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Heather Jennings Is Featured Guest on “Better Together” Podcast

Paper360, a bimonthly magazine for the pulp & paper industry, produces a podcast called “Better Together: Conversations With Innovative Leaders.” At a recent podcast recorded live at SuperCorrExpo in Orlando, Fla., Heather Jennings, Director of Probiotic Solutions and Host of our own Water Break Podcast, was interviewed on the topic of diversity and innovation for the corrugated industry. Heather is Emeritus Chair of TAPPI’s Women in Industry Committee.

The mission of the TAPPI Women in Industry Committee is to “Inspire and support the development of women in the forest products, pulp, paper, tissue, packaging and associated industries by serving as a resource for education and networking opportunities, that result in more women leaders in the industry, fostering overall industry health.”

Here’s a link to the podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1295744/9397632-paper360-better-together-supercorrexpo-live-part-2.

The Water Break Podcast Hits 3,000 Downloads

Back in May of 2020, we started talking about doing a water-and-wastewater-focused podcast that Heather Jennings would host. Heather had never done anything like hosting a podcast, and she wasn’t sure that she should. “Do you think anyone would listen?” she asked.

We did, and we started mapping out the campaign. Heather insisted that the podcasts be educational in nature, with an emphasis on “bridging the gap between water plant operators and engineers.” As an engineer, she knew that a great deal of education was needed to bridge that gap. We all agreed that, to be viable, we needed to produce at least one podcast a month. This was a lot to ask of the host and all her potential guests, bringing up Heather’s second question: “Do you think anyone will agree to talk with me?”

Last week we recorded our 18th Water Break podcast in 18 months, and this week the statistics report from Blubrry, our podcast hosting service, let us know that we had reached the milestone of 3,000 downloads. We realize that 3,000 isn’t a huge number when compared with more commercial podcasts, but for an educational podcast in the water and wastewater treatment niche, it’s a great accomplishment.

Something else that amazes us is the world-wide reach that podcasting can have. We knew that our largest audiences would be in the U.S. and Canada, but who would have thought that our third-largest audience would be in India, and our fourth and fifth in South Africa and Saudi Arabia. All told, we’ve had listeners from 57 countries, with some surprises such as Bangladesh and Northern Mariana Islands.

And so far, there have been 27 guests willing to voluntarily share their knowledge, experience, and lessons learned with the rest of the water-and-wastewater-treatment community through this podcast. They do it because they believe that water treatment is a calling, an opportunity to do something good for our local environments and our planet as a whole. But before you start thinking that these people and topics are TOO serious, you need only listen to a couple of the episodes to hear the joy and laughter that comes out. Who knew wastewater treatment could be so funny? (Apparently, anyone who has ever worked in a wastewater treatment plant!)

We take this opportunity to thank all those guests who have helped to provide over 3,000 hours of free education about water and wastewater processes and all those guests who will continue to share their knowledge through this podcast in the future.

Congratulations to everyone who has participated in helping The Water Break Podcast achieve 3,000 downloads!

To view and listen to the 18 podcast episodes, click here, or subscribe to The Water Break Podcast through your favorite podcasting service.

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 18: Exploring Moving Bed Biofilm Reactors

“Where We Bridge the Gap Between Water Plant Operators and Engineers”

In Episode 18, Heather Jennings, PE, explores moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs) with her guest, Dan Turner, president of Blue Whale Technologies. MBBRs biologically treat wastewater by incorporating specialized media that increase surface area on which microorganisms can grow and consume organic material. Heather and Dan discuss MBBR applications, equipment, sizing and design, as well as process optimization.

Links: Blue Whale Technologies

Wanda’s Water Tidbit: The Mpemba Effect

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 15: PFAS—What Are They and Why Do I Care?

“Where We Bridge the Gap Between Water Plant Operators and Engineers”

In Episode 15, Heather Jennings, PE, leads a panel of 3 guests on a discussion of PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) in the environment, drinking water, and wastewater. The panel includes Marci Payne, Sales and Marketing Director at Legend Technical Services of Arizona, Inc.; Cathy Swanson, West Regional Sales Manager and Groundwater Remediation Specialist at Purolite; and Dr. Rosa Gwinn, Global PFAS Technical Leader at AECOM. Heather and the panel discuss PFAS in terms of what they are, how they impact us, how we test for them, and issues related to removing them from the environment. They also discuss current regulatory requirements and what our level of concern should be in terms of addressing them in our industry.

Additional Resources:

Mentioned in the Podcast:

Wanda’s Water Tidbit: Mining for Sewer Heat:

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 14: Wastewater Wisdom 1

“Where We Bridge the Gap Between Water Plant Operators and Engineers”

In Episode 14, Heather Jennings, PE, leads a panel of 3 guests who share their lessons learned and wastewater wisdom from almost 100 years of combined wastewater processing experience. The panel guests collectively hold more water and wastewater operator licenses than we can count. The guests are Jim Huchel, City of Flagstaff Water Reclamation Plant Manager; Dave Axton, Owner of Water Resources, Inc.; and Jason Joynes who is Executive Director of Rural Water Association of Arizona and also Process Control and Equipment Specialist for Construction Product Marketing (CPM) in Arizona.

