Industry News

The industry-leading trade associations will join forces for the technology-focused conference in January. Tampa, Fla. — The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), the National Electric Contractors Association (NECA) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) announced a joint partnership for the second consecutive year leading the annual MEP Innovation Conference Read more

The industry-leading trade associations will join forces for the technology-focused conference in January.

Tampa, Fla. — The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), the National Electric Contractors Association (NECA) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) announced a joint partnership for the second consecutive year leading the annual MEP Innovation Conference, which now has open registration for the in-person January 2022 session.

A three-day event known as the best technology conference for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, service and sheet metal contractors and their staffs, the MEP Innovation Conference provides educational sessions at all levels of experience, and opportunities to learn about the latest industry innovations in software, tools, and technologies. As part of the joint partnership, conference attendance is open to all members of MCAA, NECA and SMACNA and their union counterparts for the second consecutive year.

“Both NECA and SMACNA were great partners at the last MEP Innovation Conference this past April,” said Armand Kilijian, MCAA President. “They both provided ample content to expand our sessions, broadened attendance with many members participating across the different trades and immensely helped with making the switch to a virtual setting for the first time in seven years. We’re thrilled at the long-term partnership planned for this event based on the success of last year’s conference.”

Sessions at this year’s conference will be led by contractors from all three trade associations and include roundtable discussions, exhibitor demonstrations, breakout sessions and presentations. Sessions will be geared towards operation, VDC, project management, IT, and estimating.

“The construction trades are more interconnected than ever. Owner needs for shorter construction timelines have driven the development of new technologies and improved communication and coordination between construction team members. The more information and awareness our respective members can gather about construction technology and the processes of other MEP contractors, the better the stronger the partnerships become in the shop and on the jobsite.” said Vince Sandusky, CEO of SMACNA. “This conference offers a holistic view of the trends and innovative solutions appearing on the horizon.”

MCAA first launched this conference for its association members back in 2016 as a way to share knowledge and spark ideas and innovation through collaboration, demonstration and peer-to-peer instruction. The event has continued to grow year after year with over 1,350 virtual attendees in 2021.

“We’re excited to join forces with MCAA and SMACNA for this year’s conference and to give our members the opportunity to attend and network with a variety of other innovative, forward-thinking contractors,” said David Long, NECA CEO. “This event marks an ideal setting to learn about how new tools and technologies are impacting operations across the board for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing industries. We believe it is imperative to collaborate with likeminded leaders from across the world of construction.”

The MEP Innovation Conference will be held in-person in Tampa, Florida from January 24-26, 2022.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) proudly announces the 2021 class of WEF Awards for Operational and Design Excellence recipients, as well as winners of WEF’s Citation of Excellence in Advertising. These awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the water environment profession through their innovative approaches to fabricating, marketing, or utilizing Read more

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) proudly announces the 2021 class of WEF Awards for Operational and Design Excellence recipients, as well as winners of WEF’s Citation of Excellence in Advertising.

These awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the water environment profession through their innovative approaches to fabricating, marketing, or utilizing water infrastructure.

“Effective, efficient, and equitable deployment of water and wastewater infrastructure requires champions within the sector daring and capable enough to pursue new ways of doing things,” said Lynn Broaddus, WEF President. “The WEF Awards for Operational and Design Excellence, as well as WEF’s Citation of Excellence in Advertising, recognize these crucial changemakers.”

Winners of the 2021 WEF Awards for Operational and Design Excellence include:

Collection Systems Award: Angela D. Charles and George Kurz

The Collection System Award is presented to an individual for contributions to the advancement of wastewater collection.

Angela D. Charles has worked for the City of Charlotte, N.C., since 1988, working in numerous roles in wastewater and stormwater management as well as administration. Charles currently serves as director of Charlotte Water, leading a group of over 1,000 employees. Charles has developed numerous educational programs to help employees develop in their operations careers. In most recent years, Charles initiated an apprenticeship program that has developed into a highly successful and model program. Charles is a longtime WEF member and active in its Collection Systems Committee and Collection Systems Symposia.

