• Home
  • Conference Speaker


2019 Conference Speaker & Presentation Information



Plenary Session (Woodruff Auditorium, Level 5)

Manny Teodoro, Ph.D

Water Affordability in the United States: Meaning and Measurement

The ability of low-income families to pay for basic water and sewer services is critical to the success of utility organizations and a subject of increasing public concern. Large-scale assessments of affordability are rare, however, and are limited by poor measurement and biased samples. I use improved metrics and data from an original, representative sample of water and sewer utilities in the United States to evaluate the affordability of basic residential water and sewer service. Results suggest some potentially fruitful avenues for policy development to address affordability. 

Manny Teodoro works at the intersection of politics, public policy, and public management. His research focuses mainly on U.S. environmental policy and implementation, including empirical analyses of environmental justice. In addition to academic studies, Professor Teodoro pursues a line of applied research on utility management, policy, and finance. He’s developed novel methods for analyzing utility rate equity and affordability, and works on these issues directly with governments and water sector leaders across the United States.

All of the information included in Dr. Teodoro's presentation can be found in the following articles:

Teodoro, Manuel P. 2019. "Water and Sewer Affordability in the United States," AWWA Water Science. 1(2):e1129, March/April 2019 (https://doi.org/10.1002/aws2.1129).

Teodoro, Manual P. 2018. "Measuring Household Affordability for Water and Sewer Services," Journal of the American Water Works Assocation 110(1): 13-24


Matt Helmers

Opportunities and Challenges to Implementing Non-point Source Nutrient Reduction Practices

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Non-Point Source Science Assessment was released in 2013. This review highlighted the range of practices that would be needed and scale of implementation to reach the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force Action Plan goals. While the scale of implementation is large and presents many challenges, there are also new opportunities that have the potential to arise as practices are implemented. This could range from diversity of cropping systems to rural economic opportunities in the design and installation of nutrient reduction practices.

Matt Helmers is the Director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, the Dean’s Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and a Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University, where he has been on the faculty since 2003. Dr. Helmers’ research areas include studies on the impact of nutrient management, cropping practices, drainage design and management, and strategic placement of buffer systems on nutrient export from agricultural landscapes. He has a regional Extension program working to increase adoption of practices that have the potential to reduce downstream nutrient export.

Full Presentation


Julie Minton

Water Research Foundation's Developments and Research in Potable Reuse

After providing a quick introduction to the Water Research Foundation, this presentation will offer an overview of water reuse in the context of the water cycle – illustrating examples of various types of reuse that is fit for purpose, or treated appropriately for its end use. We’ll move from defacto reuse to non-potable to potable reuse, which has seen unprecedented traction over the last decade or so. The best of and current WRF Research portfolio will be presented, including the work that the CA State Water Board is investing in to develop regulations for direct potable reuse for the state. Lastly, we will review the challenge to reuse that is often greatest -- public acceptance. WRF engagement tools and plans will be shared.

Julie Minton is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at The Water Research Foundation (formerly WateReuse and Water Environment & Reuse Foundation). Julie has been at the Foundation for ten years, working in different capacities in water reuse, including Director of Research and Project Management. Julie is currently the Project Director for the $4.5M grant from the California State Water Board and responsible for fundraising to leverage this grant and expand the impact across the US and beyond.

Full Presentation


Kevin Fuller

Building a Scalable Cybersecurity Program

Building a scalable cybersecurity program. Being impacted by a cyberattack is not a question of if, it’s a matter of when. Large and small organizations alike have a need to develop a robust cybersecurity program. Unlike many large corporations, however, small and medium sized businesses don’t have millions of dollars to spend on the latest technologies and the people to manage it. We are going to explore a balanced approach to developing an affordable cybersecurity program for an organization of any size that balances risk tolerance, affordability, and the opportunity for continuous improvement.

Kevin Fuller is the Security Consulting Practice Leader at Burns & McDonnell, with 18 years of demonstrated experience. Prior to joining Burns & McDonnell, Kevin led DST Systems and The Boeing Company in building full-service security programs and developed high-performance teams to combat critical infrastructure threats. While at Optiv Security, Kevin designed, built and ran security programs for companies of all sizes including Fortune 100 and Global 25 companies. Kevin is proficient in security architecture and the development of a layered security infrastructure. He’s an innovator, leader and advisor to senior executives to implement industry best practices across the enterprise.