Panelist Contact Information:

Dave Axton, Jason Joynes, and (if you want to contact someone in the middle of the night) Jim Huchel.

Links from Wanda’s Water Tidbits:

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 13: Treatment Plant Instrumentation

“Where we bridge the gap between water plant operators and engineers”

In Episode 13, Heather Jennings discusses Treatment Plant Instrumentation with her guest, Benjamin Barker. Mr. Barker has been an applications engineer for Xylem for 4 years, working with YSI’s process instrumentation product lines. In his role as applications engineer, he assists customers with sensor applications, writes material for YSI.com, and conducts technical trainings and webinars for wastewater operators and engineers.

Podcast References from Wanda’s Water Tidbit: How a Burning River led to the Clean Water Act

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 9: Testing Wastewater for Covid-19

“Where we bridge the gap between water plant operators and engineers”

In Episode 9, Heather Jennings discusses COVID 19 wastewater epidemiology and how that helps communities track the pandemic in their communities. Her guests are:

  • Ian L. Pepper, PhD, Professor at the University of Arizona and Director of the Water & Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center in Tucson, Arizona.
  • Dave Tracey, a licensed professional engineer in the province of New Brunswick, Canada, and Director of Global Channel Sales for LuminUltra Technologies Ltd, a Canadian firm focusing on biological monitoring and control solutions.
  • Helena Steeves, Clinical Applications Engineer at LuminUltra Technologies Ltd.

Dr. Pepper may be contacted at the WEST Center: www.west.arizona.edu

Mr. Tracey and Ms. Steeves may be contacted, and information about LuminUltra Technologies is available, at:

Podcast References from Wanda’s Water Tidbit

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 8: Microscopy and DNA, A Match Made In Heaven

“Where we bridge the gap between water plant operators and engineers”

In Episode 8, Heather Jennings discusses DNA Analysis and Microscopy with Dr. Paul Campbell and Ryan Hennessy. Paul has extensive experience with microbial physiology, industrial microbiology, and fermentation and leads Aster Bio’s molecular biology and biochemistry work. Ryan is a microbiology and operations specialist at Midwest Contract Operations. Topics covered in the podcast include introduction and orientation to wastewater microbiology evaluation including Next Generation DNA Sequencing, qPCR, and microscopic evaluation; identifying and interpreting microorganisms and their roles in wastewater processing; and tracking microbiology trends in system operations.

Paul Campbell, PhD, may be contacted at https://www.asterbio.com/.

Ryan Hennessy may be contacted at https://www.mco-us.com/wastewater-microbiology/.

Podcast References from Wanda’s Water Tidbit: Skipping Stones on Water

Discover Magazine, Cameron Walker and Jeff Wilson: The Physics of Skipping Stones

Library of Congress: Everyday Mysteries, How Does a Stone “Skip” Across water?

Wired YouTube Channel: Why It’s Almost Impossible to Skip a Stone 89 Times

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 7: Anaerobic Digesters

“Where we bridge the gap between water plant operators and engineers”

In Episode 7, Heather Jennings discusses Wastewater Anaerobic Digesters with Kay Curtin. Kay is an Advanced Wastewater Operator in Wisconsin and a Level A Wastewater Operator in Minnesota, with 45+ years’ experience in wastewater. She is currently working with the Wisconsin Rural Water Association as a trainer/technician for Western Wisconsin and has her own consulting business, Curtin Consulting, LLC. Topics covered in the podcast include anaerobic digester pros and cons, bacteria used, nutritional requirements, key operating parameters, main causes of failures, and typical operating issues.

Kay Curtin

Bio and contact info at Wisconsin Rural Water Association

Podcast Reference from Wanda’s Water Tidbit: The World’s Most Beautiful Sewage Plant

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 6: Microbial Lab Operations

“Where we bridge the gap between water plant operators and engineers”

In Episode 6, Heather Jennings discusses Wastewater Laboratory Operations with Toni Glymph-Martin. Toni is a Wastewater Microbiologist and Certified Operator, B-Level, with 40+ years’ experience. She is the author of two books: A Wastewater Microbiology Laboratory Manual for Operators and Wastewater Microbiology: A Handbook for Operators. In today’s podcast, Toni talks about how and when to use a microscope to better manage wastewater treatment.

Toni Glymph-Martin

Toni’s Website: https://www.wwmicrosolutions.com/

Toni’s textbooks:

More from Toni Glymph-Martin (video): The Wastewater Treatment Plant Microbiological Zoo

Toni Modeling Her Water Bear (Tardigrade) Wear

Podcast Reference from Wanda’s Water Tidbit
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