Have a story idea? Pay me a visit at the COLE Publishing booth next week.

In the two years since I started working for COLE Publishing, I’ve occasionally thought about how I used to perceive the water and wastewater industry.

On a personal level, I was like many people — I didn’t give much thought to it at all. Every day I was enjoying the benefits of infrastructure that people worked hard to maintain, but it was just an afterthought.

In my work life, I actually wrote about the industry, but as a reporter covering the city government beat for my local newspaper, it wasn’t in the way I do now. I recall taking a tour of the city’s new wastewater treatment plant just before it was about to go online. The details on plant operations washed over me and I feigned interest as I waited for opportunities to ask the superintendent more pressing questions: What are you doing to control odor for nearby residents? What does this mean for ratepayers? This is what my readers — the general public — wanted to know. What was the personal effect on them. Everything else was irrelevant.

Related: Blog: Wastewater Professionals Need to Practice What They Preach

But at COLE Publishing I write about the water and wastewater industry for a different audience — not the general public, but the industry itself. And that brings me to the reason for this bit of personal background. I’ll be in New Orleans next week with a few of my colleagues attending WEFTEC, the Water Environment Federation’s annual event. I recently took on the role of digital editor for Municipal Sewer & Water magazine, and though I’m not completely new to writing for an industry audience, I’m far from an expert. I’m learning something every day and constantly thinking about what kind of content I can provide on the MSW website that you readers will find interesting and could prove helpful in your day-to-day work. An event like WEFTEC is an opportunity to meet some of you in person and find out exactly what that content may be.

So if you're also attending WEFTEC and happen to see me at the COLE Publishing booth (#2143) or out roaming the convention center, feel free to approach me for a quick chat. Whether you personally have a story worth sharing with fellow readers or any other potential story ideas, I’m interested.

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