Full Presentation


Session 1 (Alderson Auditorium, Level 4)

Kirsten Sims

Operating Data and Lessons Learned: Innovative Low-Waste Biological Nitrate and Perchlorate Removal System for Groundwater

Nitrate contaminated groundwater wells have typically been shut down, however, population pressure as well as limited fresh drinking water supplies have promoted efforts to remove nitrates from these contaminated wells. One method for removing nitrate from wells is the use of ion exchange, however, regenerating the exchange resin creates a large volume of concentrated brine waste which is difficult and expensive to dispose of.  A new technology using a unique biocatalyst has shown to be effective in removing nitrate from contaminated wells without producing large or hazardous quantities of waste. This presentation describes the technology behind this biocatalyst and presents a case study and operating data on a full-scale demonstration groundwater remediation facility in Pasadena, CA which has been in operation for over two years, and has successfully used Microvi biocatalyst reactors to produce safe drinking water from a nitrate contaminated well.

Kirsten Sims is a Biological Process Engineer with WesTech Engineering. Her areas of focus include high-rate biological water and wastewater treatment design, as well as process design of wastewater resource recovery processes. Kirsten received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Gonzaga University, a Master’s Degree in Biological Engineering from Utah State University, and an MBA from Utah State University. She is also a licensed Patent Agent before the US Patent and Trademark Office. She has over nine years of experience in the areas of water and wastewater treatment. Currently, her focus is on the scale-up and implementation of the Microvi Micro-Niche™ Engineering treatment technology for drinking water denitrification.

Full Presentation


Dustin Mobley, P.E.

Perfluorinated Compounds in Drinking Water: Risks, Considerations, and Solutions

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of synthetic chemicals that are used in the manufacture of many industrial and consumer products. These compounds are very stable, oil- and water-repellant, and resistant to heat and degradation, making them beneficial for use in industry, but these characteristics also promote their migration and persistence in the environment. The use of PFAS has resulted in contaminated water supplies across the world. This presentation provides an overview of the PFAS issue and describes proven treatment technologies applicable for removal of PFAS from drinking water, as well as factors affecting implementation, technology selection, and life-cycle costs.

Dustin Mobley, PE is a process engineer in the Water Technology Group at Black & Veatch. He has 12 years of experience in the evaluation and design of water, wastewater and produced water treatment processes for oil and gas, power, and municipal water treatment clients. Most recently, Mr. Mobley has been involved in pilot testing and full-scale design of activated carbon and ion exchange technologies for the removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from drinking water. He holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.

Full Presentation


Dan Smith, P.E. and Peter Gaskamp, EIT

Water Distribution Pressure Reduction and its Impact on System Performance

WaterOne provides safe and reliable drinking water to over 450,000 people in Johnson County Kansas through a 2,700-mile water distribution system. WaterOne has been testing a pressure reduction program in three areas of the water distribution system to reduce the number of main breaks in the three areas and hopefully extend the life of the pipes. WaterOne will share the preliminary results and data gathered from this test program. In addition, WaterOne will share some of the real world experiences on how customers react to changes in pressure delivered to their homes.

Dan Smith is the Director of Distribution at WaterOne, responsible for the overall operation of the distribution system, which includes engineering, planning, design and infrastructure renewal, construction and maintenance, cross connection control program, mapping and drafting, and the sale of all service connections and meters. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Kansas, with a degree in Civil Engineering. Dan has worked in the water profession for the past 37 years. He has authored and co-authored several papers presented at state and national conferences for AWWA, ASCE and AMWA.

Peter Gaskamp, EIT, earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Kansas in December 2014, at which time he began working as a Project Engineer I at Water District No. 1 of Johnson County (WaterOne). His responsibilities at WaterOne include serving as project manager for a variety of water main installation projects, hydraulic modeling to determine project impacts and ability to meet development needs, and monitoring distribution system performance. Peter currently lives in Olathe, KS with his wife and son.

Full Presentation


Mark Wade, P.E.

Implementing AI Machine-Learning Software for Water Distribution Infrastructure Asset Management

Water infrastructure throughout the US is reaching a critical stage of condition and sustainability. The outlook for water conveyance systems, as recently describes in ASCE's 2017 Report Card, shows a continuing and downward trendline in reliability remaining useful life (RUL) and increasing trendline in asset age and rates of failure. In order to turn this corner and, in particular, establish better and more reliable information on these essential assets, a number of recent advances in prediction models using machine-learning artificial intelligence (AI) combine with robotic, live-main inspection technologies has moved the science of engineering to create better/smarter/faster renewal solutions.

