The Wastewater Industry Proudly Creates Thousands of US Jobs

While others are touting a return to homegrown product manufacturing, the wastewater industry has been, is and will always be building and hiring in the USA.
The Wastewater Industry Proudly Creates Thousands of US Jobs
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Lots of stalwart, domestic companies are waving the flag to reclaim the “Made in America’’ messaging they lost long ago by shifting product manufacturing to other countries.

It’s a good thing when these companies can bring jobs back to support hardworking American families. An example crossed my desk recently through a press release from toolmaker DeWALT. The company promoted an initiative to build its products in the United States, saying that 60 additional corded and cordless power tools would be assembled at home, using global materials. That means 500 new jobs here in the states.

In total, DeWALT will produce 14 million tools in seven U.S. plants. It’s good business, according to the company, which cited a 2013 Consumer Reports National Research Center survey showing that 78 percent of Americans would prefer buying American-made products if they are identical to those made elsewhere.

“We continue to grow our domestic capabilities because the professional using our tools wants to buy products made in the USA,” says Frank Mannarino, president of DeWALT Professional Products Group. “DeWALT is making the power tools for the contractors and builders who are themselves building America.”


I applaud companies like DeWALT for wanting to bring the manufacturing luster back to America. But these initiatives remind me there’s a greater story to be told about the wastewater industry. While some manufacturers are touting the return of American products and jobs, the wastewater industry has been, is and always will be predominantly “Made in America.”

This fact hits home for me every February when I attend the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show in Indianapolis. I walk the miles of aisles of exhibits and see the vast majority of trucks, tools and technology equipment that were designed, engineered and built in America. Of course there are exceptions, such as our friends in Canada and Europe who build out trucks and assemble pumps and other equipment. But in many cases American minds are driving wastewater solutions and American hands are providing the craftsmanship to build these solutions.

And these products are not only being sold for use in the United States. Pumping professionals from across North and South America, and farther abroad, come to the WWETT Show when they want to find the best equipment the wastewater industry has to offer. I’ve talked to contractors from India to Colombia to Great Britain, and they tell me the same thing. When they need quality tools to serve their customers, they come to Indianapolis and check out American manufacturers.

And our “Made in America” message goes beyond manufacturing quality products. The wastewater industry puts many thousands of Americans to work every day pumping tanks, designing onsite systems, and setting up and tearing down portable restrooms, just for starters. Most of these are good paying, family-supporting, full-time jobs, and the workers often grow in service company jobs to build rewarding careers.


And the rewards are more than a solid wage. Everyone in the industry – whether they turn shovels of dirt or manage a multimillion dollar company – knows their efforts improve our environment and make our water supplies safer for future generations.

Improving tools and technologies – placed in the hands of competent service providers – are keeping septic systems working more effectively and helping everything downstream of the drainfield. Sharpened knowledge and service skills are also allowing commercial and residential development to occur in more far-flung areas than ever before. We all know that a lack of access to proper wastewater treatment will quickly bring a halt to economic progress and a high quality of life.

Without clean water, our lakes and streams will be compromised and the health of the nation will decline. Put in these terms, we understand the great burden and responsibility shared by every pumping professional. And it’s a burden and responsibility you take on with enthusiasm and pride from the start of the route at daybreak to washing off the truck at the end of the day.

Made in America? Yeah, it’s been that way in the wastewater industry for generations. Pumper readers can get behind that message.


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