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San Antonio — The seventh Emerging Water Technology Symposium returned as an in-person event for the first time in four years, bringing together industry, manufacturing, water utility and government leaders from around the world.  A focus of this year’s event was on resources communities require to build safe and resilient plumbing systems as well as Read more

San Antonio — The seventh Emerging Water Technology Symposium returned as an in-person event for the first time in four years, bringing together industry, manufacturing, water utility and government leaders from around the world.  A focus of this year’s event was on resources communities require to build safe and resilient plumbing systems as well as meet the growing list of challenges to America’s drinking water.

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

The esteemed panel on Effective Risk Management of Building Water Systems for Pathogen Control included (from l to r) Julius Ballanco, president, JB Engineering; Kurt Steenhoek, International Representative, UA; Janet Stout, Executive VP and Founder, Special Pathogen Laboratory; James Dipping, Director of Plumbing Engineering, Environmental Systems Design, Inc.; Christoph Lohr, VP of Strategic Initiatives, IAPMO; and Matt Freije, CEO, HC Info.

The May 10-11 event at the Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio was co-convened by the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

Pete DeMarco

“As an industry we have a number of high priority research needs that relate to water quality as well as water and energy efficiency,” IAPMO Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Research Pete DeMarco explained in discussing the importance of the symposium. “This year’s event brought together some of the brightest minds industry has to offer all focused on how we make our plumbing and mechanical systems safer and more resilient to meet the challenges ahead.”

In his opening remarks, DeMarco pointed to a number of accomplishments for which the EWTS has served as a springboard, including the development of the Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement (now the Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard WE•Stand); ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2018, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems; ASSE 12000 series on infection control and water quality, which is in IAPMO’s Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC®); and IAPMO’s Water Demand Calculator, whose second version was released in 2020.

“This symposium provides a much-needed platform for stakeholders across the industry to gather, discuss the latest research, and then discuss how we can take action,” he said. “It is a highly valuable event, and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow in the future.”

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

Kerry Stackpole

PMI CEO Kerry Stackpole spoke at the event and said the relationships between the organizations represented at EWTS had likely never been more important than they are now. He said that while the best and brightest among us devised medical solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plumbing industry also played an important role.

“What’s also important is how our industry responded,” he said. “Our industry’s experience and our focus became touchless faucets, antimicrobial surfaces, water purification systems, all kinds of energy-efficient devices focused on safe and responsible plumbing. We all had a contribution to make and I think our industry stepped up.”

Stackpole said wildfires, flooding and drought that different regions of the United States are experiencing put those in the industry in a position to shape the future.

“Your active engagement here, in your communities back home, and in the marketplace of ideas, where we will have opportunities to share ideas with one another, will make all the difference,” he said. “You actually are able to turn the dial on this, and I think that’s really exciting.”

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

A day 2 panel saw (from l to r) Ed Osann, Senior Water Policy Analyst, NRDC; Dain Hansen, Executive Vice President, Government Relations, IAPMO; and Stephanie Salmon, Washington Representative, PMI, talk about the implications of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Drinking Water and Wastewater.

This year’s keynote speakers were Robert Puente, president and CEO of the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), and Don Johnston, senior operations director, Indonesia, for Water.org.

Puente’s presentation looked at three ways in which SAWS, which serves 2 million customers over four counties, uses innovation to deliver water to its customers: advanced metering deployment, “smart” manhole covers, and conservation.

“It’s all about innovation,” he said. “And I think if you talk to our employees, although they will tell you that it’s their idea, we know that they got their idea from coming to events like this. Every good idea, you should expect it to be stolen, to be used by someone else, and you should be flattered by that. I think anything that you look at here started somewhere else, and we went to conferences in other cities and were able to bring back the ideas to SAWS to really get the innovation aspect in this.”

In delivering his keynote address remotely from Jakarta, Indonesia, Johnston spoke about the global water and sanitation crisis’s impact on low-income households — one in nine people lack access to safe water, one in three do not have access to a toilet — and some potential solutions. Working with financial institutions and water utilities, as well as sister company WaterEquity, Water.org helps bring affordable financing to people in need of water.