George Kurz has been active in several facets of collection systems during his 45-year career in Chattanooga, Tenn. He designed and implemented Chattanooga’s pretreatment program, which was the first approved by the state of Tennessee. In 1985, Kurz architected Chattanooga’s municipal compliance plan for sewer rehabilitation and control of sewer overflows. Kurz additionally transcribed over 170,000 data points from Tennessee Monthly Operating Reports into a simple spreadsheet for infiltration/inflow analysis. This spreadsheet is now used by operators to analyze the inflow/infiltration in their collection system. He is a Life Member of WEF, serves on the WEF Collection Systems Committee, and has previously served as president of the WEF Member Association representing Kentucky and Tennessee.

Morgan Operational Solutions Award: Michael Parsons

The Morgan Operational Solutions Award recognizes valuable contributions to the in-facility study and solution of operational problems.

During his career with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District in Virginia Beach, Va., Michael E. Parsons has developed and demonstrated biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes that will revolutionize the industry. Using an innovative conversion process, Parsons replaced the aeration tanks at a water resource recovery facility (WRRF) with a unique, five-stage biological nutrient removal process for less than $200,000. Using homemade materials, Parsons converted a 15-mgd WRRF from a fully aerobic step-feed process to a two-pass step-feed BNR with an anaerobic zone. He currently oversees the operation of two pilots testing partial denitrification/anammox.

WEF Project Excellence Award: Longmont (Colo.) Biogas Treatment and RNG Fueling Station; Metro (Denver, Colo.) Wastewater Reclamation District Nuisance Struvite and Dewaterability Improvements; and Portsmouth, N.H. Peirce Island Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade

WEF’s Project Excellence Award pays tribute to excellence and innovation in the execution of projects and programs in the water sector.

The City of Longmont’s innovative biogas-to-renewable-natural-gas (RNG) project equipped their 13-mgd WRRF with a biogas-upgrading system that treats and converts 140,000 ft3/day of biogas into RNG. This gas is transferred to a new vehicle-fueling station that serves the city’s natural-gas-fueled trash and recycling trucks.

Driven by regulatory requirements, WRRFs have been implementing biological phosphorus removal to address current and future total phosphorus limits. Anaerobic digestion of the waste solids from the biological phosphorus removal process has been associated with deterioration of dewatering performance. Metro Wastewater Reclamation District’s Nuisance Struvite and Dewaterability Improvements project involved constructing the world’s largest phosphorus recovery reactor tank to address these challenges.

The Peirce Island Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrade project sustainably redeveloped an operating WRRF on an island with limited access and extensive archaeological and recreational resources located in historic downtown Portsmouth, N.H. The team delivered a successful project on a court-ordered schedule with increased capacity, secondary treatment, and total nitrogen removal without expanding the site while overcoming public opposition.

WEF Safety Award: City of Garland, Texas Duck Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

The WEF Safety Award encourages active and effective safety programs in the water environment field and recognizes entities that not only invest their resources to develop high-quality safety programs and adopt them within their own culture, but also actively seek out opportunities to share these programs with others in the water industry for the benefit of all.

The City of Garland, Texas has established a strong program for investigation, corrective action, and education to prevent recurring regulatory issues. The city trains its employees in safety and risk management trends, legislation, products, and practices through their drafted Safety Connection: an inter‐departmental forum for safety review, education, and exchange of ideas. These efforts manifested in two long-term streaks of zero lost-time incident over many years of operating two WRRFs.

Industrial Water Quality Achievement Award: Bongards Creameries (Perham, Minn.)
The Industrial Water Quality Achievement Award is presented to a corporation and, if applicable, to its engineering firm that best demonstrates significant, lasting, and measurable excellence in water quality improvement or in the prevention of water quality degradation as demonstrated by innovative design and operation of an industrial wastewater, pretreatment, or source-prevention program.

