By Peter Waelti, Colorado WQA President

The Colorado Water Quality Association held its annual state conference in Estes Park, Colo., in September, inviting Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming WQA members to attend as those states do not have their own individual associations.

“I was especially impressed with the increase in attendance since I last visited a Colorado WQA meeting about four years ago,” said WQA Technical Director Joe Harrison. “It seems growth has nearly tripled since then. The enthusiasm and camaraderie was superb.”

Harrison held a WQA Certification Review session to help attendees get a feel for the questions asked on the tests. That afternoon, some participants used the opportunity to attain WQA certifications. Attendance was up 50 percent from 2004. Others took advantage of the beautiful weather in the Rocky Mountains and opted to play in the CWQA golf tournament, sponsored by GE Osmonics and Quality Wholesale Supply. Board members Greg Hazelett and I served as golf police. Golf participation was up 33 percent from the previous year.

In the evening, 17 exhibitors treated us to a well-rounded vendors showcase. Hors d’ouevres and a cash bar made this a relaxed environment to visit with exhibitors, make new friends and revive relationships with old ones. Exhibitor details can be viewed at

Saturday served as an extension of the vendors fair and was also a day of seminars, all of them earning WQA CEUs for recertification. The exhibitors’ displays were set along the back and the sides of the seminar room, which enabled vendors to listen to the speakers and attendees to visit the booths during breaks. I had the opportunity to welcome everyone to the conference. A moment of silence was observed for the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. CWQA had encouraged members to donate to rescue efforts with a CWQA matching funds challenge. A combined total of about $3,000 was collected for the American Red Cross.

My goal throughout the conference was to stress the importance of bringing new dealers and suppliers (that are not yet members of the CWQA) into the fold. All were urged to bring one more person each to next year’s conference to double participation in 2006. It was rewarding to see that a good number of registrants came from neighboring states to join our gathering.

Harrison opened the seminar sessions with an update on current WQA issues, including research for wastewater solutions, water softeners and their impact on septic systems. Rich Hayes, President of the Colorado Rural Water Association, educated our members on the work of his group. He was followed by Mike Glodowski of GE Household WaterGroup with the topic of, “Water Treatment Fundamentals.” He covered the ion exchange process, softener seizing and various conversions and regeneration calculations. During lunch the group had the pleasure of learning from Robert W. Terry of the Colorado State Health Department. His topic, “Radiation Removal” triggered lots of questions from the audience.

I want to send my thanks again to past Presidents Dean Lewis and John Rickert for recognizing me with the CWQA Appreciation Award for my three-year’s service as President. In that position, I’ve worked to better the Association and grow its membership, from revamping the website (which was announced in the Jan. 2004 issue of WC&P) to developing the plan to bring neighboring states into our group, which has proven so successful this year. I personally called every dealer and supplier to extend an invitation to this conference. It was exciting to see both exhibitors and dealers from those neighboring states.

“I’m glad I attended the CWQA conference, because I feel much more informed about the business and the water business in general. The speakers and attendees added greatly to that knowledge. Everyone could not have been nicer to the Water Lady from New Mexico,” said Anne La Lopa of Water Lady, Inc.

The afternoon sessions started with Ken Ciaccio of ResinTech whose seminar “Activated Carbon Applications,” included a history of carbon and its role in liquid phase adsorption. Mike Glodow-ski of GE Household Water Group followed with his seminar titled “Chlorine Treatment Of Well Water,” covering the history of water chlorination and explaining, among other things, the benefits of chlorination both for agricultural and residential applications. The last session was a split session in as much as install and service interested attendees stayed in the same room and were treated by Aquion’s Scott Harmon to the secrets of the “Perfect Installation”. To keep the end of the seminar portion totally ‘perfect,’ I went into an adjacent room to lead a discussion on the, “Perfect Sales Presentation.”

Our Board Of Directors met on Sunday and the officers for the 2006/2007 rotation were elected. Larry Lewis of Pure Water Solutions in Castle Rock, Colo. will be the new President; Jeff Spencer of Rocky Mountain Water Company will be Vice-President; Greg Hazelett of Aquion Partners will serve as Secretary. Skip Ruedeman is a permanent fixture as Treasurer.

Plans have already begun for next year. We’ve sought feedback from this year’s attendees and were already working to entice those who shied away this year. As Dennis Roberts of Zenon Environmental said after the show, “The CWQA conference and tradeshow was more like a family reunion than just another day at the office.” We hope that next year you will join us and see what makes CWQA so special.

The format of the show made it very beneficial for vendors and attendees alike. Having the tables in the same room as the speakers seemed to make it a more comfortable environment for everyone involved to network. The CWQA convention was one of the most well-organized events I’ve attended. As a WQA professional, the educational classes were very informative. As a vendor, the exposure for our company was more than worth the investment. Thank you again Peter for your dedication to the CWQA. It is truly people like you that make these state organizations successful.

Russ Kraft
Wood Bothers Industries, Lincoln, NE

The conference was a great opportunity to meet and interact with both vendors and our peers in the water business. Of all the presentations, we gleaned the most value from Peter Waelti’s “Perfect Sales Presentation” and both of Mike Glodowski’s GE presentations. Thanks for putting on a very professional conference.

Keith Warner, President
Highland Water, Denver, CO

The 2005 Rocky Mountain WQA Conference was a great success. The turnout was tremendous and it was very well organized. It was a great opportunity to meet dealers and vendors.

Nancy Conrow
Liquid Soap Products, Lee’s Summit, MO

As a new member and first-time exhibitor, I met several customers that deal with a separate division within our company and by doing so, was able to show them several pieces of new equipment that will hopefully lead to new business for us. I also learned more about water and its treatment, which will help me in my overall sales endeavors. I look forward to next year’s conference.

Rick Wray
Dewco Pumps & Equipment, Lakewood, CO

The Rocky Mountain Water Quality Conference was a great success for Clearwater Tech as it provided many contacts with dedicated water treatment professionals. The CWQA has provided a venue for vendors and dealers to discuss problems and find solutions as well as the opportunity for WQA continuing educational credits with a great group of speakers.

John Dittberner, CWS VI, CI
ClearWater Tech Ozone, San Luis Obispo, CA

Just wanted to let you know I thought the CWQA went very, very well. I like the fact that you had the training class combined with the vendors in one room; this maximized all dealer attention to ALL vendors, great idea! Food was great, location was spectacular, and I got to meet a lot of new people… what more could I ask for. Thanks for the invite! Hope to see you next year!

Greg Willis
Flowmatic Systems, Inc., Dunnellon, FL

I really liked the format of having the vendors in the same room as the members and speakers. Each speaker jogged my memory about something I meant to ask about Friday night (during Vendors Fair). The short break after each speaker allowed me to get more information from the vendors on the spot. Thanks for the great line-up of speakers and vendors.

Ray Zinsmaster, Owner
The Better Water Co., d.b.a. Rocky Mountain Bottled Water, Littleton, CO

I was thoroughly pleased in how well it was run, from the fantastic golf outing, which was well attended by both members and elk, to the highly informative and effective exhibition display, everything was top-notch. It was one of the better conventions I have attended in my 12 years with Water-Right, Inc.

Jeff O’Callaghan
Water-Right, Inc., Appleton, WI


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