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

The Hub’s John Mesenbrink asks the hard-hitting questions during the symposium.

“In about 19 years of work on the ground, we’ve seen water and sanitation access reach more than 45 million people through more 10 million microloans disbursed to households with capital of $3.7 billion mobilized,” he said.

In his presentation, Phillip White, manager of plumbing and mechanical inspections for the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, shared how his city addressed the problem of insufficient sewer capacity when it came to capturing large amounts of rainfall through water reuse technologies. One development, the Oakridge Centre, utilized the IAPMO Water Demand Calculator and is expected to have the largest non-potable water system in North America.

Emerging Water Technology Symposium, IAPMO, ASPE, PMI, Janet Stout, water efficiency, water technology, sustainability

Janet Stout

Another speaker, Special Pathogens Laboratory Executive Vice President/Founder Dr. Janet Stout, looked at approaches and products for mitigating the risk of Legionellosis in point-of-use and point-of-entry building water systems. Improved water management requires knowledgeable Legionella prevention and water service providers, which can come from certification to ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI 12080 for Legionella Water Safety and Management Personnel.

IAPMO will provide sessions from the EWTS on-demand in the near future. To be notified when they are available, register at www.ewts.org/2022-ewts.

Flagship showroom in Fulton Market District highlights Sloan’s full suite of aesthetic, hygienic commercial restroom products. Chicago—On a dreary Tuesday morning in early May, Sloan sparkled by holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its flagship showroom and office space in the Fulton Market District. The flagship showroom highlights Sloan’s full suite of aesthetic Read more

Flagship showroom in Fulton Market District highlights Sloan’s full suite of aesthetic, hygienic commercial restroom products.
Chicago—On a dreary Tuesday morning in early May, Sloan sparkled by holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its flagship showroom and office space in the Fulton Market District.
The flagship showroom highlights Sloan’s full suite of aesthetic, hygienic commercial restroom products, which are on display for architects, designers, engineers and contractors so they can experience first-hand the entire suite of Sloan’s fixtures, colors, branding, new technology, etc.
Sloan Showroom, Fulton Market District, Sloan Valve, plumbing, commercial plumbing, sloan flushometers, sloan sensor-activated faucets

Taking part in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new space were Graham Allen and Kirk Allen, Sloan co-presidents and CEOs and fourth generation descendants of company founder William Elvis Sloan.

The project represents Sloan’s largest showroom in North America and complements Sloan’s existing Mobile Showroom, as well as its Charles S. Allen Design Center in Andover, Mass., and Stone and Steel Showroom in Mesa, Ariz.
Sloan Showroom, Fulton Market District, Sloan Valve, plumbing, commercial plumbing, sloan flushometers, sloan sensor-activated faucets

The Hub’s John Mesenbrink took part in some AR technology from the showroom.

Located on the building’s 10th floor, Sloan’s showroom space represents a return to the company’s origins, as Sloan was initially founded on nearby Jackson Boulevard prior to moving to its current Franklin Park headquarters in 1975. The new building features an office space and showroom, while Sloan’s manufacturing and corporate headquarters remains in Franklin Park.

“Sloan has been synonymous with Chicago since the company’s inception in 1906,” said Kirk Allen. “Today’s ribbon-cutting is a historic and exciting event as we expand our Chicago-area footprint with our new showroom and office space in the Fulton Market District, while returning to our roots where the company was built.”
Sloan Showroom, Fulton Market District, Sloan Valve, plumbing, commercial plumbing, sloan flushometers, sloan sensor-activated faucets

The showroom features a wide range of Sloan products and innovations, including flushometers.

“The opening of the new Chicago office is an important component of Sloan’s continuous efforts to retain and attract new talent with state-of-the-art amenities, multiple locations, and flex working policies,” said Kim Darke-Miller, Sloan senior manager of strategic accounts. “With a cutting-edge collaboration center, product showroom, and offices, the Fulton Market District location enables Sloan to offer new and existing employees an amazing building and workspace.”
Sloan Showroom, Fulton Market District, Sloan Valve, plumbing, commercial plumbing, sloan flushometers, sloan sensor-activated faucets

The showroom features a wide range of Sloan products and innovations, including sensor-activated faucets.

