By Carl Janson, President, Riordan Materials Corp.
Most of the manufacturer’s representatives have just returned from attending WEFTEC 2018, held in New Orleans from September 30th through October 3rd. This year’s Annual Technical Exhibition & Conference was a showcase of the latest technologies, developments, and services for the water sector and continues to be the largest water quality event in the world. This year there was more than 20,000 water professionals in attendance along with over 1,000 water industry companies exhibiting. The opening session speaker, Kevin Brown, shared his strategies and ideas to inspire water professionals to know and recognize that they should consider themselves as everyday heroes in their communities.
As manufacturer’s representatives, we participate in WEFTEC as an opportunity to meet with our principals, obtain the latest product training, and to host/assist our consulting engineers and end users in meeting with some of our principals to discuss their particular projects either in design or under construction. We are also able to attend the technical presentations to learn more about regulatory issues, funding, new treatment innovations, and project case studies. This year’s sessions included: Collection Systems; Energy Conservation and Management; Nutrient Removal and Recovery; Plant Design, Operations and Treatment; Regulations; Research; Residuals & Biosolids; Stormwater; Utility Management; Water Reuse/Recycling; and Water Quality & Watershed Management. Many of our clients attend to not only see the exhibits, but also to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDHs). This year’s conference was very successful, and we look forward to following up on the leads and inquiries developed at the conference. This event provides us with an opportunity to meet with key staff from our principals and our many friends in the industry. We continue to promote membership in WWEMA, which was also an active exhibitor and participant in the conference.
We currently are working with the WWEMA Task Force in developing an online video and technical document library to share with current and potential members. More information and details on the content of this library should be released shortly. We continue to also promote the career opportunities available in the water profession for students and young professionals.
Funding continues to be on everyone’s radar, as all of us strive to obtain the necessary monies to repair, update, and replace the many aging facilities for water and wastewater treatment. Many utilities and authorities are struggling with obtaining the necessary dollars to maintain and upgrade their collection, distribution, and treatment facilities. We look forward to current and future government efforts to address this issue.
Carl Janson is President of Riordan Materials Corporation. He is the Chair of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA) Manufacturers Representative Council and an ex-officio member of the WWEMA Board of Directors. WWEMA is the “Voice of Water and Technology Providers” in the water sector. Formed in 1908, WWEMA’s mission is to promote the advancement of technology solutions for clean water that ensures a future sustainable environment and to increase our members’ competitiveness and profitability in the U.S. and abroad. For more information about WWEMA or to join, go to www.wwema.org or contact Executive Director Vanessa Leiby directly at email@example.com.