When you’re on a crusade, it’s great to know that you’re not alone.
That was the overwhelming feeling I had when I had the pleasure of attending the Water Quality Association’s (WQA) 2018 Convention and Exposition in Denver. The event drew more than 3,000 professionals from a variety of industries, all with the shared interest of advancing water-treatment processes, techniques, and technology.
Being completely candid, sometimes here within the relatively narrow confines of the pool, spa, and aquatics recreation industry, it can get a little bit lonely as I and a relatively small cadre of other like-minded souls work to advance how we treat water and serve the public. I’m not complaining by any means, it’s just that it can start to feel a bit like Sisyphus pushing the proverbial boulder up the hill.
One of my ongoing frustrations with the pool and spa world is that, by and large, it has remained somewhat isolated from other water-treatment industries. I truly believe that if more people from our industry attended these types of events and learned more about the WQA, the benefits of reaching beyond our self-imposed intellectual borders would be obvious.
What I found in Denver was therefore truly refreshing: a large number of kindred spirits from a spectrum of water-related camps all coming together to share information and collectively advance the cause for greater water quality. There were pros from public utilities, medicine, food processing, manufacturing, academia, research and development, and basically any type of endeavor where water quality is a pivotal concern.
The event’s theme was “Elevation,” which perfectly encapsulates the momentum and force behind what I personally see as a dramatic technical evolution. “This theme really speaks to the goal of the convention,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “We believe our members are poised to elevate their businesses, their level of expertise, and their contribution to the betterment of water quality throughout the world.”
Providing potable water to people in regions impacted by shortages, drought, and lack of infrastructure was one of the overriding themes at the event. So was overcoming issues such as lead contamination, which affects hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in industrialized nations, especially here in the U.S.
The event was rich with discussions of technical advancements, such as LED-driven UV generation, improvement in reverse osmosis filtration, and nano-filtration media. There were sessions on different types of contamination and how to promulgate awareness of water-quality issues throughout the public at large.
I came away from the event more convinced than ever that we have everything to gain by seeking out professionals from the greater world of water treatment, and really nothing to lose. By broadening our professional and intellectual associations, we might just find solutions and methods we hadn’t previously considered.
About the Author
Steve Kenny is an aquatic designer, builder, and service technician with more than 25 years of experience. Based in Long Island, New York, he specializes in designing, building, and maintaining commercial and residential pools and spas that feature the highest possible water quality.
He is a passionate advocate of creating a new class of aquatic professionals devoted to the science, methods, and art of ensuring pristine water conditions. Steve was formally trained in the culinary arts and has a passion for fine dining. He is an accomplished photographer and sailing enthusiast. He is also a passionate advocate of the benefits of hydrotherapy.
A devoted family man, Steve lives in East Hampton with his bride of 20 years and their three children.