The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) recently brought innovative technologies to the Southeast through an Innovation Showcase at the Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC) 2017. As an initiative of the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT), the workshop focused on tools and resources for moving innovation into practice. LIFT is a joint initiative of WE&RF and the Water Environment Federation designed to help bring new water technologies to the field quickly and efficiently.
LIFT examines technologies through a three-step Technology Scan process that identifies and evaluates market readiness level and a technical review of the developer’s claims. Select technologies are detailed on LIFT Link (http://liftlink.werf.org/), an online platform to connect industrial water, wastewater, stormwater agencies, consultants, academics, investors, and federal agencies. LIFT Link helps end users identify technologies based on facility’s needs and the technology’s development level.
The Innovation Showcase was an opportunity to create awareness of the technologies available through LIFT and generate exposure to innovation on a regional scale. The workshop highlighted tools, technologies, and opportunities to engage in LIFT. Conference participants received information on technologies relevant to challenges that are common to Florida to address their water requirements. The showcase included Innovative Technology Pitch Sessions and Roundtable Technology Discussions. One of the eight technologies presented at the showcase, DERAGGER II by Cleanwater Controls. It detects pump obstructions and reduces the costs of maintaining and operating wastewater assets. The technology measures the power inputs to a pump, analyzing the wave patterns in real time to determine if anything is impeding its operation. A more efficient pump will increase flow rates and generate significant energy savings.
The presentation also highlighted a local facility that is active in LIFT’s Facilities Accelerating Science & Technology (FAST) Water Network, which connects researchers, new technology providers, and other innovators in the water resource recovery industry with test facilities appropriate for their needs. The Northwest Regional Water Reclamation Facility in Hillsborough County, Florida, is a test bed facility that provides 49 million gallons of clean drinking water to its customers. It is a level 3 facility, meaning it is a WRRF with a physical space dedicated for piloting innovative water technology. The test facility reclaims effluent for irrigation and manages biosolids at a nearby facility. It is one of the many sites nationally in the FAST Water Network that helps innovators test new technologies at various scales to help manage risk and accelerate adoption of technology.
While this event was tailored to the geography and challenges of Florida, the Innovation Showcase model can be applied other regions that may have different challenges than those in Florida. This opportunity provides information that is region specific so local organizations can directly understand how WE&RF and LIFT can assist in resource recovery initiatives.
Visit www.werf.org/lift for more information on how to get involved.