Mark Wade is a Principal with BlueWater Solutions Group where is oversees projects that involve inspection, condition assessement, rehabilitation, asset management, and preventative maintenance of water, wastewater and storm water ocnveyance infrastructure. During the past 42 years he has been involved in more than 1,100 municipal and industrial pipeline assessment and renewal programs throughout North America, Europe and East Asia. He has authored and presented 65 technical papers related to water and wastewater conveyance systems. He has a BSCE and MSCE from the University of Michigan and University of Missouri, respectively, and has active memberships in ASCE, WEF, AWWA, and ACEC.

Full Presentation


Session 2 (Woodruff Auditorium, Level 5)

David L. Clark, WEF Fellow

Effluent Nutrient Limits and Discharge Permitting Frameworks 

Discussion of the challenges posed by traditional approaches to permitting nutrient discharges and options for improved permitting that facilitates compliance while also protecting water quality.

David L. Clark is Senior Vice President and serves as HDR Engineering, Inc.’s Market Sector Director for Wastewater. He has more than 38 years of consulting experience and currently leads strategic efforts in understanding wastewater regulatory issues as they affect wastewater utilities. Mr. Clark is the regulatory liaison for the Water Research Foundation (WRF) nutrient research program and the lead author on regulatory issues. He recently published a report on Nutrient Discharge Permitting Frameworks for WRF addressing wastewater utility issues with surface water discharges. Mr. Clark was recently named a Fellow of the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

Full Presentation


James Barnard, Ph.D and Heather Phillips, P.E., BCEE

Making EBPR Sustainable and Affordable Using S2EBPR at the Olathe, KS Facility

The City of Olathe began operating its Cedar Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) expansion in 2012. It was the first Black & Veatch design to incorporate sidestream enhanced biological phosphorus removal (S2EBPR), a process discovered by Dr. James Barnard that uses fermentation of mixed liquor by bacteria to support phosphorus removal, rather than adding chemicals. Since the City still operates parallel oxidation ditches that use ferric chloride to remove phosphorus, a side-by-side comparison of operating costs quantifies the affordability and stability of the S2EBPR. Six years of operating data and lessons learned will be discussed.

James L. Barnard, Ph.D. IWA Fellow, WEF Fellow, BCEE., Dist. M.ASCE, is a Global Practice & Technology Leader for Black & Veatch. He was awarded the Clarke Prize in 2007, received Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Johannesburg, Iowa State and Stellenbosch, the Lee Kuan Yew Singapore Water Prize in July 2011. He developed the Bardenpho, MLE and Phoredox processes for biological nutrient removal and has designed more than 140 BNR plants including the first plants in North America at Palmetto FL and Kelowna BC. Dr. Barnard worked with Heather Phillips, now with the City of Olathe, on the design of the Cedar Creek WWTF that incorporates sidestream enhanced biological phosphorus removal. Heather joined the City during the plant startup and is currently the Operations Manager, and a licensed P.E. and Class IV Wastewater Operator.

Full Presentation


Leon Downing, Ph.D., P.E. 

Low Oxygen Microbiomes for Nutrient Removal

This presentation will explore the dynamics of low DO operation not only simultaneous nitrification denitrification but also different nitrogen removal pathways such as nitrite shunt and the future potential for mainstream nitrogen removal via anammox that further decrease the oxygen demand of wastewater streams. Additionally, pitfalls and design considerations of low DO operation such a filamentous growth, high loading periods, and basin mixing will be discussed.

Dr. Leon Downing is a Principal Process and Innovation Leader with Black & Veatch from Madison, Wisconsin. Downing provides technology leadership in support of Black & Veatch process engineering and applied research projects globally. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, Leon obtained his MS and PhD at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Downing is an active member of several professional organization. He currently serves as the vice-chair of the Modeling Experts Group of the Americas, has authored chapters in four WEF books, and contributed to 14 peer-reviewed scientific journal publications.


Dustin Craig, P.E. and Matt Bond, P.E., WEF Fellow

Thermal Hydrolysis - The Next Generation

This presentation is an introduction and discussion of the advanced solids treatment Thermal Hydrylosis process (THP) which is used to stabilize municipal wastewater solids. The presentation will include an overview of the technology, historical development, and market drivers.The presentation will also cover the startup and commissioning of the worlds' largest THP system at the 390 MGD DC Water Blue Plains Advanced Water Treatment Plant including process performance and lessons learned. It will also cover the drivers behind Kansas City Water selecting this technology, and how that project is a platform for innovation at the utility.

