SWAN NA Alliance

SWAN North American Alliance Newsletter – Winter 2019

It’s been a very busy few months for the SWAN NA Alliance. Since the last newsletter, the Alliance has transitioned to a paid system. Alliance benefits, which included access to webinars and industry event discounts, are now a benefit of the SWAN Forum Global Membership package. In this next quarter, we’re excited to keep bringing you industry knowledge and collaborative opportunities in the region, and especially thrilled that the SWAN Forum will be hosting their 9th Annual Conference for the first time in the US. Looking forward to seeing you all in Miami this May!

NA Alliance Updates

The SWAN NA Alliance led a number of smart water events, workshops and webinars over the last several months. Please see below for some highlights and click here to learn more about recent Alliance activities.

Path to Resilience: WEF Digital Water Walking Tours Highlight Companies Leading the Smart Revolution in Water
By SWAN NA Alliance Members: Graham Symmonds, Chief Water Officer, FATHOM and edited by Mary Conley Eggert, VP, Chief Innovation Officer, Global Water Works

Jodi Glover, CEO of Real Tech, a new SWAN member, briefs Smart Water Mobile Tour participants on her Canadian company’s real-time water quality monitoring technology.

In October, GlobalWaterWorks.org, SWAN and WEF partnered to organize the successful WEFTEC 2018 Digital Water Walking Tours. During the tours, SWAN members and additional progressive solution providers offered a brief overview and answered questions on how smart and efficient technologies play an important role in driving resilience into the utility environment, including experts from the following companies: ADS, aquatic informatics, Drylet, Fluence, Grundfos, Optimatics, OptiRTC, OSIsoft, Real Tech, S::CAN, SmartCover Systems, and Teledyne Isco.

One of the concepts discussed was the fundamental shift underway for technology companies: the transition from widgets to services.  Using the services model, technology companies can deliver on the core pillars of water: Sustainability, Availability, Affordability, and Security.

The path to resilience means that we must get the most out of every drop of water, maximum value from every foot of installed infrastructure, and better understand the real-time condition of our assets and resources.  While there is no single “silver bullet” to solve our water scarcity and volatility issues, utilities can begin to implement practices and policies that drive sustainability.

As with transformative change in other industries, this goal will be achieved through maximizing the use of data across the entire utility ecosystem. This convergence of data will not only allow for our utilities to operate more effectively, but will be a key driver in maintaining our infrastructure, meeting our current and future demands, and assuring the resource and revenue stability of our utilities.

Watch the “Uncovering Canada’s Smart Water Solutions” Webinar On-Demand

 Did you miss the October 22 webinar covering essential smart water best practices from Canada and how these ideas can be utilized around the world? Watch the webinar for free here.

Note: Since the SWAN NA Alliance has transitioned to a paid membership, all future webinars will be available to SWAN Members ONLY. Learn more about joining the Alliance and SWAN Forum here

Take Action!


Submission deadline: March 29th

The Alliance is now accepting abstracts to contribute to 2019 webinars. We encourage all water sector players to submit abstracts to help SWAN Members and the wider audience understand key successes, strategies, and learning outcomes in smart water and wastewater projects. 

By participating and telling your story, you will help move the industry forward. This is a great opportunity to showcase your thought leadership. Topics being considered include: AI/Machine Learning; Customer Engagement, Fostering Innovation & Collaboration, Water Loss Strategies, and Workforce Management. Click here to download the abstract submittal document. If you have any questions, please reach out to Seth Cutler (seth.cutler@frost.com), the SWAN NA Alliance Events Planning Lead.

New Member Spotlight

Q&A with Ryan Benner, Director of IT Operations at Garratt-Callahan
Interview by S
WAN NA Alliance Member Becca Fong, Business Development Manager at KISTERS North America 

SWAN NA Alliance welcomes California-based Garratt-Callahan to the SWAN Forum. Garratt-Callahan has provided services within industrial water treatment for nearly 115 years to reduce risks, deliver peak system performance, and lower operating costs. 

Q: How did you learn about SWAN? Why did Garratt-Callahan join?
I am part of many different organizations and was looking for a different take on water treatment as I have found very little tech in the niche.  I read several LinkedIn articles and though they contained interesting concepts and ideas, but they were missing concrete practices.  I was working on similar concepts that are focuses of SWAN within my organization and had been following the association for a few years.

Q: What challenges does the water treatment industry face that smart technologies can best help address?

Although some in the industry have touched on full-picture, they are not really implementing on the concept.  There is nothing fully encompassing the hardware technology  (equipment/sensors) and water sampling (wet chemistry, titration testing), and service team visiting clients to tackle secondary infection issues, e.g. legionella, etc.  We need to provide a dashboard to overlay the three streams of data and help the industry understand the value of having that information connected.  This can enable the move from reactive state to predictive state [as the nature of water is complex with multiple factors impacting statuses], for example water in Texas lakes start to flip based on temperature, and this can be addressed with prefiltration chemicals.

