• Calling On Utilities To Combat Legionella

    The risk level linked to delivered drinking water from municipal utilities is very small, even if some high-profile examples of failure (see Flint, MI) have degraded public confidence to a degree. Our treatment professionals usually hit their targets, so the onus then shifts to the research and guidance that determines the safe level of various constituents through U.S. EPA protocols. But there is one contaminant that rulemaking hasn’t quite caught up to and which is downright deadly — Legionella pneumophila.

  • Reconsidering 'Environmental Racism'

    Water Online recently published an article for Water Innovations on environmental racism — Environmental Racism In America: How It's Affecting Vulnerable Communities — and I paused during the editing process to consider watering down the key phrase to "environmental injustice" before ultimately deciding that I might also be watering down the transgression itself. However, the very consideration made me wonder why I had the instinct to tone it down in the first place.

  • 100 Days And Many Ways To Cybersecurity

    A Q&A with Riggs Eckelberry, founder and CEO of OriginClear, on the need to improve cybersecurity at water and wastewater utilities, which has elicited action from the Biden administration and everyday operators alike.

  • In 2022, Water Quality Gets The Attention It’s Due

    With the funding brought forth by the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed late last year, as well as aggressive policies and regulation to rid water supplies of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and lead, 2022 shapes up as the year we finally address our industry’s most troubling and challenging contamination issues in a meaningful way.

  • How Should Infrastructure Funding Be Prioritized?

    With the $1.2-trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill finally passed following lengthy congressional negotiations, U.S. water and wastewater utilities are in line to get help for solving some longstanding issues, from crumbling pipes and outdated treatment plants to modernizing operations for efficiency and resiliency.

  • Solving Water Scarcity With Reuse — The Tale Of Tucson

    Two water leaders from Tucson, AZ, reveal how big cities can thrive in the desert, even amid  historic drought.

  • Powering Up: Perspective On America’s Infrastructure Plan

    Envisioning an America where every community has access to clean water and resources to live a quality life is pretty powerful — and it is enough inspiration to power a transformation that could make America’s future much stronger.

  • The Shape Of Water, Starring AWWA’s Tracy Mehan

    If water-industry superstars were celebrated like entertainers, an introduction to G. Tracy Mehan III wouldn’t be necessary. But water, as industry veterans know, doesn’t quite get the attention it deserves … until services are threatened. At that point, as all along, we turn to our water leaders for answers.

  • How To Address Your (Water) Sensitivity

    As I monitor the daily flow (pardon the pun) of water-industry news, product launches, and initiatives for special coverage on Water Online and in Water Innovations, a basic investigative question is “Who is this intended for?” When the opportunity arose to interview Gemma Dunn, the integrated water management service line coordinator with GHD North America, about GHD’s new Water Sensitive Cities Index, I soon came to a new question: What city isn’t water sensitive?

  • Pride And Joy: Water Leadership Defined

    Despite overseeing our most precious resource, water professionals often go unnoticed, and hence unappreciated. To that end, it’s my pleasure to highlight the efforts, accomplishments, and insights of industry leaders such as Joy Eldredge, chair of the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association.

  • Sustainability In Times Of Stress — A 'Bottom Line' Endeavor

    What's your company’s “bottom line?” If “sustainable water management” is your first answer, you probably work in municipal water.

  • Fresh Perspective For The Water Workforce

    Nicole A. Blanco was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She learned early in life that she had a passion for engineering and science, which she eventually channeled into a career in water. Nicole was the first in her family to obtain a college degree, then proceeded to break down barriers in an industry sorely in need of — and yearning for — operational innovation and evolution. As you will surely find through the following Q&A, the water sector needs more like her, and we hope her story provides inspiration to both aspiring young professionals and future mentors.

  • Now More Than Ever, It’s Time To Embrace 'Smart Water'

    The digital revolution is well underway across business, industry, and culture, but water utilities have some catching up to do. Utilities are not necessarily known for trailblazing new ideas and technologies, but that’s not a criticism; far from it, in fact. Water providers often prefer the tried and true for a very sound reason — the lives of their customers depend on their success. However, the jury is no longer out on the advantages of going digital, and the time to flip the switch is now.

  • What Do You Know, Cisco? Insight On Smart Water And IoT

    Cisco Systems is one of the most recognizable company names in networking, likely known to most water and wastewater utility personnel, but their visibility and relevance in the water space — with the onset of digitalization and the Internet of Things (IoT) — has even more room to grow. Cisco's technologies and expertise position the company to take a leading role as ‘smart water' becomes the norm.



Kevin Westerling

Kevin Westerling has served as the editor of Water Online, the Internet's premier source for water and wastewater solutions, since 2008. Kevin's education includes a bachelor's degree in English Literature, a minor in Journalism, and certification as a Web Content Developer. He can be reached at