Dustin Craig is an Environmental Engineer in the Kansas City office of CDM Smith. Dustin has extensive experience in the design of wastewater solids handling processes and bioenergy utilization processes. Dustin has worked on projects from the island of Oahu to Tel Aviv, Israel and a few places in-between. Dustin is also a proud University of Kansas alumni (M.S. Civil Engineering).

Matt Bond is Chief Engineering Officer for KC Water's Engineering Business Unit, which supports the Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Utilities.  Matt oversees the implementation of the KC Water CIP program which is in excess of $200 million annually.  Matt has over 35 years of experience in water utility management and consulting, and has specialized expertise in wastewater, Biosolids processing collaborative project delivery, and asset management.  Matt was President of the Water Environment Federation in 2011-2.  Matt has Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri and is a licensed professional engineer and wastewater operator.

Full Presentation


Session 3 (Kansas Room, Level 6)

Craig Divine, Ph.D., PG

Subsurface Characterization and Remediation of PFAS: State of the Practice & Promising Treatment Innovations

Heightened public interest and regulatory focus is driving increased need to develop proven remediation technologies for poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Many PFAS, which comprise of roughly 5,000 individual compounds, can bioaccumulate, are mobile and persistent resulting in large plumes, and are very difficult to remediate with conventional approaches. This presentation will discuss the use of conceptual site models to guide smart investigations and define risks to potential receptors. A number of current practices and promising remedial approaches will also be discussed, including adsorptive and destructive soil treatment technologies and a number of promising water treatment technologies, such as ozofractionation, electrochemical oxidation, and sonolysis.

Craig Divine is a Technical Expert and Vice President at Arcadis US, Inc. with more than 20 years of experience in subsurface characterization and remediation. He has extensive experience remediating large plumes utilizing a wide range of technologies, including in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO), bioremediation, permeable reactive barriers (PRBs), cosolvent/surfactant flushing, and directed groundwater recirculation (DGR). He earned a bachelor's degree in Biology from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), a master's degree in Watershed Science from Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO), and a doctoral degree in Geochemistry/Hydrogeology from the Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO).


John Dunn

Innovative Use of Materials in Mining Reclamation

A century of lead mining left large areas contaminated by tailings in the Tri-State Mining area. In 2011, Joplin, MO was hit by a devastating tornado leaving tons of downed wood. Nearby Webb City is mixing the chipped wood, cow manure, food wastes, and biosolids into a compost to reclaim land in remediated areas. This is a unique, and pragmatic, project to use waste materials in a beneficial way.

John Dunn, Environmental Engineer, US EPA Region 7 Education B.A., Biology, St. Louis University, 1981 M.S., Sanitary Engineering, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1988. He has worked as an Environmental Engineer with the Environmental Protection Agency for 30 years. During that time, he served in the NPDES Water Pollution Permits Section. His areas of experience have included water quality-based permits, industrial permits, biofuels development, power plant issues, TMDL’s, biosolids, big river issues, nutrients, and security and water infrastructure protection.

Full Presentation


Christopher Bowman, P.E.

Sustainable & Cost-Effective Planning with District Energy 

Cities consume approximately 70% of global energy and produce a similar share of the greenhouse gas emissions. In the U.S., over 60% of the population lives in cities and we can use this to our advantage. Population density provides the ideal setting to cost effectively and simultaneously improve energy efficiency and implement sustainability measures through district energy systems. The key is to plan for the future now in order to realize the long-term benefits.

Chris Bowman is a project manager and energy consultant with Burns & McDonnell’s campus energy practice. He has a broad set of knowledge supporting client’s utility planning with district energy systems in the concept development, detailed design and execution. Chris received his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Kansas and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

Full Presentation


Kyle Combes

Balancing the Grid with Increased Renewable Generation

A disruption to how the electric grid has traditionally operated has been caused by state renewable energy mandates, corporate renewable energy goals, federal tax credits, and technology advancement. Utilities need to have enhanced flexibility to continue to provide low-cost and reliable power to their customers. This presentation explores how the influx of renewable generation has impacted the operation of the grid and how the economics has evolved to benefit quick start resources.

Kyle Combes is a project manager, senior utility consultant, and technical lead at Burns & McDonnell in the Business & Technology Solutions group specializing in economic and engineering analyses for electric generation and transmission assets. I utilize complex economic models to support regional transmission organizations and utility clients in competitive transmission planning, integrated resource planning, and technology evaluations.

Full Presentation




Conference Sponsors







Conference Exhibitors