By implementing new, sustainable practices, Bongards Creameries, located in Perham, Minn., minimized the volume of wastewater it produced and decreased the volume of potable water it used. Since 2015, Bongards has had a 28% reduction in wastewater production and a 40% reduction in potable water used per pound of milk processed, all while increasing milk processing by 60%. The increase in milk processing, however, caused an increase in the by-product “salt whey,” which added to the loading on the wastewater treatment facility.  Bongards found a solution for this problem by turning the by-product into a viable feed product which is licensed to sell to local farmers.

Winners of the 2021 WEF Citation of Excellence in Advertising include:

  • Best Overall Ad: Homa Pump Technology — Increase Pump Station Efficiency, Decrease Life-Cycle Costs
  • Best Presentation of Information (Full Page): Mueller — Hymax – Innovative Pipe Solutions
  • Best Presentation of Information (Less Than Full Page): Electro Static Technology — Protect Large Motors from Bearing Damage with AEGIS PRO Rings
  • Best Design (Full Page): Xylem — FLYGT – New Concertor Pumping System with Integrated Intelligence
  • Best Design (Less Than Full Page): Flomatic Corporation — Manufacturing in America: It’s Our Commitment

WEF’s Citation of Excellence in Advertising is granted to advertisers in Water Environment & Technology magazine who demonstrate effective and original presentation of equipment and services.

Visit https://www.wef.org/membership/awards-recognition/wef-awards/ for more details about this year’s WEF Award winners. For more information about WEF’s recognition programs, visit https://www.wef.org/awards.

In an effort to encourage more plumbing and mechanical professionals to consider becoming backflow testers, Watts recently announced its new backflow tester certification scholarship program.  This opportunity is open only to new backflow tester candidates, not those seeking re-certification. Interested trade pros can learn more about the program by visiting https://www.watts.com/bts; applications for the scholarship Read more

In an effort to encourage more plumbing and mechanical professionals to consider becoming backflow testers, Watts recently announced its new backflow tester certification scholarship program.  This opportunity is open only to new backflow tester candidates, not those seeking re-certification.

Interested trade pros can learn more about the program by visiting https://www.watts.com/bts; applications for the scholarship can be submitted from there.  The scholarship covers the cost of an approved Backflow Tester Certification training course and exam.

Scholarship recipients also receive a free one-year subscription to Syncta backflow test management software.  Recipients will be announced in early 2022. To learn more or apply please visit https://www.watts.com/bts.

Goulds Water Technology, a Xylem brand, has announced this year’s recipients of the Goulds Professional Deal Association (GPDA) scholarships. Sixteen students across the United States will each receive a $1,500 scholarship, totaling $24,000. Recipients were chosen based on academic standing, volunteerism and leadership skills. As a resource for GPDA members, the scholarship emphasizes the company’s Read more

Goulds Water Technology, a Xylem brand, has announced this year’s recipients of the Goulds Professional Deal Association (GPDA) scholarships. Sixteen students across the United States will each receive a $1,500 scholarship, totaling $24,000. Recipients were chosen based on academic standing, volunteerism and leadership skills. As a resource for GPDA members, the scholarship emphasizes the company’s support and commitment to independent dealers. The scholarships will help students obtain higher education at college or technical school.

“Every year, we have the opportunity and privilege of supporting 16 young students in pursuit of their dreams in higher education,” said Susan O’Grady, director of marketing, Building Services and Agriculture, Xylem Inc. “Financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic still lingers for many families. Through these scholarships, we are honored to support our dealers’ families and contribute to these students’ future, success and professional development.”

GPDA is a network of independent water system professionals established in 1969 and is the industry’s oldest and largest dealers’ association. The professional network provides independent dealers with extensive technical and product training and has graduated more than 20,000 dealers and distributors from its education center. GPDA scholarship recipients are family members of GPDA members. Since its inception, the annual GPDA scholarship program has awarded more than $348,000 to 304 recipients.

