Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it had worked with three New Jersey school districts to successfully lower lead levels in their drinking water. Testing in 2010 and 2011 found elevated lead levels in approximately 8% of the outlets it tested at the Atlantic City, Union City and Weehawken school districts. The districts resolved the problem through a variety of methods, from filtration to replacing fixtures to simply shutting off those outlets. The latest round of testing showed that lead levels were within acceptable EPA limits.
In December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration announced that as a part of a collaboration, a new high-speed robotic screening system would begin testing a library of 10,000 compounds for potential toxicity.
The past year was a rough one for businesses in the U.S. and around the world. The economy continues to weigh heavily on everyone’s minds. This year, Water Quality Products conducted its fifth annual State of the Industry Survey to find out how the economy affected the water treatment industry. Once again, readers indicated that the down economy and depressed housing market were the factors that most negatively affected sales in the last year
In recent days, groundwater has been gaining attention. Increased hydraulic fracturing operations have caused controversy over potential methane gas contamination. Reports indicate that groundwater aquifers, especially in the drought-prone southwestern U.S., are being depleted more quickly than they can be recharged. Surveys, like the one recently released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), reveal that contaminants such as arsenic are widespread in the nation’s water wells.
As I write this, the U.S. is in the wake of two natural disasters: the earthquake that rocked the East Coast on Aug. 23 and Hurricane Irene, which spun its way from the Carolinas to Canada just a few days later.
The country of Ghana recently announced a health victory—on July 28, it declared that it had eradicated the Guinea worm, a devilish parasite that is contracted by consuming unclean water containing microscopic water fleas that carry its eggs. In the 1980s, former President Jimmy Carter visited the country and witnessed a woman afflicted with the disease. (I will spare you the details of the parasite’s life cycle—suffice to say it is disturbing and extremely painful. Google at your own risk.) Appalled by what he saw, he took on the cause of eradicating the Guinea worm in Ghana.
A few weeks ago, the local electric utility visited my apartment building to give the residents free efficiency upgrades. The focus was not solely energy, however—in addition to replacing all of the building’s standard light bulbs with energy-efficient ones, the company installed free water-efficient faucets and showerheads in each unit.
While most of us, myself included, were scurrying to organize our trips to WQA Aquatech USA 2011 in San Antonio last month, I received an invitation to attend the International Home & Housewares Show, sponsored by the International Housewares Assn. Although it was located in nearby Chicago, my schedule was full and I couldn’t attend. But as I scanned the show’s website, I saw that it was expected to draw 60,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors. Not bad!
It is safe to say that the annual WQA Aquatech USA tradeshow and conference is the place where the best minds in the water industry come together. We learn from our shared knowledge and shared struggles, and emerge stronger and better prepared for the year ahead. We meet people from all over the world who are influencing the industry, some new arrivals and many of them old friends.
The two best ways to bar yourself from new ideas in sales and sales management training are to label a trainer as “old school” and decide that people in your market do not like the techniques discussed. Both of these allow a person to stay the way they are without being upset by new ideas.
Do You Want to Stay the Same?
Do ‘old school’ sales techniques still work?