Moving Water, Moving Forward

Sept. 13, 2011

About the author:

Caitlin Cunningham is managing editor of Water & Wastes Digest. Cunningham can be reached at [email protected].

Pumping water is far from a new phenomenon: The practice dates back to ancient times. In fact, many basic principles and even some traditional devices that we apply today have been in existence for hundreds or thousands of years. The continuing use of time-honored solutions, however, should not be mistaken for stagnancy in water and wastewater pumping. The methods and technologies used to move water are, themselves, moving forward.

Pumping, generally speaking, is an energy-intensive process. The water and wastewater industry recognizes pumps’ role in the water-energy nexus and has made significant progress in addressing this facet of the modern-day operation and management dilemma. Variable-speed technology, energy audits and alternative power sources (e.g., solar panels and windmills) are a few of the related solutions being put to good use in facilities.

This issue features a technical feature, “Intelligent Pumping,” that offers step-by-step guidance for reducing pumps’ energy consumption and thus operating costs.

More good news on the pumps front: The variety of water and wastewater pumps available on the market today is more extensive than ever. From geography to water quality to speed of delivery, each pumping application has its own set of requirements. Our industry has worked hard to develop a diverse pump toolbox—including a wide array of options within each pump family—to meet these site-specific needs.

The technical feature “Picking a Pump” presents tips for properly pairing these different types of pumps with application needs, and the application article “Save it for a Rainy Day” discusses one of the latest types of pumping systems to emerge—those for rainwater harvesting.

While it is important to recognize the rich history of pumping in the water and wastewater industry, it is paramount that we understand the challenges facing us today and apply our resources, skills and innovative spirit to continue the advancement of pumping technology.

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About the Author

Caitlin Cunningham

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