HomeLearnEventsWater Conference Recaps – April 2019

Water Conference Recaps – April 2019

The month of April held some exciting water shows! Join us as we recap hot topics, trends, questions we heard, and more from Texas Water 2019 and the 2019 CWEA Conference.


Texas Water 2019

Pinnacle spent the week in the heart of downtown Houston, April 2 – 5, exhibiting at the largest regional water conference in the U.S., Texas Water. Sponsored by both the Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT) and the Texas American Water Works Association (TAWWA), Texas Water united over two thousand water and wastewater industry professionals for a week-long conference filled with in-demand technical sessions, facility tours, competitions, an exhibition, and an assortment of special events designed to spread knowledge and experience in support of the mission to achieve clean water.

As the technical presentations flowed, we captured the hottest topics attendees were discussing on the exhibition floor. These topics included:

  • Water management/storm water
  • Water reuse
  • Drinking water quality
  • Wastewater collection and treatment
  • Utility management
  • Asset management
  • Water conservation

In addition to catching the technical presentations, we also had many great conversations during the exhibition. During exhibition, these were the questions we frequently heard:

Q: Asset Management – where do I begin and where should I start?

To answer this question, we can reference the ISO 55000 family of standards for asset management. The ISO 55000 family of standards provides a structured approach to comprehensively managing assets (both tangible and intangible assets). These standards do not specifically explain how to manage assets; instead, they provide requirements for how to handle the system in which activities are defined, organized, and managed. The requirements set forth by the standards seek to align business objectives across an entire organization so that the management of risk can be achieved through an integrated asset management system, which effectively optimizes costs and asset performance.

The first step involves determining the context of the organization. This includes aspects such as internal / external environment; business goals, objectives, and needs; stakeholder requirements; and the scope of the asset management system. From the start, organizations need to clearly define organizational objectives and stakeholder requirements so that all activities are aligned to meet the business goals and/or objectives.

Once organizations know what they are working to achieve, they can then strategize how to achieve their goals (i.e. determine which activities will be beneficial). Next, organizations will need to determine the scope of the asset management strategy. The scope will define which assets will be included in the system. This directly applies to equipment and inventory, but also can apply to intangible assets, such as, intellectual property, brands, agreements, digital assets, and reputation. The scope should also address any interactions between the asset management system and other management systems, such as the quality management system and project management system.

Further resources on ISO 55000:

ISO 55000:2014 – Asset Management Family of Standards – An Overview

An Overview of ISO 55000 – Standardizing Asset Management

Q: I see the importance of implementing an asset management program but how do I gain buy-in from my organization since I am in a non-decision maker role?

This is a question we hear often. From our experience, the best way to gain buy-in for any improvement initiative is to quantify the value. To do this, you will need to:

  1. Identify and scope improvement opportunities
  2. Measure opportunities
  3. Plan initiatives and gain buy-in

Further resources on gaining buy-in:

How to Justify Reliability Improvement Initiatives

Five Steps to Justify Reliability Improvement Initiatives

Q: How can Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) help my facility save money in the long run?

Reliability Centered Maintenance delivers a set of reliability-based, proactive tasks, focused on sustaining functionality of systems and equipment. RCM directly facilitates scheduling and planning tasks so that a clear, concise priority can be assigned to proactive maintenance and corrective tasks. The approach also identifies cost benefits for allowing low-risk equipment to “run-to-failure” due to the low economic, safety, and/or environmental impact. In return, the process yields a maintenance program with the lowest base (proactive and reactive) cost that produces results that exceed the effectiveness of other more resource-intensive processes.

Further resources on how RCM can help reduce costs:

Designing for Reliability & Value with RCD

Achieving a 26 Percent Reduction in Annual O&M Costs Through Reliability Centered Maintenance


The 2019 CWEA Conference

Over one thousand water professionals traveled to Palm Springs, California April 9-12 to soak up not only the sun, but to spend a week at the 2019 CWEA Annual Conference surrounded by likeminded individuals who share the passion for cleaning California’s water and returning it safety to the environment. The conference was hosted by the California Water Environment Association (CWEA), a not-for-profit public benefit association of 9,300-plus water quality professionals who work for public agencies and collection systems, engineering firms, and equipment and service suppliers.

Through pre-conference workshops, a keynote presentation focused on leadership, diverse technical sessions featuring over 35 tracks and 115 sessions, technical wastewater/water resource management facility tours, exhibits, special events, and vast networking opportunities, the CWEA Conference provided an outlet for attendees to learn how their peers are adapting to the changes occurring within the industry.

Hot topics included:

  • Technology advancements
  • Asset management
  • Declining wastewater flows
  • Changing regulations
  • Leadership skill development
  • Nutrient removal
  • Advances in reuse

During exhibition, these were the common questions we were asked:

Q: How can I change my maintenance culture from reactive to proactive?

Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) delivers a set of reliability-based, proactive tasks, focused on sustaining functionality of systems and equipment. Therefore, implementing an RCM program can help your maintenance culture go from reactive to proactive. Check out our Proactive Maintenance solutions for further exploration on RCM, proactive maintenance development, and spare parts management.

Further resources:

Water Reliability Series

RCM and the Next Evolution of Data Modeling

Q: My team and assets haven’t been performing up to their best capabilities. How can I change this?

We’ve seen this issue before and sometimes the best solution is to find a trustworthy operations and maintenance (O&M) partner. O&M partners can serve your facility by evaluating your program, providing program improvements, and sustaining those improvements – providing you with the goals and the tools you need for your facility to excel.

Further resources:

Achieving a 26 Percent Reduction in Annual O&M Costs Through Reliability Centered Maintenance

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