The showroom features a wide range of Sloan products and innovations, including sensor-activated faucets, soap dispensers, hand dryers, and flushometers, as well as its array of special finishes. The new venue enables Sloan to enhance its engagement with architects, designers, and engineers, as well as general and plumbing contractors and the wholesaler community.
Video series showcasing the making of RIDGID's iconic pipe wrench

https://youtu.be/VD8thVlIZP8 Our latest Hub On The Road series video brings us to RIDGE Tool company to see the making of their iconic pipe wrench. The world famous cast iron pipe wrench is started at the Urick Foundry in Erie, PA. We get the very first public look into this decades old manufacturing facility were the Read more

Our latest Hub On The Road series video brings us to RIDGE Tool company to see the making of their iconic pipe wrench.

The world famous cast iron pipe wrench is started at the Urick Foundry in Erie, PA. We get the very first public look into this decades old manufacturing facility were the molten metals are poured into molds, sand is cast and robots work alongside dedicated employees with years of service.

From Urick the guys take their fresh wrench to Elyria, OH to RIDGID’s world headquarters and factory floor to finish the process of grinding, painting, assembling the plumbing and piping industries most iconic tool.

This video is a first ever look behind the scenes of this American made legend. We at MH thank whole hearteldy our partners and friends for welcoming us into their house and allowing us to make this video.

We sincerely hope you find this entertaining,

Team MH

This is the first in a multi-part series on the history of geothermal heating and cooling in the United States and beyond. It focuses on the efforts of two men: Dan Ellis and David Hatherton, the latter having trademarked the WaterFurnace name back in 1981 in Ontario, Canada. David Hatherton is the son of a Read more

This is the first in a multi-part series on the history of geothermal heating and cooling in the United States and beyond. It focuses on the efforts of two men: Dan Ellis and David Hatherton, the latter having trademarked the WaterFurnace name back in 1981 in Ontario, Canada.

Dan Ellis, David Hatherton, geothermal, WaterFurnace International, plumbing, water heating, HVACR, hvac, Jay Egg, EggGeo, air-to-water heat pumps, heat pumps

David Hatherton and Dan Ellis

David Hatherton is the son of a water well driller with business operations located in Ontario, Canada. David first noted the energy available in the ground during one particularly cold winter day in Ontario. He still remembers inadvertently placing his hand into the water flowing from a newly drilled water well. He recalls how startled he was that it felt so warm. That’s when he realized that there was truly thermal energy available in the ground. He realized that this is an unlimited resource; if only he could just figure out how to tap it and turn it into heating for home buildings.

In 1980, David’s father passed away, and David did not want to continue in the drilling business. Instead, he put together a water source heat pump that he tied into one of the water wells on his property. Shortly after that, he came up with the name “WaterFurnace,” and trademarked it in Ontario, Canada.

Dan Ellis, David Hatherton, geothermal, WaterFurnace International, plumbing, water heating, HVACR, hvac, Jay Egg, EggGeo, air-to-water heat pumps, heat pumps

The First WaterFurnace Installation & Trademark Paperwork

Interestingly, many folks did not like the name WaterFurnace. But as Dave shared, the name told the story of the water source heat pump. Instead of a furnace that combusted some type of fuel, the WaterFurnace heat pump used the energy from water in the earth to provide heat.

Meanwhile, Dan Ellis was in the business of saving oil and energy. Starting in 1978, a year of double-digit inflation, Dan was working out of an old van and had started a company called “Genesis Energy Systems.” His idea involved a water source heat pump with a solar thermal boost. You can see the first article that ran in 1982 about that system in the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News.

Dan Ellis, David Hatherton, geothermal, WaterFurnace International, plumbing, water heating, HVACR, hvac, Jay Egg, EggGeo, air-to-water heat pumps, heat pumps

The News Article from March 15, 1982

This article piqued David’s interest, and he traveled to Fort Wayne, Ind., to meet Dan Ellis at the office of a successful HVAC contractor, Command Air, at which Dan was a division manager. They had dinner with Harmon Hensley https://www.ahattersley.com/our-story , President of Hattersley and Sons in Fort Wayne, a man of means that caught this vision of what they wanted to do.

