Celebrating the Water Industry

A week at the WWETT Show highlighted the character and strength of this industry.

The sewer and water industry doesn’t often get the positive attention it deserves. That’s part of what I like so much about the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show. It’s the living embodiment of this industry, where all the people, stories and equipment are brought together and celebrated.

This year’s show drew one of the largest crowds in the show’s history. Total attendance climbed to over 14,400, and the number of exhibiting companies reached 599, an all-time high. Beyond the numbers, it was just great seeing so many of you in Indianapolis.

I saw a lot of municipal utility operators walking around at this year’s WWETT Show. I made contacts with people from Cecil County, Maryland, to Lethbridge, Alberta. I saw familiar faces sitting in classrooms, in the exhibit hall, doing whatever they could to make their utilities stronger. They were taking advantage of opportunities to learn and grow. I like seeing that. It’s what this magazine is all about.

From the classrooms to the show floor, the whole show is an education. No matter how much technology advances and no matter how many years of experience you have under your belt, there are still new things to learn about some of the most basic services you provide. And don’t for a second question whether the technology is advancing in meaningful ways.

The future of this industry and your utilities was on display. All the new recycling technology on jet/vac trucks, new nozzles designed specifically for use with recycled water, robotic reinstatement cutters, inspection systems with 3-D mapping capabilities — the new technology is truly impressive.

And yet, as impressive as it was to see all these tools aimed at helping you do your job more effectively and efficiently, you can’t learn anything from a piece of iron. It’s the people you meet, and the knowledge and advice you glean from conversations with them, that can transform your utility. And it’s hard to walk out of the Indiana Convention Center when it’s over without feeling like you’re part of something important, progressive and respected.

The greatest part of the show for me is meeting and talking to you. I speak with many of you from my desk in northern Wisconsin, but the opportunity to meet face to face, to speak with you directly and hear your stories in person really brings everything together. It’s great to hear how the work we’re doing at MSW is informing your work. That’s the goal, and it’s also the greatest reward.

Operating water and wastewater systems and protecting your communities takes commitment and dedication. It can be dirty and thankless. But that’s nothing new to you; it’s simply what you do. I just thought it deserved some recognition.

Enjoy this month’s issue.


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