From pipe tapping to innovative technologies, here’s a peek at ACE15.

We’re counting down the final hours of the American Water Works Association’s ACE15 conference in Anaheim, California. Thousands of attendees have made the rounds, attending educational sessions and networking opportunities, taking in the popular pipe-tapping and Meter Madness competition, and checking out hundreds of new and innovative water-related products on display.

This year’s conference home — in the shadow of Disneyland and the venerable Mickey Mouse — rolled out the red carpet for this showcase of the water industry. This year was my second year attending ACE, and the show provided plenty of learning opportunities. In my role as COLE Publishing’s product editor, this show lets me see many of the products — and companies — highlighted in the pages of TPO and its sister publication, Municipal Sewer & Water, firsthand.

Here’s a quick look at some of the highlights from ACE15:

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  • Monday morning’s opening session featured Dr. Wallace J Nichols, author of New York Times best-seller Blue Mind. Wallace discussed the emotional, behavioral, psychological and physical connections that draw humans to water, along with recent findings that indicate proximity to water can improve mood, performance, health and success.
  • The Big Sky County Water & Sewer District of Montana won the annual “Best of the Best” Tap Water Taste Test. Second place in the competition went to Universal City, Texas. Third place was a tie between the Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority and last year’s champion, the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. The People’s Choice award winner, as determined by conference attendees, went to Champlain Water District of South Burlington, Vermont.
  • Over the course of three days, the pipe-tapping competition drew a standing-room-only crowd. While competition was still going on as of early Wednesday afternoon, the tapping team from Monterrey and Apodaca, Mexico, stood in the top spot, amassing a lightning-fast time of 1:11:97. A new ACE competition also drew buzz among the crowd, as solo competitors competed in the Meter Madness event, and a demo of a fresh new competition idea, Hydrant Hysteria.
  • Of course, the show floor was filled with personnel from all facets of the water and wastewater sector. Many of you stopped by our booth to pick up one of our magazines, comment on a story you appeared in, or ask how your utility could be featured. We love to hear that! If you didn’t have the chance to stop, we’d still love to hear about your city, your municipality and the good you’re doing for the industry. Drop us a note. We love to hear from the men and women who read our magazines.

Enjoy these photos from ACE15. As I write this, vendors are already signing up for booth space at next year’s conference, which will be held in Chicago, Illinois. See you next year in Chi-town!

  • The Anaheim Convention Center played host to the 2015 show.
  • The Spotsylvania Pipe Tapping Team competes in Wednesday’s Finals. The team finished 2nd overall with a time of 1:12.
  • The tapping team from SADM San Miguel, Mexico, attempts to defend its 2014 Tapping title at ACE15. The team finished 3rd this year.
  •  The ACE15 Best of Show awardees
  • A team from Illinois competes in the Hydrant Hysteria demo competition.
  • Randy Turner from SWAN Anaylitical talks with an ACE15 attendee
  • See you next year June 19-22 in Chicago, Illinois

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