By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect
There’s a ton of money to be made in the s!@t business…at least that’s what I reminded every year I attend the WWETT Show.
This show does a great job on their education sessions…and this year was no different, with over 100 sessions running over the four days. And I loved their “Button Wall” which was just outside the main entrance of the exhibit hall…the “straight outta toilet paper” and “septic” (which was orange, so obviously had to grab) were the two buttons I picked up.
The exhibit hall was packed (I believe there’s still a waiting list for companies that wish to exhibit at the show). Pipe re-lining and repair was a “hot topic” for this year’s show. It’s been at past shows, but I feel this year it was much more prevalent across the entire show.
One thing I took advantage of this year, which I hadn’t in the past, were the facility tours on the last day of the show. I signed up for the Belmont Wastewater Treatment Plant, Indianapolis’ largest wastewater treatment plant. And this was the first time I had toured a wastewater plant.
It was fascinating and the highlight of the show for me…here are just a couple of nuggets of wisdom I learned on the tour:
-the plant is owned and operated by Citizens Energy Group
-the entire facility sits on over 100 acres
-they have a max daily capacity of running 330 million of gallons through the system (normally daily amount is 120M gallons)
-it only takes 12 hours for the untreated water to go through the entire system and when it is released into the water it’s actually cleaner than the actual water running in the river
-to help deal with surges and overflows from strong storms, they are currently building (scheduled for completion the end of 2025) the DigIndy Tunnel System that’s a 28-miles-long network of 18-foot diameter deep rock tunnels, 250 feet beneath the city, with a main trunk and five fingers which has a 250 million gallon capacity
-I think the gigantic ten screw pumps were my favorite part, followed by the UV light treatment
Typically this shows runs Monday-Thursday and tends to be in the mid/end of February, but the show organizers are shaking things up for 2023, which will now be happening at the end of January (January 24-27) and running Wednesday-Saturday. This 2023 show will also run up against AHR Expo in Chicago and coincide with the World of Concrete Show out in Vegas, so it will be interesting to see how this affects attendance.
Link to Belmont plant: https://info.citizensenergygroup.com/digindy/treatment-plants/belmont