IWT Current News and Events

Innovative Wastewater Technologies (IWT) Committee

Current News and Events

Shark Tank Competition

RMWEA Becomes the First LIFT Affiliate

The Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association (RMWEA) became the first organization to be recognized as a LIFT Affiliate in August 2016. LIFT is the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology, a program established within the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation (WE&RF ) and the Water Environment Foundation (WEF) to help bring new water technology to the field quickly and efficiently. LIFT provides for utilities evaluations of new technologies, support for effective technology development programs, along with training and education (http://www.werf.org/lift).

“RMWEA is at the vanguard of putting innovation into practice,” claims Dr. Barry Liner, Director of the Water Science & Engineering Center at WEF. “Having Innovative Wastewater Technologies Committee as a LIFT affiliate, RMWEA is able tailor national and international knowledge to the local needs, while also enriching the global conversation by sharing RMWEA’s members’ expertise through the entire LIFT community.”

The technology innovation arm of RMWEA, the Innovative Wastewater Technologies Committee is a requirement for becoming a LIFT Affiliate. Committee members have worked over the past months with LIFT to establish its first membership association (MA) in the U.S. The agreement was signed by RMWEA president Jeff Berlin in August 2016.

“RMWEA is proud to become the first LIFT Affiliate partner”, says Jeff Berlin. “RMWEA started our Innovative Wastewater Technologies Committee in 2015 with the intent to foster innovation and information exchange. We look forward to the opportunities and coordination, which will help the committee’s mission to tie national trends and innovative solutions to end-users in the Rocky Mountain region.”

As a LIFT MA, RMWEA will be able to utilize many of the tools LIFT develops to support its efforts. This includes
1. Access to LIFT's online platform. MA members can discover the latest technologies, connect with others on technologies of common interest, and collaborate on pilots and demonstrations.
2. Participate in New Technology Scans
3. Innovation within Water Utilities. Utility-to-utility mentorship programs can play an important role in technology adoption, allowing smaller utilities to gain valuable knowledge from well-established facilities.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about how to benefit from the LIFT association please see contact IWT Committee co-chair Tanja Rauch-Williams (trauch-williams@carollo.com) or visit http://www.rmwea.org/innovative_technologies.php. A copy of the RMWEA-LIFT Affiliate presentation can be downloaded HERE.


First Shark Tank Competition at Joint Annual Conference:
Missed it? Read on and Join us Next Year!


Much is changing in water and wastewater treatment across the U.S. New technologies are developed and introduced at a far greater pace than in the past, rapidly changing how we think about doing business as utility providers, consultants, regulators, or technology developers. Some of the potentially ground-breaking research that determines how we treat water in the future is happening at our Rocky Mountain universities.
At this year's Joint Annual Conference in Denver, RMWEA's Innovative Water Technologies (IWT) Committee hosted the first Shark Tank Competition among students researching new solutions for domestic wastewater treatment. Together with several industry sponsors, IWT offered a $4,000 grant to support the research of the winning student. Six students from four of our Rocky Mountain universities competed for the prize, covering a range of hot button topics in our industry.
Each student had five minutes to explain the importance and novelty of their research to the audience and a Shark Tank judging panel, consisting of eight pre-selected industry practitioners representing technology developers, vendors, and consultants.
Audience members were impressed with the high energy of each students' presentation and their ability to draw out the greater practical and societal impacts of their work for our industry. The competition became even more informative and entertaining when each student had to then field questions from the judging panel and the general audience for 10-minutes following their presentation, some quite unpredictable!
Students appreciated the opportunity get valuable feedback from practitioners on their work. Many audience participants commented on how much they enjoyed presentations that were relevant, short and to the point, with time to talk about challenging questions in the subsequent discussion.
Rocky Mountain Student's, get ready for the 2019 Shark Tank Competition in Keystone!
The IWT committee would like to thank and appreciate our industry sponsors for making this year's research grant possible:
  • Brown and Caldwell
  • Carollo Engineer's Applied Research Center
  • Engineered Equipment Solutions
  • Goble Sampson
  • JVA Consulting Engineers
  • Water Technology Group
 A big thank you to our Shark Tank student presenters this year, from left to right in the photo:
  • Carolyn Coffey (CSM) - Anaerobic primary treatment coupled with concurrent partial nitritration and anammox
  • KC Young (CSU) - Advancing the design of multi-stage anaerobic digesters
  • Kate Newhart (CSM) - Potential and challenges of big data in wastewater treatment
  • Rudy Maltos (CSM) - Hydraulic selection technology for improved sludge settling
  • Nicollette Laroco (CU Boulder) - Upcycling of steel residuals for sulfide and siloxane removal from biogas
  • XiaoXiao Cheng (NM State) - Removal of antibiotic resistance in algal-based wastewater treatment


And congratulations to our 2018 Shark Tank Innovative Technology Research Grant Winner, Nicollette Laroco! Nicolette is a PhD student in the Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her doctoral research is focused on the co-contaminant removal of H2S and siloxanes from anaerobic digester biogas through the utilization of steel-making residuals for renewable natural gas recovery, under the advisement of Dr. Mark Hernandez.
Nicollette will present on her research progress at the January IWT Committee meeting. If you like to join, please contact Charles Leder (cleder@abcwua.org).

  • Bryan Coday, Ph.D., P.E., is a Technologist with Carollo Engineers and IWT Committee Co-Chair

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