Talking Under Water Episode 74: Challenges & solutions for small systems

Aug. 18, 2023
In this episode, the hosts share recent industry news along with an interview dissecting small systems trends with Brent Bridges, senior principal at Woodard & Curran.

In this episode of Talking Under Water, the hosts share recent industry news, including the announcement of $50 million in grant funding that is available through the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program; a recent study that found that the Colorado River Basin lost more than 40 trillion liters between 2000 and 2021; and an announcement from The Department of the Interior, which is opening three funding opportunities for resilient water supplies, cooperative watershed management and aquatic ecosystem protection. Additionally, the hosts share an interview with Brent Bridges, senior principal for Woodard & Curran. Bridges discusses small systems trends, challenges, how AI and future funding may change the landscape of the industry, and more.  

 Show Notes:  


  • Cold open | 0:00
  • Host introductions and episode summary | 1:02
  • News | 2:03
  • Interview begins | 7:12
  • How small systems trends differ by region | 7:50
  • Resource constraints for small systems | 8:33
  • Best practices for grease handling in collection systems | 9:56
  • Is grease a trending problem? | 11:07
  • What is flushable? | 12:13
  • Federal funding for water and wastewater small systems | 12:37
  • Workforce challenges for small systems | 13:51
  • AI for small water and wastewater systems | 15:19
  • Real world case studies | 17:06
  • How to plan small systems projects | 18:49
  • Storm intensity creates many challenges for smaller utilities | 21:02
  • Stormwater infrastructure is gravely needed | 22:46
  • Stormwater is on equal par to water and wastewater needs | 23:33
  • Final interview thoughts | 24:06
  • Housekeeping | 25:17


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StormCon Discount:  

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About the Podcast   

Talking Under Water is the premier podcast for the water industry, including municipal and industrial water and wastewater, residential water treatment, storm water management and erosion control. It is produced in coordination between Water & Wastes Digest (WWD), Water Quality Products (WQP) and Storm Water Solutions (SWS). The podcast covers topics under the One Water movement including the municipal and industrial water and wastewater, point of use, point of entry, residential, storm water and erosion control markets. Talking Under Water highlights news, trends, new technologies, industry discussions and on-site interviews with experts for WWD, WQP and SWS. New episodes of the podcast are released on the third Friday of every month. Logo Images: Anatoly Tiplyashin / Romolo Tavani /   

Contact the Talking Under Water podcast editors by emailing [email protected] engaging with them on Twitter @TUWpodcast. Join the conversation by commenting or using the hashtag #talkingunderwaterpod on social media.  

About the Author

Mandy Crispin

Mandy Crispin is the editor-in-chief of WaterWorld, having joined Endeavor Business Media in 2023. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and is a graduate of University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has internal and external corporate communications experience in disparate industries including online retail, gaming, plastics and is now enjoying exploring the water utility space. Crispin can be reach at [email protected].

About the Author

Katie Johns

Katie Johns, editor-in-chief of Storm Water Solutions and Water Quality Products, graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016 with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Johns joined the Storm Water Solutions team in September 2019. Johns also helps plan the annual StormCon conference and co-hosts the Talking Under Water podcast. Prior to entering the B2B industry, she worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Sarasota, Florida, and a magazine assistant editor in the Chicago suburbs. She can be reached at [email protected]

About the Author

Bob Crossen

Bob Crossen is the editorial director for the Endeavor Business Media Water Group, which publishes WaterWorld, Wastewater Digest and Stormwater Solutions. Crossen graduated from Illinois State University in Dec. 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in German and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. He worked for Campbell Publications, a weekly newspaper company in rural Illinois outside St. Louis for four years as a reporter and regional editor.