About the same time, the late Dr Jim Bose of Oklahoma State University (OSU) started working with Gerald Parker on geothermal closed loop science, coming up with the first equations for piped heat transfer in a horizontal closed loop exchanger. That effort eventually spawned the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) in 1987 https://igshpa.org/about-us/.

When you consider the date on Dave’s certificate for successful completion of the Closed-Loop Earth-Coupled Heat Pump Workshop, which was signed by Dr Jim Bose, it gives an idea of how far ahead they were.  The date of Dave’s attendance is February 24, 1983, and IGSHPA was organized at Oklahoma State University 4 years later in 1987, with Dr. Jim Bose as the Executive Director.

Dan Ellis, David Hatherton, geothermal, WaterFurnace International, plumbing, water heating, HVACR, hvac, Jay Egg, EggGeo, air-to-water heat pumps, heat pumps

David’s 1983 OSU Closed-Loop Certificate

The pair was set to be a prime distributor for Command Air, on which they planned to affix the new ‘WaterFurnace” label, but the deal did not materialize. They went on to work with investors to create WaterFurnace International in April 1983 in what they affectionately call the “carpeted warehouse.” You can see the harvest-gold carpet in the image in which they are standing proudly in front of the first WaterFurnace booth.

The First WaterFurnace Trade Show Booth

Dan wrote a letter to get Dave a visa to come to U.S. to work as the Executive VP of WaterFurnace. By January of 1984, according to the letter, Dave’s distribution company in Ontario had sold $500,000 worth of WaterFurnace equipment and was the largest single distributor in North America. As a result of their alliance, during 1984, WaterFurnace set up about 20 distributors, enlisted the support of electrical coops to monetize geothermal heat pump rebates in their areas, and had completed some significant commercial projects involving as many as 324 vertical boreholes.

Dan Ellis, David Hatherton, geothermal, WaterFurnace International, plumbing, water heating, HVACR, hvac, Jay Egg, EggGeo, air-to-water heat pumps, heat pumps

Employment Letter from Dan to David

At this time, the Carter Administration still had federal tax credits on the rolls for heat pumps, but those were eliminated by the new administration in 1984.  Even with that, WaterFurnace sold $2.2 million in geothermal heat pumps by the end of 1984, showing a $300,000 profit.

When the Command Air part of the deal failed, Dan Ellis arranged for the purchase the water-source division of McQuay with the help of investors, which bootstrapped WaterFurnace fully into the manufacturing business in 1985.

In the next segment, we’ll share information on Dave moving back to Ontario where he worked with the utility to get 7,300 systems installed in three years, Dan moved over to ClimateMaster, and guided them from the red to a $200M company in 10 years.

Dan Ellis, David Hatherton, geothermal, WaterFurnace International, plumbing, water heating, HVACR, hvac, Jay Egg, EggGeo, air-to-water heat pumps, heat pumpsJay Egg is a geothermal consultant, writer, and the President of Egg Geo, LLC. He has co-authored two textbooks on geothermal HVAC systems published by McGraw-Hill Professional. He can be reached at jegg@egggeo.com

It was the most impressive gathering of young people interested in joining the trades that I have seen in quite some time. Iowa Skilled Trades (www.iowaskilledtrades.com), in conjunction with Home Builders Association of Des Moines (www.dsmhba.com) and the Skilled Trades Academy at Central Campus Des Moines Public Schools (https://centralcampus.dmschools.org/skilled-trades/), organized the very successful Iowa Build Read more

It was the most impressive gathering of young people interested in joining the trades that I have seen in quite some time. Iowa Skilled Trades (www.iowaskilledtrades.com), in conjunction with Home Builders Association of Des Moines (www.dsmhba.com) and the Skilled Trades Academy at Central Campus Des Moines Public Schools (https://centralcampus.dmschools.org/skilled-trades/), organized the very successful Iowa Build My Future event.

Iowa Build My Future event, Iowa Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Academy, skilled trades, Central Campus Des Moines

More than 5,000 students attended the Build My Future event held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.

