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Thoughts From Engineers: Stepping Up Source-Water Protection

November 29, 2021 - in Articles, Column

If a watershed was the subject of a play, this one could fill the house. Set in southwestern Wisconsin in a watershed known as Black Earth Creek, the plot has some interesting elements: a failing landfill; a Class 1 trout stream; development pressure from…

Thoughts From Engineers: Climate Report Issues Bleak Predictions

September 30, 2021 - in Articles, Column

Engineers are problem solvers by profession, but, in many respects, we are pioneers as well—now more than ever.

Thoughts From Engineers: Microplastics: An Unavoidable Reality of Modern Life?

August 27, 2021 - in Articles, Column

Our dependence on plastics, most of which are based on a formula developed from coal, natural gas and crude oil, is another aspect of our deep-rooted…

Thoughts From Engineers: Water Reuse Enters the Spotlight

July 27, 2021 - in Articles, Column

The Wichita Falls Resource Recovery Facility in Wichita Falls, Texas, became a national model for indirect potable reuse (IPR) in 2018 when it captured, disinfected, filtered and oxygenated wastewater before delivering roughly 20 million gallons a day…

Thoughts from Engineers: Water Infrastructure Woes Hit the American Pocketbook

June 3, 2021 - in Articles, Column

The COVID-19 pandemic brought into sharp focus a few key realities about water service in the United States. Many millions of Americans worked hard to pay for water service before the pandemic hit, and many millions will continue to struggle to pay when…

Thoughts From Engineers: All Sensors (and Eyes) on the Water

May 11, 2021 - in Articles, Column

The city of Virginia Beach, Va., was recognized in November 2020 with a Digital Cities award for the municipality’s adoption of StormSense, a multi-award-winning initiative that harnesses data streamed from a network of smart sensors and uses the resulting…

Thoughts From Engineers: How to Avoid a Regional Disaster

March 31, 2021 - in Articles, Column

Some 160 years ago, in an effort to remedy the Great Stink of 1858, which refers to a time in London’s history when the Thames River was used as an open sewer, an unknown English engineer by the name of Joseph Bazalgette was hired to design and build a network…

Thoughts From Engineers: The Shadow Cast by Lead Pipes

February 4, 2021 - in Articles, Column

On the eve of the New Year, amidst a pandemic and presidential transition, the final revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) were published on Dec. 20, 2020. The new LCR modifies and updates parts of a law that was first passed in 1988. At that time,…

Thoughts From Engineers: A Moving Target: The Challenge of Predicting Flood Risk

December 3, 2020 - in Articles, Column

The Aug. 20, 2018, storms that hit Dane County, Wis., near Madison, unloaded in some locations nearly 15.33 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. Flood stage on Black Earth Creek climbed from 2 feet to 9.7 feet within a few hours, and the two-day rain event…

Thoughts From Engineers: Down by the River: USGS Reports on Human Activity in U.S. Waterways

October 1, 2020 - in Articles, Column

The endangered status of the Mississippi River skipjack herring may have initiated a few changes to this historic river’s routine management—but little more. This is just one fish in a vast and nuanced ecosystem. But whether discussing an obscure…