Q: What changes in the water treatment industry spurred your vision to digitally transform the company?

I found there is very little technology in the space and a great opportunity for smart innovation to address critical water treatment challenges.

Q: Describe the difference in customer service delivery? How have existing customers received the changes?

Today it’s more than just partnering with customers to check equipment, perform water sampling, and deliver consulting services. There’s an approach to guide towards a better water treatment plan that can increase customer efficiency and improve public health. Multi-year clients recently switched to new data systems. This is critical to maintain compliance and my company helped them perform the migration. Smaller clients with multiple sites have found success with control data integrated with water management systems to trend out wet chemistry data.

Q: Given Garratt-Callahan’s expertise and now new paradigm, what influence do you see it having on water treatment?

We’re noticing an influence on legionella testing and secondary infection monitoring. Monitoring hospital cooling towers and water treatment is very specialized. We are looking at technology and where there are needs.  This includes opportunities in beer and wine production.  Customer service is another key area for us, where we work hand in hand with clients and help them to better communicate upwards, in order to make the case for these smart solutions.

Q: What should our members (utilities or service providers) know about Garratt-Callahan for better collaboration?

Garratt-Callahan has been doing water treatment longer than any other company in the U.S.  A family-owned company, we made the commitment to improving our internal infrastructure so we are better able to help our clients improve their assets.  Now we have five developers, one network engineer, and are ready to hire more! 

There are varying degrees of software users and before, the focus was to streamline application interfaces for operators–but what about chemists?  Water treatment language has not been standardized well and we are looking to design based on customer needs.

Q: What keeps you excited about working in water?

I’m kept excited by the ability to track and maintain high standards of potable water quality in hospitals, where it’s most critical. Water is a finite resource, especially within emerging areas with poor water treatment due to not inspecting and cleaning [the water] quick enough.

Upcoming Events

Excitement is growing for the SWAN 9th Annual Conference taking place in Miami from May 15-16, 2019. Check out our newly released agenda, feat. over 30 leading, global utility speakers and diverse industry experts. Secure your spot today to the leading smart water/wastewater event of the year!

Save The Date

The SWAN Forum is thrilled to announce the first annual Smart Water Hackathon on May 14th, 2019, directly prior to the SWAN Conference. This is a great opportunity for students and young professionals to work on addressing concrete water utility challenges by applying data-driven problem solving. Learn more here. 

Industry Insights


NEW REPORT: Catch the Data Wave

Each year, participants in the Water Education Foundation‘s Water Leaders program focus their reports on one specific, water-related issue. The 2018 Water Leaders class examined ways to improve water management through data, building on the January 2018 report, Data for Water Decision Making, by UC Water, DWR and the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) to inform the implementation of AB 1755.3. Read their recommendations in the class report here.  

Member Notes

Asset Management Report / Special Discount for SWAN Members

Smarter, more advanced asset management strategies will drive US$41.9 billion in water utility savings by 2027. Central to this is the increasing value in data collection, analytics, and visualization of network conditions and operations. A May 2018 report from Bluefield Research, “Advanced Asset Management in Municipal Water: Global Trends & Strategies, 2018 – 2027”, deconstructs the complex processes that municipal water utilities undertake to manage their assets. We are pleased to offer SWAN members 15% off the list price. Access promo code HERE

Smart Water Gets Social!

Many of our SWAN NA Alliance members are active on social media. Here are some highlights showcasing this buzz. Make sure to follow us at @SWAN_NorthAm to stay up to date on the latest smart water and smart wastewater news!


City of Bellevue, Washington @bellevueWA helping residents monitor water use and leak data in real time bit.ly/2WEt6aI 

Riverside County Flood Control + Water Conservation District RCflood.org work w @kistersNA to monitor water quality as heavy rains carry high risks of debris flow, flood, toxic sediment & chemical runoff from burn scar areas goo.gl/yuHjtd

DeKalb County, Georgia leveraging@TeledyneIsco flowmeter, modem & battery to limit massive sewage spills esp. due to heavy rain, #aginginfrastructure



Fayette County @FayetteGA Water System implements worldwide first: multi-tier “piano key” structure spillway maintains consistent water level in Lake Peachtree, managing flood conditions bit.ly/2WEt6aI

@CityGrandRapids Michigan empowering residents to help remove snow, ice from neighborhood stormwater catch basins / sewer drains via address search & @esri map http://bit.ly/2G6FCuA

@DCwater offers High Water Usage Alerts (HUNA) to help indicate leaks or running toilets; customers automatically enrolled dcwater.com/HUNA

We greatly value your feedback, please let us know if you have any questions or comments.
Email us at: info@swan-forum.com