solving pfas problems

By Dean Amhaus, President & CEO

Breaking news! I’ll get to the topic everyone is talking about – PFAS – in a minute, but first I am thrilled to announce that our own Karen Frost, vice president of economic development and innovation, was named today as a 2024 Woman of Influence by the Milwaukee Business Journal. When it comes to water technology innovation, Karen epitomizes what it means to be an influential and highly respected leader within the industry and the businesses she supports. For The Water Council and water technology, she is a true woman of influence. Congratulations Karen!


Photo by Kevin McIntosh

forever chemicals no more

After years of hot talk in the water world, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week released a major mandate outlining its first-ever limits on PFAs in drinking water. While the announcement raises many questions for utilities and other stakeholders, it’s undoubtedly an important first step in addressing the dangers of these contaminants.

Issues like PFAS touch on much of our work here at The Water Council. Not only is keeping PFAS out of our water a matter of water stewardship, but many of our members are working on the technology to remove, concentrate and destroy these chemicals.

In fact, Larry Kinsman of ORIN Technologies said in a recent Wisconsin Technology Council column that we should no longer call them “forever chemicals.”

“It (forever chemical) is a faulty term now for PFAS and PFOS. Four or five years ago, you probably would have said that, but not today,” Kinsman said.

ORIN Technologies and Fixed Earth Innovations, both members of The Water Council, have launched a joint venture to combine the effectiveness of their PFAS technologies, with promising results. Other members working on PFAS remediation technology include Avivid Water Technology LLC, Aquagga Inc., Enspired Solutions and Ixom Watercare. Of course, many of our members working in water and wastewater treatment and engineering will be part of the solution for removing PFAS from water.

good news for milwaukee

We received good news this month in the effort to involve the next generation in solving water challenges. The Water Council will receive $300,000 through the federal budget to develop a program that will help Milwaukee students learn about water monitoring and water sector employment through lab study, field trips, mentoring and internships. We greatly appreciate the assistance that Sen. Tammy Baldwin provided in moving this funding through the U.S. Congress.

Through this program, we will work with our partners, including Community Water Services, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Milwaukee Water Works and the Milwaukee Health Department, to build the local water workforce and increase diversity in the water sector. This is also a positive step for our National Science Foundation Resiliency Engine, as one of the Engine’s goals is to grow a skilled, inclusive water workforce.

water stewardship

You only have a few more days to register for our WAVE: Water Stewardship Verified webinar coming up Monday, April 22. Join us to learn how WAVE can help you assess water use, impact and risk across your entire enterprise. Hear from Patrick Boyle of Samuel, Son & Co., a WAVE participant with 80 North American sites, and Lauren Enright of SCS Global Services, WAVE’s independent verification body. Click here to register.

Just in time for the WAVE webinar, we are pleased to announce
the launch of WAVE 1.2. In the spirit of continuous improvement embedded in WAVE, we have again sought feedback on the efficacy of the program from participants, SCS Global Services and other key stakeholders. Building on slight adjustments and revisions for clarity, we are pleased to announce the completion of the updated Normative Document, Implementation Guide and Conformity Matrix. Visit for more details.

If you know a young adult training for a career in water stewardship, let them know about our WAVE summer internship. Applicants should be graduate-level students studying business or environmental studies with strong data and research skills and knowledge of the economic, environmental and social aspects of water issues. Contact Matt Howard, vice president of water stewardship, for more information.

innovation update

Our virtual BREW 2.0 programming got underway this month. The 10 global companies in our BREW 2.0 Post-Accelerator are solving water challenges from all angles, from digital water to bacterial monitoring to energy generation from water. Sessions so far have focused on marketing plus introductions to water technology leaders, previous BREW participants and The Water Council team.

Save the date for June 26, when our BREW innovators will gather in Milwaukee to pitch their innovations at our annual Demo Day. A rooftop reception will follow celebrating the participants and The Water Council’s 15th anniversary. Click here to register.

Don’t forget our Tech Challenge is open through May 19. This session’s topics focus on:

international work

Our office was busy earlier this month as we hosted visits from the Great Bubble Barrier of the Netherlands and Mann + Hummel of Germany. We love hosting visitors from near and far to learn more about Milwaukee’s World Water Hub and our international services, including matchmaking, soft landing facilities in the Global Water Center and technical assistance. In turn, we will be visiting IFAT in Germany next month and are excited to connect with members there.

Karen Frost shows off potential sites on the Menomonee River on a drizzly day.

Our European representative, Beverley Ferrara, is invaluable to companies looking to enter the U.S. market or partner with U.S. companies. Check out her recent blog for a taste of the value we provide overseas members. There, she interviews Misty Guard of member Regulosity about the regulatory landscape in the U.S. and how companies can turn compliance from a headache into a competitive advantage.

new member

We welcome our newest member of The Water Council, Hydraze, Inc., a startup based in Maryland looking to conserve water use in public bathrooms. Welcome to the hub Where Water Works!

member news & opportunities

Autumn in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.