From April 9 to 12, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Virginia) will welcome guests to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford for WEF Collection Systems and Stormwater Conference (CSSW) 2024.

The event, co-hosted by the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA), is the premier annual destination for stormwater management and wastewater collections professionals interested in the latest technical, regulatory, and strategic developments shaping the landscape of flood control and climate resilience. The technical program for CSSW 2024 covers virtually every corner of these developments, featuring high-profile speakers, case studies from around the world, and a range of extracurricular activities such as facility tours and networking events.

“The program lineup for this year’s Collection Systems and Stormwater Conference offers a diverse range of topics to cater to a wide audience, from field technicians seeking innovative methods for infrastructure development and maintenance to technology enthusiasts eager to delve into the transformative impact of AI [artificial intelligence] and smart sensors on our industry,” said Lisa Deason, WEF Stormwater, Collection Systems and Conveyance Practice Leader. “As integral members of the ever-evolving water sector, it is imperative for stormwater professionals to stay abreast of the latest regulations, funding mechanisms, and technological advancements. Attending this event provides a valuable opportunity to achieve just that.”

Policy, Products, and Practices

CSSW 2024 officially kicks off on April 10 with an Opening General Session, orienting attendees to Hartford’s rich hydrological history. The 90-minute address features remarks from some of the region’s most prominent personalities and water experts.

The Water Environment Federation Collection Systems and Stormwater Conference 2024 — taking place in Hartford, Connecticut, April 9–12 — will feature a full technical program with 30 unique sessions, three hands-on workshops, two facility tours, as well as networking opportunities. Image courtesy of Julianne Jones/WEF

The session begins with a welcome from Hartford Mayor Arunan Arulampalam and WEF Board of Trustees Representative Christine Volkay-Hilditch. Next, Scott Jellison, Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan District of Hartford, and Rebecca Todd, Executive Director of the Connecticut River Conservancy (Greenfield, Massachusetts), will discuss ongoing efforts to preserve water quality and manage flooding in the Connecticut River Watershed, which spans four Northeast U.S. states. Capping the session is a presentation about how these efforts shape the culture of the communities they affect from Jeff Dooley, Director of Broadcast and Media Relations for the Yard Goats, Hartford’s AA Minor League Baseball team.

Attendees then can participate in any of 30 technical sessions taking place over the next 3 days, which cover an expansive set of topics geared specifically toward stormwater and collection systems professionals. One highlight is a regulatory and policy update hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on April 10, covering such federal efforts as environmental justice, climate resilience, integrated planning, and the upcoming establishment of new Centers of Excellence for Stormwater Infrastructure Technologies. The Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange (Towson, Maryland) — a coalition of engineers, scientists, landscapers, and other green infrastructure-minded professionals — also will provide an update on the state of nature-based solutions in the public sector during a session on April 11.

Among dozens of other topics represented in the CSSW 2024 program are

  • high-tech approaches to financial modeling for stormwater projects;
  • stormwater capture and reuse;
  • managing combined sewer overflows;
  • ways stormwater agencies are adopting artificial intelligence and digital-twin technologies;
  • designing infrastructure according to sea-level rise;
  • communication and community engagement during high-profile water projects; and
  • innovative workforce development strategies.

Between technical sessions, attendees also will have access to a convention floor featuring more than 60 exhibitors on hand to demonstrate products and form partnerships. Get up close and personal with these exhibitors during two “technology spotlight” sessions — one on April 10 and the other on April 11. These curated sessions, organized around specific topics, will bring attendees to different booths for a variety of lectures and product demonstrations.

Add to Your Conference Experience

CSSW 2024 offers attendees several opportunities to enhance their event experience with tours, networking events, and pre-conference workshops.

The conference program includes various case studies on ways local stormwater and collection systems managers have worked to control flooding risks from the Connecticut River, as well as the success of ongoing conservation programs in the Connecticut River Watershed. Image courtesy of pedrik/Flickr

Before the exhibition opens, get a head start on learning by attending one of three hands-on workshops on April 9. These opt-in learning opportunities include two full-day seminars on smart sewers as well as manhole condition assessment and rehabilitation, plus a half-day workshop on financing stormwater infrastructure using different federal and private funding programs.

Get to know fellow attendees, as well as conference hosts, during a NEWEA networking reception on April 9. The event takes place at the Connecticut Science Center — directly next to the convention building — and will feature food, drinks, and entertainment. Tickets are available for purchase separately from registration at the NEWEA website.

Lastly, attendees can register to journey beyond the convention center to experience guided tours of the Connecticut River Watershed’s most important water infrastructure projects. Two tours are open for registration during CSSW 2024: one to the South Hartford Conveyance and Storage Tunnel Project managed by the Metropolitan District of Hartford, and another to the Connecticut River and Park River Flood Management Systems — a collection of flood-control systems protecting about 1,150 ha (2,800 ac) of highly developed urban space and more than USD $1 billion worth of critical infrastructure. Each tour takes roughly 3 hours to complete and includes transportation from the convention center.

Learn more about CSSW 2024, including registration details, the full technical program, and information on continuing education credits (CECs) at the WEF website.

Justin Jacques is editor of Stormwater Report and a staff member of the Water Environment Federation (WEF). In addition to writing for WEF’s online publications, he also contributes to Water Environment & Technology magazine. Contact him at