How Innovation Makes Waves in the Water Industry

“Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.” – Tom Preston

 “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” – Theodore Levitt

“Innovation is the unrelenting drive to break the status quo and develop anew where few have dared to go.” – Steven Jeffes

“Innovation is progress in the face of tradition.” – Divad


The road to achieving an innovative product or service may look different to everyone. However, one thing we can all agree on is the fact that it stems from creating or thinking differently than what’s ever been done before. Much of what we think and do is based on our experiences. The results are measured and predictable changes that result in ideas that conform to standards which exist all around us. Innovation is a reorganization or re-imagination of those experiences and putting them into ideas that never existed before.

The water industry has been around for well over a century. While the methods in which water is supplied to communities have slowly evolved, certain parts and processes have been upgraded quite a bit over time. Continue reading to learn about some of the ways innovation has touched this industry in recent years.

 

  • Innovative Sticker Helps Solve Global Water Challenge
    More than four million people today use sunlight to disinfect their water but, until recently, there was no easy way to know how much sunlight was needed. One teen created an innovative sticker that changes color when enough ultraviolet light has been received to kill bacteria and pathogens, thus directly addressing and solving the problem at hand.

 

  • Mobile Apps for Homeowners and Water and Wastewater Professionals
    In this day and age, mobile apps are popping up everywhere for any topic imaginable. The water industry has jumped on the bandwagon to create and provide mobile apps that offer the homeowner information on their water usage, water quality, and even troubleshooting tips. There are also apps that cater to water and wastewater professionals for scheduling, field operations, and more.


     
  • Water Reuse That Thinks Outside the Box
    Wastewater facilities are finding more and more creative methods for reusing or recycling water. Advanced treatment processes that have been demonstrated in California led to the reuse of potable water. In addition, some municipalities are learning how to treat sewage less like waste and more like a resource in non-potable applications.

 

  • Water Leak Detection and a Dog’s Sense of Smell
    Since 2007, Great Britain has been deploying dogs and their great sense of smell as a water leak detection tool. The U.S. has joined suit as an Arkansas utility trained a black lab mix to find surfacing/non-surfacing leaks within their distribution system by being able to detect the chlorine gas associated with them.

 

  • Intelligent Irrigation
    Approximately 70% of the world’s freshwater is used by the agricultural industry. Applying a more intelligent approach to water management by deploying precision irrigation systems and computer algorithms is already beginning to bring benefits to farmers in developed countries. The emphasis in the ability to measure and forecast is what makes this method stand out.

 

The water industry has been around for a long time and, while it may be slow to change, there’s still a lot that goes on behind the scenes. When it comes to enhancing parts that make up the water service lateral, A.Y. McDonald has an entire department that’s completely devoted to the task. Since our Innovation Center opened its doors in 2016, they’ve been responsible for the creation of problem solving solutions such as the Fast Connect Fitting, Ranger Fitting, Telescoping Meter Flange, and the Adjustable Coil Pit.

With the end goal to make our customer’s lives easier, A.Y. McDonald relies largely on feedback from the customer in making these ideas come to fruition. Our road to achieving an innovative product or service may look different than others but the results are a direct reflection of our care and concern for our customers and our ability to listen to them and take action. At the end of the day, it takes the commitment and support of many in the water industry in order to make a difference – one innovative product at a time.