The full list of the 2021 GPDA scholarship recipients:

  • Grayson Wiggins – San Angelo, Texas – Water Logistics
  • Christopher Nagle – Hermitage, Pennsylvania – Parker Brothers Well Drilling Inc.
  • Erin Saunders – Westminster, Maryland – Legacy Septic and Excavation
  • Ashley Maggiora – Hollister, California – Maggiora Bros Drilling Inc.
  • Clayton Royall – Luling, Texas – Royall’s Windmill & Pump, LLC
  • Abbey Herendeen – Clifton Springs, New York – Herendeen Brother Corporation
  • Thomas Palermo – Monroe, Connecticut – A & A SystemsControl, Inc.
  • Hannah Wheeler – Odessa, Texas – Wheeler Drilling
  • David Hartley – Chocorua, New Hampshire – Hartley Well Drilling
  • Jason Neidigh – Shippensburg, Pennsylvania – Rosenberry Septic Services
  • Calvin Christensen – Hartington, Nebraska – Christensen Well and Irrigation
  • Taylor Newman – Lithia, Florida – Kens Well Drilling
  • Jaxson Cadwallader – Atkinson, Nebraska – Schrunk Well Service, Inc.
  • Lukas Adamek – Yoakum, Texas – Chandler Drilling Inc.
  • Caroline Hilliard – West End, North Carolina – Jack’s Supply, Inc.
  • Evelyn McKenny – Baldwin, Maryland – Sweet Air Plumbing, Inc.

To learn more about the Goulds Professional Dealer Association and GPDA scholarship, visit https://info.xyleminc.com/gpda-program.html. To learn more about Goulds Water Technology visit www.goulds.com.

Listen to “In the Field with Goulds Water Technology,” a series dedicated to the residential water and irrigation industries on Solving Water: A Xylem podcast, on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or anywhere podcasts are available.

Follow Goulds Water Technology on social media:

The industry-leading trade associations will join forces for the technology-focused conference in January The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), the National Electric Contractors Association (NECA) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) announced a joint partnership for the second consecutive year leading the annual MEP Innovation Conference, which now has open registration for the in-person Read more

The industry-leading trade associations will join forces for the technology-focused conference in January

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), the National Electric Contractors Association (NECA) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) announced a joint partnership for the second consecutive year leading the annual MEP Innovation Conference, which now has open registration for the in-person January 2022 session.

A three-day event known as the best technology conference for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, service and sheet metal contractors and their staffs, the MEP Innovation Conference provides educational sessions at all levels of experience, and opportunities to learn about the latest industry innovations in software, tools, and technologies. As part of the joint partnership, conference attendance is open to all members of MCAA, NECA and SMACNA and their union counterparts for the second consecutive year.

“Both NECA and SMACNA were great partners at the last MEP Innovation Conference this past April,” said Armand Kilijian, MCAA President. “They both provided ample content to expand our sessions, broadened attendance with many members participating across the different trades and immensely helped with making the switch to a virtual setting for the first time in seven years. We’re thrilled at the long-term partnership planned for this event based on the success of last year’s conference.”

Sessions at this year’s conference will be led by contractors from all three trade associations and include roundtable discussions, exhibitor demonstrations, breakout sessions and presentations. Sessions will be geared towards operation, VDC, project management, IT, and estimating.

“The construction trades are more interconnected than ever. Owner needs for shorter construction timelines have driven the development of new technologies and improved communication and coordination between construction team members. The more information and awareness our respective members can gather about construction technology and the processes of other MEP contractors, the better the stronger the partnerships become in the shop and on the jobsite.” said Vince Sandusky, CEO of SMACNA. “This conference offers a holistic view of the trends and innovative solutions appearing on the horizon.”

MCAA first launched this conference for its association members back in 2016 as a way to share knowledge and spark ideas and innovation through collaboration, demonstration and peer-to-peer instruction. The event has continued to grow year after year with over 1,350 virtual attendees in 2021.

“We’re excited to join forces with MCAA and SMACNA for this year’s conference and to give our members the opportunity to attend and network with a variety of other innovative, forward-thinking contractors,” said David Long, NECA CEO. “This event marks an ideal setting to learn about how new tools and technologies are impacting operations across the board for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing industries. We believe it is imperative to collaborate with likeminded leaders from across the world of construction.”

The MEP Innovation Conference will be held in-person in Tampa, Florida from January 24-26, 2022.