In October 2021, the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) was invited to Chicago to exhibit at the largest water related technical exhibition and conference in the world, WEFTEC. Hosted by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), which through its 75 state, territorial, and regional member associations has over 30,000 members, WEFTEC draws nearly 20,000 water professionals annually.
WEF’s particular interest was in the historic glass media that depict early ISWS research efforts in sanitation, waterborne disease, and wastewater treatment. ISWS accomplishments in the fields of waterborne disease and wastewater treatment helped change the course of water treatment and sanitation in the U.S. in the early 1900s.
ISWS and Prairie Research Institute communications staff developed six themed posters and two additional posters to draw attention to the history of the ISWS. The posters were exhibited during the three-day WEFTEC event. Throughout the exhibition attendees stopped by to learn more about ISWS history, or to share their own stories of historical information in their own files.
The posters represent only 1%-2% of the historic glass plates and lantern slides in storage at the ISWS. ISWS staff are hopeful that all 1,400 glass media will be available to the public at some time in the future.
WEF is providing the ISWS with exhibit space again at WEFTEC 2022, which will be held at the New Orleans Convention Center, October 10-12.
Below is a sample image from each poster displayed at WEFTEC 2021, along with a link to the full poster.
Historical Wastewater Archives at the Illinois State Water Survey
Wastewater Related Science at ISWS: 1904-1931
Wastewater Treatment Plants across the U.S.
Illinois Wastewater Plants
Wastewater System: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Wastewater Plant Schematics: 1905-1920
Typhoid in the U.S. and Abroad: 1904-1931
Typhoid in Illinois: 1904-1931