Held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, the third such event held live since its inception, Iowa Build My Future far surpassed any past events with more than 5,000 middle school, high school and other students—from more than 120 schools from across the state of Iowa—bussed in to take part of this career day, industry showcase and hands-on trades expo held April 13.

Iowa Build My Future event, Iowa Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Academy, skilled trades, Central Campus Des Moines

Students from across the state of Iowa participated in the hands-on Build My Future event, which included testing tools, working with ropes, roof building, excavating demos, and much more.

Iowa Build My Future event, Iowa Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Academy, skilled trades, Central Campus Des Moines

Brandon Patterson, architect of the Build My Future event in Iowa, is all smiles as the event went off without a hitch.

“The goal is to have the students get their hands on things they’ve never done before. Maybe they don’t have shop class, maybe they’ve never understood of any careers in manufacturing. We are letting them have a hands-on experience with these different careers,” says Brandon Patterson, workforce development, HBA of Greater Des Moines, the driving force behind the event.

Those different careers include plumbing, HVAC, electrical, carpentry, masonry, welding, and more. Housed inside and out, hands-on activities included soldering, roofing, welding and jobsite excavator demos, rope climbing with harnesses, and much, much more.

Iowa Build My Future event, Iowa Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Academy, skilled trades, Central Campus Des Moines

Students getting ready for the letter of intent signing.

During the show, there was a Letter of Intent signing, indicating that students intended to enter the trades after high school. “We are actually going to do a signing day for kids that are going into the skilled trades industry, most likely construction. We want to showcase these kids and show them what it’s all about,” says Patterson.

Iowa Build My Future event, Iowa Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Academy, skilled trades, Central Campus Des MoinesThe letter also was co-signed by Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds, who was in attendance for the Build My Future event. “I want to congratulate the students here today for taking the initiative to jump start your careers in apprenticeships that gives you an advantage; it gives you hands-on experience, a chance to earn while you learn, and it’s exciting,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds continued, “I’m excited about the growth in Iowa’s registered apprenticeship programs. In 2021, we received 181 new programs in our state, the most ever in a single year and it puts Iowa as the national leader … we are going to continue to work with the kids, business, construction and the trades and we are going to transform the state of Iowa.”

Iowa Build My Future event, Iowa Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Academy, skilled trades, Central Campus Des Moines

Students were given plenty of swag from the event.

The letter signing was supported by RIDGID, Pfister, Iowa Skilled Trades and American Plumber Stories, and some key swag was given away at that time.

The Build My Future event left quite an impression on those attending, especially Mechanical Hub’s Eric Aune. “I wish I had something like this when I was in high school,” says Aune.

Prior to the Build My Future event, Mechanical hub was treated to a tour of the Skilled Trades Academy at the Central Campus in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Tour guides Dan Knoup, executive officer, HBA of Greater Des Moines and Gary Scrutchfield, Lumberman’s Drywall & Roofing Supply, who are both active with the Skilled Trades Academy.

Iowa Build My Future event, Iowa Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Academy, skilled trades, Central Campus Des Moines

The Academy is open to 42 school districts and offers 89 various program courses from agriculture to electrical to plumbing to automotive to carpentry to marine biology. Yes, marine biology. High school students are transported there for a minimum of 90 minutes per visit to get them educationally on the right trade track.

Iowa Build My Future event, Iowa Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Academy, skilled trades, Central Campus Des Moines

The Hub’s Eric Aune interviews Mike Murphy, a former U.S. military serviceman, heads up the plumbing and mechanical department for the Skilled Trades Academy.

Central Campus complements and extends the programs of Central Iowa Schools, offering unique academic and career opportunities that direct, inspire, and motivate a diverse group of students.

Located at the heart of the model district for urban education, Central Campus offers hands on, real world work-based educational programs to a highly diverse community and surrounding areas. One of our greatest strengths is the friendships and networking of students from diverse backgrounds and communities. Des Moines Public Schools dedicates itself to excelling at unique and technologically advanced opportunities for all learners. Central Campus commits itself to providing equal access and prospects through rigorous academic and career training experiences for all.

Iowa Build My Future event, Iowa Skilled Trades, Skilled Trades Academy, skilled trades, Central Campus Des Moines

Fun fact: the building was an assembly plant for Ford’s Model T.