2009 Technical Review Committee Insights: Gary Hatch
Gary Hatch, PhD
Dr. Gary Hatch, a private consultant and former Director of Research and Development at Pentair Residential Filtration, has devoted over thirty-five years to the improvement of drinking water quality through the development of POU/POE water treatment products and systems.
Hatch garnered all of his education in the State of Kansas. He earned BA and MS degrees in chemistry from Emporia State University and a PhD in chemistry at Kansas State University.
Just after receiving his doctorate degree in 1973, Hatch began his career with Aqua-Chem’s Water Technologies Division in Milwaukee, WI. There he made further enhancements to iodinated resin water disinfection technologies, which were used in portable water purifiers.
Hatch then moved on to Ogden Filter Company in Los Angeles, CA where he helped develop new filter technologies for their line of POU water filters. In 1981 he joined Ametek’s Plymouth Products Division as a project engineer and later became Lab Director and Director of Research and Development, all this during the transitions through the different owners which eventually became Pentair Water in 2002.
Working in many areas of water treatment, Hatch is experienced in utilizing technologies such as activated carbon, carbon block filtration, halogenated resins for water disinfection, ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis. As a result of his work he has published numerous technical papers, obtained more than a dozen US and foreign patents and presented many papers at American Chemical Society, American Water Works Association and Water Quality Association conferences.
An active participant in and contributor to Water Quality Association task groups and committees, Hatch currently serves as vice-chair to the Water Sciences Committee and is a member of the International Standards and Regulations Task Force. For his years of service to WQA, he received the ‘Award of Merit’ in 1995.
Hatch has represented interests in third-party independent product testing and certification for many years by serving on NSF International’s Drinking Water Treatment Unit Joint Committee and the DWTU Industry Forum, serving as chairperson of the Industry Forum committee from 1999 to 2002. He is currently chairman of the Pentair Foundation’s Water Technology Committee that oversees all of the Foundation’s philanthropic efforts to provide safe water to disadvantaged people in remote areas of the world.
At the 2005 International Carbon Conference Hatch was inducted into the Professional Analytical and Consulting Services ‘Activated Carbon Hall of Fame’ for recognition of his years of work in developing activated carbon filter systems and his leadership in developing new molded and extruded carbon block filter technologies.
Recently, one of the most crowning achievements for Hatch’s Pentair research team is the recently successful development of a series of single-housing microbiological water purifiers. These units are based on hollow fiber ultra-filtration technology and were recently certified in accordance with the NSF P231 Protocol. These are the first single-housing units to be listed under the NSF P231 Protocol, which was established by NSF in 2003 and is based on the USEPA 1987 Guide Standard and Protocol for Microbiological Water Purifiers.
Hatch currently resides in Sheboygan, Wisconsin with his wife, Beth, who recently retired after 36 years in the teaching profession. His professional memberships include the Water Quality Association, Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine’s Technical Review Committee, American Chemical Society and American Water Works Association. He is involved with community activities through membership in the Sheboygan Rotary Club.
My PhD dissertation was about the preparation and study of iodinated resins. During this research, I learned a great deal about water chemistry and water disinfection. My first job after graduate school was with Aqua-Chem, Inc as a project engineer working on POU water disinfection applications.
How/why did you start/maintain your professional involvement?
Water chemistry and water disinfection is very interesting work. I was fortunate to move on to my next job with a small POU filtration company in Los Angeles, CA. After five years there, I went on to Ametek and eventually Pentair Water and continue working in POU/POE water treatment as a private consultant.
What are you most proud of in your profession?
Over the years, I’m most proud of being successful in most of my endeavors dealing with product development, technology development and, most of all maintaining my integrity in all situations.
What are you least proud of in your profession?
That perhaps I could have worked harder to support our industry and taken greater risks to achieve more toward furthering our industry’s message about the benefits and advantages of POU and POE water treatment technologies.
What gives you the most joy in your professional life?
Working with others inside and outside the company to resolve issues and solve problems. This industry has many very nice and very good people. I enjoy working with all of them, even competitors!
What do you dislike most in your professional life?
The ignorance displayed from others in the general water treatment profession who refuse to accept or learn more about the great technologies and products we have available in the POU/POE water treatment industry.
If there were three portraits on the wall behind your desk, not of family, who would they be and why?
Jesus Christ, Billy Graham, Dr. Jack Lambert. Jesus, because He is the answer to my problems, everyone else’s problems and the world’s problems. Billy Graham, because he led me to Jesus. Dr. Jack Lambert, my PhD research professor, because he had faith in me to be successful as a graduate student, chemist and researcher.
Probably horticulture or other environmental science area.
Why would you do that?
I enjoy the outdoors, fishing, boating, golf, gardening and the natural sciences.
Polish up your crystal ball…what will be the three most important issues in our industry within the next five years?
- Domestic and global economic issues.
- Foreign competition for those businesses that have not or cannot expand their production and sales internationally.
- Domestic and global regulatory issues, e.g., the salinity issue, REACH and other regulatory product restrictions.