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Emerging Technologies Survey

Please complete this three-question survey to help the Emerging Technologies Committee identify programming topics for 2021. The committee aims to help PNCWA members identify and share novel technologies and industry practices  by promoting communications and learning opportunities through webinars, Digest articles, and conference programming. Please share your interests so we can focus on the issues most important to you.

Jeff Brown Receives Oregon Region Award

After months of rescheduling because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Mayor of the City of Pendleton, the Public Works Director, and the Oregon Region surprised Jeff Brown with the Oregon Region’s Excellence in Service Award. This is awarded to honor those who have given truly outstanding service in one or more of the following aspects of the water quality industry; providing leadership in the Section, Region, or Member Association, delivering conference teaching and operator training, including the development of training courses that advance the knowledge of water quality operators.

Jeff has served in the following leadership capacities:

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Meet the 2020/2021 InFLOW Participants

When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month we’ll be highlighting our participants and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program.

kyle-ledda-lewarenKyle Ledda-Lewaren
Student @ Oregon State University
Mechanical Engineering, June 2022

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Meet the Racial & Social Justice Subcommittee

Be the change... Ghandi

The Racial and Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Member Services Committee, which was established to ensure the growth of PNCWA by promoting and retaining membership and identifying opportunities to improve member services. Among its goals is to increase the diversity of PNCWA to make the membership more representative of the community at large.

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Water Resource Recovery Facility Spotlight – City of Gresham

City of Gresham Resource Recovery

The City of Gresham was recently awarded the 2020 PNCWA Excellence in Resource Recovery Award, which recognizes programs (nutrient, energy, water, or carbon recovery) that demonstrate outstanding performance in moving the concept of resource recovery forward in the Pacific Northwest region.

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2020 Award Winners

The Awards Committee highlights the achievements and dedication of the people in this industry. Each year, the committee relies on your nominations, and when the awards are given, we need your help in getting the word out to local media and stakeholders. These award recipients have done great work, which should be recognized outside of our association, especially since the benefits extend to everyone.

Click here to learn more about the 2020 award winners.

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Government Affairs Committee Update Dec 2020

You may have seen in the press recently that the U.S. House and Senate agreed upon a 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill. Unfortunately, this agreed-upon version dropped all the wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater provisions, as they couldn’t make the bill neutral with these provisions. It is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers only bill.

There were several workforce, stormwater, and resilience provisions in the House and Senate versions of the bill, as well as Clean Water SRF and Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) reauthorization. Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee staff said that in 2021, they plan to pick up where they left off and try to negotiate agreements on stand-alone Clean Water (wastewater & stormwater) and Drinking Water bills. Sen. Schumer's (D-NY) office re-affirmed that approach yesterday. They will either try to pass those bills early in 2021 or roll them into a major infrastructure package.

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What Are Your End of Year Giving Plans?

Scholarships fundraising

As the end of the year approaches, now is a fantastic time to support the PNCWA Scholarship Program! Donations are tax deductible, and you would be supporting a great program.

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Government Affairs Committee Update Nov 2020


Want to stay updated on regulatory changes in the PNW but don't have time to track all the different agencies? You don't have to! The PNCWA Government Affairs Committee stays on top of issues and gives monthly updates in the PNCWA digest. Not signed up for the digest? We've got you covered. Sign up here. Here's the update for Sept 2020.

Washington State released a draft Chemical Action Plan for PFAS, click here.

The EPA released a draft Affordability Guidance document. Here is the notice.




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Meet Our InFLOW 2020-2021 Participants

Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water, or InFLOW, is a program that began through the Water Environment Federation (WEF) in 2018 and aims to enhance diversity and inclusion in the water workforce. We offer scholarship opportunities to engage underrepresented professionals in WEF programs, solidify their interest in working in the water sector, and increase the probability of long-term success in water.

PNCWA launched its own InFLOW program at the annual conference in 2019. When the organization decided to cancel the annual conference this year, the InFLOW subcommittee wondered what that meant for its program, the core of which was gathering participants at conferences and events to build community. The subcommittee decided to pivot and offer a year-long option for 2020 participants, including a multi-day InFLOW virtual workshop in 2021. Each month we’ll be highlighting our participants and they’ll share why they are excited about this year’s program. Program chair, Brittany Downing, kicks things off in this month’s digest.

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President's Message Oct 2020

Flashback to PNCWA 2009: I was a grad student at Washington State (Go Cougs!) and attended my first PNCWA Conference in Boise. I was there to present my graduate research on phosphorus removal using biogenic iron oxides (a terrifying endeavor, but that’s a different story). Nutrient removal and management is as important as ever and continues to drive utility upgrades and operational challenges that many Pacific Northwest cities are facing. Because nutrients is such an important topic, PNCWA is hosting the Nutrients Summit on October 28 to provide members with high quality continuing education. I recommend you join us to connect with members and learn from leading experts.

While I am optimistic that we are going to have an outstanding year, I also want to share with you that it will not be easy. As a non-profit, volunteer board, we are working to provide education, stay connected to you, and build a resilient organization. Our members, supporting organizations, and commitment and enthusiasm to improve the world around us is what will make us successful this year and beyond. A huge thank you to our Summit Series sponsors who are supporting a new endeavor and incredible way for us to learn and connect. Because sponsors are as important now as pre-COVID, we are creating as much value as possible. If you have any input on how we can better serve you, please let me know.

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Brave Blue World Coming to Netflix

We are thrilled to announce that the Brave Blue World documentary that paints an optimistic picture of how humanity is adopting new technologies and innovations for a sustainable water future is coming to Netflix on October 21. WEF is a production partner for the film, which will now be available to an audience of 193 million worldwide Netflix subscribers and subtitled in 29 languages. The release is timed to coincide with Imagine A Day Without Water when attention is on the challenges and solutions for water.

