Learn From Your Peers

There’s so much to be learned in the stories of other utilities’ failures and successes.

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You can read about something. You can watch someone else do it. But until you’ve really done the work yourself, you can only understand so much of it.

I’ve never lined a pipe, run a jetter or inspected a sewer main. I can’t share any technical wisdom. But I talk to you and your peers regularly. I hear your stories. I go to trade shows. I read about the industry. I certainly know far more about the work you do than your customers — you don’t need to explain to me the value of a CCTV inspection or the benefits of pipe bursting. Still, I’ve never done the work, and that’s where the real knowledge comes from.

I got a call the other day from a reader in Colorado. He’s been in the industry since the 1970s. He’s seen the evolution. He has the knowledge. I’m not teaching him anything new about the work he’s been doing for 40 years, but I can give him access to stories and new ideas that might help him continue to grow.

It was good to hear his perspective. It was also really nice to hear that he’s a regular reader and values my viewpoint. He referred to it as an outside perspective, and that was pretty interesting to hear — a useful reminder that no matter how much I write about the industry, I’m not out there doing the work.

So maybe I can’t teach you how to wet-out a felt liner or safely hydroexcavate a utility line in a congested area. I can’t tell you which nozzle is best for the work you do and I can’t provide any tips on coding inspection video. But I can put the industry’s best and brightest in front of you every month. I can tell their stories. And I can give you the opportunity to learn from them.

There’s so much to be learned from the experiences of your peers. The people whose stories fill this magazine every month, and the vast breadth of knowledge and information they hold, is the real value for you.

Next month’s Water & Wastewater Equipment Treatment & Transport Show is another great opportunity to talk to your peers and get a look at what’s happening around the industry.

The 2017 WWETT Show is slated for Feb. 22-25 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Everything you read about in these pages is there, from the trucks and tools to the people and perspectives. You’ll find countless ways to improve your utility.  

I’m always impressed by the people I meet at the show, and that’s what continues to make it most interesting to me. It’s fun to hear your stories. It provides insight on how the industry is progressing and gives me a glimpse of what future issues of Municipal Sewer & Water will hold.   

The WWETT Show is also full of opportunities for your utility. If you haven’t registered or begun planning your time in Indy, visit wwettshow.com for all the information you’ll need.

And while you’re at the show, feel free to track me down. I’d like to hear about the work you’re doing and how you’re moving your utility forward.

In the meantime, enjoy this month’s issue.


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