Every fall, thousands of water professionals from across the globe gather for the Water Environment Federation’s annual tradeshow and conference known as WEFTEC. This year’s event takes place in Chicago, Illinois, from September 21-25 and is expected to draw over 1,000 exhibiting companies and tens of thousands of attendees.

Canada makes a splash at WEFTEC both on the tradeshow floor and in conference presentations. As a media partner, ES&E Magazine has exhibited at WEFTEC for many years. We’ve put together this brief guide to help fellow Canadians make the most from their WEFTEC experience.

WEFTEC Exhibition

The WEFTEC Exhibition features an amazing array of wastewater companies presenting the latest equipment and treatment options. Among the over 1,000 exhibitors you’ll find many Canadian firms on display. You can browse the list of exhibitors (PDF) to see which Canadian companies are exhibiting.

The Ontario Pavilion (Booth #6221) is a great showcase of Ontario firms that are relatively new to WEFTEC. To connect with companies from western Canada at WEFTEC, check out this company directory produced by Tech West Canada.

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The exciting Operations Challenge also takes place on the tradeshow floor. Teams of operators compete in various tests of real-world scenarios such as pipe replacement, pump maintenance and confined space entry.

There are four Canadian teams competing in this year’s challenge. From the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Wet Well Warriors from Metro Vancouver. And, from the Water Environment Association of Ontario, the Ashbridges High Levels from the City of Toronto; the Sludgehammers from the Region of Durham; and the Sludge Hogs from the City of London.

Networking Opportunities

The Great Canadian Icebreaker on Sunday, September 22, is a fantastic way to start your WEFTEC experience and network with Canadian delegates. It is organized by the Water Environment Association of Ontario and costs $75.

For young professionals, the YP Networking Reception is a great opportunity to connect with peers over cocktails and light refreshments. This is a free event.

Canadian water and wastewater companies may be interested in business development events organized by the Government of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service Chicago post. The Canada@WEFTEC program has a number of ways for Canadian companies to learn about opportunities in the U.S. and the Americas and connect directly with buyers in water utilities and industrial users. Registration is required for these events and they are open to qualified companies only. Click here for more information.


There are lots of great presentations and technical seminars at WEFTEC, including many by Canadians. Use the WEFTEC Online Planner to search presentations by keywords, speakers and topics.

The Canadian CEO Roundtable is a discussion taking place on the tradeshow floor as part of the Global Center Program at WEFTEC. It will take place on Tuesday, September 24, from 1:00-2:00pm at the Global Center in WEF Plaza, South Hall A. Hear from four CEOs of Canadian water technology firms about the future of water and how digitization and data is helping utilities find efficiencies and improve water system quality.

Don’t forget to stop by the Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine booth (#4226) to say hi to our team and pick up the latest issue of the magazine. Have a great show!


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