Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher
As the mercury rises, seasonal opportunities come to mind. Here in Tucson, the higher temperatures are already in full swing, prompting many to start considering the challenges summer brings. For instance, there is a greater occurrence of microbial growth during the summer months, something water dealers should take into consideration when installing new systems and servicing older ones. Drier climates may escape most of the inherent mold issues that arise with higher temperatures, but in enclosed spaces, there is always an opportunity for growth. How many homeowners are aware of the possibility of microbial contamination of their systems? It’s an opportunity for education on the next service call.
The economy appears to be warming up as well, with numerous economic reports indicating that US manufacturing may be on the upswing. This is good news considering warnings about the lack of skilled workers for the manufacturing trades. Vocational/ technical schools, once the norm for students who didn’t quite fit the liberal arts model, are all but gone in many areas, leading to a critical shortage of properly trained entry-level employees. This burdens the prospective employer in our industry due to the stringent requirements for water treatment and confounds the efforts of manufacturers with the need for intelligent, focused and trainable candidates. One solution to this problem lies in the efforts of many water industry entities to provide hands-on training. This helps get employees up to speed but the availability of training can be intermittent and costly. Countering that trend, WQA has established a new educational program for the industry that will help meet the needs of all industry participants.
June is all about carbon, and as a company’s needs change, they must be aware of what impacts their carbon suppliers. Ken Schaeffer of Carbon Resources details the forces that are driving and shaping the activated carbon markets that are so vital to water treatment, while Henry Nowicki delves into how activated carbon performance is evaluated, noting that competing carbon types are not all the same. Greg Reyneke, CWS-VI, explores the advantages of WQA’s new educational program and Oliver Diaz of FuelFX focuses on the real and immediate benefits of e-learning, which nicely compliments the wave of changes in the WQA program. Finally, Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds provides insight on the CDC’s urgent warnings about antibiotic resistance and what it means to the water industry. Sometimes, too much of a good thing creates unexpected consequences but also opportunity for our industry.
Keep an open eye and an open mind about all things water-related. From the persistent and extensive drought in the western states to changing climate conditions worldwide, we are experiencing a time of unprecedented change in how we do business, challenging us to be agile in our pursuits. Nothing is new for very long, not even water!