WQA Aquatech 2008 Wins Big

Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. For instance, the success of this year’s WQA Aquatech USA show held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, March 26 to 28, is well known by now, and many of the networking connections and professional relationships developed at the show will continue to grow long after the dismantling of exhibit booths.

This year’s event put up big numbers: 310 exhibitors (and 587 total booth spaces) packed the tradeshow floor during the three-day event—evidence that this show continues to grow each year.

In addition to the release of several new products and technologies, the Water Quality Association (WQA) offered new programs and networking events. The Industrial Speed Dating networking event was held for the first time and brought together 44 dealers, manufacturers and end users to share ideas, technologies and services in the industrial sector.

State of the Industry

On the opening day of the show, the WQA identified the current state of the industry and major issues that the industry will face in the coming year. According to the WQA, factors such as drought, population shifts, ground and surface water degradation and water shortages will all be significant challenges that will drive key legislation and regulations this year.

The WQA will continue to see challenges regarding misinformation about water softeners and their affects, if any, on septic systems. They are partnering with the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) and National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) to research facts on this issue.

The WQA will continue to face ever-present challenges regarding technology, such as: formula information for material safety certifications; WHO calcium and magnesium limits; regulation reform to reduce costs and registration time for manufacturers in Iowa; California regulation reform to reduce costs and time to register products; and Italian carbon restrictions.

Finally, the WQA will take on the Phoenix Project in 2008. The project will bring together political and industrial leaders with the goal of improving technologies to reduce salt discharge and water use.

Recognized for Leadership

Edward P. Jones III (Ned), from Gordon Bros. Water, Salem, Ohio, was inducted into WQA’s Hall of Fame during the WQA Aquatech convention. Jones, one of the dealership’s owners, is a past president of the WQA.

Representing Kinetico for the past 33 years, Gordon Bros. Water has been a respected name in water treatment since 1945. Jones, an active WQA member, has served the water treatment industry on many WQA committees over the years.

Board Members Elected

The WQA elected its new members of the Board of Directors to serve for this new term. The following nominees were elected in the subsequent categories:


  • Robert Denne, Rayne Corp., Ventura, Calif.
  • Stephen Van Strat, Access Business Group, Ada, Mich.
  • Frank Brigano, Ph.D., KX Technologies LLC, Orange, Conn.
  • Kevin M. Ruppelt, GE Consumer & Industrial, Louisville, Ky.


  • Vincent M. Kent, CWS-I, CI, Abendroth Water Conditioning, Inc., Fort Atkinson, Wis.
  • D.J. Shannahan Jr., CWS-VI, CI, CCO, Sharp Water, Salisbury, Md.
  • Dar Watts, CWS-V, American Aqua, Inc., Saline, Mich.


  • Cedella Beazley, Dow Water Solutions, Edina, Minn.

Looking Ahead

The 2008 WQA Aquatech USA show was well received by attendees. “I’ve been attending water shows since 1974 and I have just returned from Las Vegas from the [WQA Aquatech] show—no comparison,” said Frank Stephenson, WQA Aquatech USA 2008 attendee. “This was the best, most beneficial show I’ve ever seen.”

Many companies have already reserved floor space at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., site of next year’s show. The event is scheduled to take place March 17 to 20, 2009.

Meet the Editors

The WQP editorial and sales team was pleased to meet a number of industry professionals at our annual “Meet the Editors” event. WQP uses this event to network with old friends and make new industry connections. We want to thank everybody who took time out of their schedules to visit with us.

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About the author

Stephanie Harris is managing editor of Water Quality Products. Harris can be reached at 847.391.1007 or by e-mail at [email protected].