resource for finding out the state of GIS and CAD technology in the public works industry. If you stop by his booth you can pick up information for products that will help integrate and meet all your mapping and data needs. Here is a photo of the Seiler booth:


I also spoke to T.J. and Brian at Ferguson Waterworks. While I just met Brian, I had known T.J. for some time. He is usually the person I call when I need to know something about watermain fittings or meters. He’s also the person who inspired me to write this blog post: Frozen Meters Exposed – Don’t Try this at Home. Here’s a photo of Brian at their booth:

WATERCON 2013 - Ferguson Waterworks Booth

I was also able to visit with the representative from EJ – the former East Jordan Iron Works company. He mentioned they are in the process of reviewing casting designs so if you have any suggestions make sure to stop by and let him know about them. I shared my pet peeve with castings – in the “old days” the curb frames had a circular plate to fit the catch basins and inlets. Then suddenly one year they changed them to have rectangular bottoms. But they still fit over a circular concrete structure! So this leaves little corners hanging over the structure that you have to seal. Of course, not all contractors are going to seal them so the inspector has to try to stand there and make sure each and every little corner is sealed instead of paying attention to important construction activities like the material and drainage of the curb. Maybe with this revision they can figure out how to address this because failures around castings are one of the major generators of work orders for the streets/sewer departments.

Vendors – Training

If you are looking for training, the Environmental Resources Training Center has materials and training schedules available at their booth in the main exhibit hall. IPSI also has a booth on the second floor in the hall outside of the session rooms. Last year I attended my first year of the three-year program and found it to be an intense, highly energetic experience. What makes it so different is the content focuses on teaching all those non-technical skills we rarely have time to acquire as we are moving up the ranks. Everyone who has ever attended can’t say enough about how incredible of an experience IPSI was to them. This year, Dave Lawry and I will also be giving one of the sessions during IPSI that will focus on communication and social media.

Below is a gallery of the photos I have taken while at the conference:


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