SWPA Opens Membership to Non-Manufacturers

Since its inception in 1976, the Submersible Wastewater Pump Association (SWPA) has been an organization of manufacturers of submersible wastewater pumps

By Charles G. Stolberg

Since its inception in 1976, the Submersible Wastewater Pump Association (SWPA) has been an organization of manufacturers of submersible wastewater pumps for municipal and industrial applications and manufacturers of component parts and accessories for these pumps and submersible sewage pumping systems.

Recent action taken by SWPA's Board of Directors has changed the association's bylaws and created a new, non-manufacturer category. With that change, "Non-manufacturing firms which provide services, related to industry products and/or who provide services to users of industry products" are now eligible for Associate Membership. The association's manufacturer membership categories are now known as Pump Manufacturers and Component Manufacturers. For membership purposes, SWPA defines Industry Products as: submersible wastewater pumps that can efficiently handle solids.

By creating this new membership category, the association is inviting distributor organizations, rep organizations, systems packagers, service stations, consulting engineering firms and others business providing services to submersible wastewater pump users to join and become actively involved in the only trade association devoted to submersible wastewater pumps for municipal and industrial applications.

The community of interest and influence associated with submersible wastewater pumps and submersible sewage lift stations is much larger than the manufacturers of the pumps and component parts and accessories. To continue to be successful in today's rapidly changing business environment, associations like SWPA need broad-based input to make sound decisions and to ensure that its programs and services meet not only its members' expectations but also market expectations.

To assist in promoting the interests of the submersible wastewater pump industry, Associate Members will be invited to serve on SWPA's committees, subcommittees and working groups where their knowledge, expertise and input will be vital in creating balanced technical publications, standards, system component guidelines and training and educational programs to further the industry.

Their participation in these programs and activities is expected to broaden the perspective of the association to the full submersible wastewater pump industry supply chain, including end-users; to broaden the community of interest and influence associated with submersible wastewater pumps; and to bring new resources and experience to the association that is not necessarily available within the current membership.

These industry professionals have both technical and marketing expertise that will be a valuable resource to the association on numerous subjects, topics and issues that will enhance, improve and expand SWPA's efforts.

And, most importantly, they will help SWPA achieve a better balance of interest, which means that SWPA will have within its membership producers, users and representatives from groups of general interest. This is of particular importance as SWPA considers developing additional standards, industry guidelines for lift station components and technical publications in accordance with its strategic initiatives to expand its publishing and educational activities and promote the "systems approach" when designing, operating and maintaining a submersible wastewater lift station.

By publishing and promoting this "systems approach" information, SWPA expects to help consulting engineers, specifiers, users and others gain a better understanding of the pump, valves, control panels, drives, basins, mechanical seals and other components and how they interact for optimum performance, minimum maintenance and long life.

This focus on the systems approach will encourage and promote better submersible pump system design though more comprehensive understanding of the impact of each component on each other component and on the total system. The association's efforts in this area will help consulting engineers, specifiers, users and others identify and understand what they must know about the total system to select the proper components for a given design.

Developing written test standards, performance and design guidelines for each component of a lift station and presenting educational training programs about each component will be an integral part of these efforts.

This approach encourages looking at the end-use requirements to determine if the pump and system components are efficiently sized and configured to meet the end use-requirements; screening the system to help optimize improvement opportunities; calculating life cycle costing for maximum energy efficiency; and looking for symptoms that could lead to inefficiencies.

SWPA's first step toward creating these standards and guidelines was the development and publication of a Standardized Presentation Format for Pump and Motor Characteristics (copies are available from the association free of charge on a request basis).

SWPA's Test Standards Subcommittee worked for more than three years to develop American National Standard for Submersible Pump Tests (ANSI/HI 11.6-2001), based principally on the ANSI/HI Centrifugal Pump Test Standard. The Submersible Pump Test Standard represents a "first" SWPA/HI standards collaboration between the two organizations.

The 46-page Submersible Pump Tests Standard applies to the testing of centrifugal submersible wastewater pumps that are driven by induction motors. For additional information on the Standard, including ordering information, visit www.pumps.org.

About the Author: Charles G. Stolberg is Executive Director of the Submersible Wastewater Pump Association (SWPA). For more information about the association or its programs and activities, visit the SWPA Web Site at www.swpa.org.

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