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Leadership Corner Oct 2020

Leadership Committee member, Ana Arango, received this link of quotes from a friend and felt compelled to share with the group. This link contains some really interesting leadership quotes from renowned women leaders. She hopes that they provide inspiration for your next adventures.

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Meet Your PNCWA 2021 Conference Chairs

The PNCWA Board is working full steam ahead on PNCWA 2021. Because we don’t know what the conference will look like — in-person, virtual, or hybrid — we are sending out a survey to learn what you’d like to see and how we can make an in-person or virtual event work for you. We also want to hear from our vendors and manufacturers: what has been your experience, what is your expectation, and how can we provide continued value to you in these times.

We look forward to launching our 2021 call for abstracts next month, but in the meantime we will let the PNCWA 2021 Conference Chairs introduce themselves.

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Updates on Water For People, InFLOW, and Water Palooza

Water For People’s first World Water Classic 6k/60k was a huge success! Over the 10 day event, almost 800 participants ran, walked, or cycled close to 15,000 kilometers in 13 different countries. Together we raised nearly $40,000 to support Water For People in ending the average 6 kilometers that women and girls around the world walk each day to get water instead of going to school, working, or playing.

The PNCWA team had a great showing with 20 participants raising $1,240, and our own Casey Gish took 2nd in the 6k run! Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed.

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Committee Spotlight: Construction Management

Construction Management During Times Of Covid

By Don Poletski, P.E., and Molly Nause-McCord for the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services; Rick Attanasio, P.E., for Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.


A successfully executed project comes down to its team. Close coordination among contractors, construction managers, inspection and safety staff, and suppliers is key to a successful, safe, efficient, and innovative project. However, it is 2020, and COVID-19 dictates that social distancing requirements be met, which means the traditional in-person weekly, construction, safety, and planning meetings must be replaced with virtual ones. These requirements compound in the field, where close site coordination and physical work must still be done. How does a construction team adapt management techniques during a pandemic?

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) began planning and design in 2012 for the rehabilitation of the 114-year-old brick sewer known as “Taggart Outfall” in Portland, Oregon. This project rehabilitated 3,700 feet of large-diameter brick tunnel — from 58 to 120 inches in diameter with depths varying from 20 to 100 feet — that occasionally runs under buildings and other features. The project was designed by Jacobs Engineering Group, with construction management and inspection provided by the City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services. The rehabilitation of the pipe was achieved via sliplining using a fiberglass-reinforced pipe (FRP). Only one viable location existed for the pipe insertion shaft; from that single point of entry, sliplining sections needed to be threaded through three major bends and a section of previously installed tunnel liner plate.

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President's Message Sept 2020

Before I introduce myself, I want to thank Adam for leading us through this tumultuous year. We had no idea what this year would bring, but Adam was the leader PNCWA needed. He is thoughtful, strong, and, most of all, kind. He carried us through with his stability, diligence, and grace. I am proud to follow in Adam’s footsteps and lead PNCWA forward.

My name is Haley Falconer and I am the Environmental Division Manager at the City of Boise, ID. I grew up in Montana, where I learned to value and protect the environment. When I studied environmental engineering in college, I knew that I could find meaningful work in something that I was good at and where I could make a difference in the world. I started volunteering for WEF in college and ultimately found PNCWA when I moved to Washington for grad school. Now, I live and work in Boise with my husband, two little boys, and rescue pup, Harriet.

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PNCWA Summit Series: In Their Own Words

From the PNCWA 2020 Conference Chairs

If this were a normal year, instead of penning a letter to our membership, we’d be in Spokane kicking off PNCWA 2020. But, this is definitely not a normal year. As soon as last year’s conference ended, we were full speed ahead planning for this year’s event in Spokane. It soon became more and more apparent that the annual conference we all know and love wouldn’t be possible this year. Like all of our other plans for 2020, after much consideration and deliberation, we finally made the tough call to cancel. Eliminating risk to the health, safety, and well-being of our membership stood at the center of that decision.

So, now what? 

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Next Chapter


Outgoing WEF Delegate Steven Drangsholt reflects on his time as a PNCWA Board of Directors Member.

When I joined the PNCWA Board in October 2013, I could never have imagined the journey that it would take me on. This experience has been one of the most incredible of my entire life. I am so grateful for each and every moment and experience I have had along the way. I have friendships all around the country now, thanks to being on the Board. These are people who have cared for me, helped me to grow, and shared countless memories with me. I wouldn’t trade the sacrifices, late nights, or difficult conversations for anything.

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Leadership Corner Sept 2020


Grit and Bear It: A Leader’s Ability to Weather the Unexpected

By Karen DeBaker

In the past few months, we’ve heard countless stories of heroes who have reached beyond their normal routine to support others in order to navigate a “new normal” way of life. As my 12-year-old starts 7th grade as a digital apprentice, I’m reminded of the heroes of the academic community and their role in nurturing our future leaders and water professionals. Like us, teachers quickly honed their abilities to adapt and pivot to online coaching, while adhering to a tome of strict achievement standards and exemplifying true grit.

I was inspired by a newsletter article I received from Mt. Tabor Middle School principal Tonya Arnold and her recommended leadership resource:
“I have watched my own three children this week reengage with school. And when I asked them how their week had gone so far last night over dinner, I was shocked and elated to hear that their first days back were positive. They were happy to see their teachers and their friends. There was joy in their voices and smiles on their faces. And even when the technology was unfamiliar, they persevered. They asked for help, they didn't give up. And it made me exceptionally thankful.”




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