The Submersible Wastewater Pump Association (SWPA) is a national trade association representing and serving the manufacturers of submersible pumps for municipal and industrial wastewater applications. For over three decades, the association’s primary focus has been on industry guidelines, education, and promotion. Below, SWPA Executive Director Adam Stolberg shares his thoughts on the year that was and looks forward to the rest of 2020.

Now that 2019 in behind us, how would you assess the past twelve months, both for SWPA and for the submersible wastewater pump industry? 

2019 was a very positive year for the water and wastewater Industry. We came off an excellent year in 2018. We do see some cautious optimism in 2020 and of course some outside factors like tariffs, the election, and our aging infrastructure all play key roles. The economy needs to stay strong and the investment in aging infrastructure needs to continue. We are also cognizant of the aging work force in our industry, and the historical knowledge of so many of these water and wastewater professionals that needs to be passed onto the next generation.

What are some of SWPA’s initiatives for its members and the industry at large for 2020?  

SWPA’s focus is and always will be on industry education and training. For 2020, we have revamped our already successful two-day training program. We will include new courses, more hands-on and problem-solving courses, and a roundtable Q&A. The next training is in Chicago on March 3 and 4—and people can visit for reservations.

SWPA members represent interests from several competing companies. How has SWPA maintained its successful program of cooperation and shared benefits? 

For decades, SWPA members leave their personal and corporate interests “at the door” when we get together for our committee meeting and training seminars. When we all sit around a table, the knowledge, experience, and representation of those in the water and wastewater industry is very impressive and is a who’s who in the industry. All our members recognize the benefits of educating the world on our business and when we put together training programs, our webinars, or any other initiative—we come together to help each other grow and educate as one.

What are some of the points of consensus growing about the future among submersible wastewater pump manufacturers?  

As I said, we are cautiously optimistic for 2020. Our business tends to lag the general economy by about twelve to eighteen months. Aging infrastructure, uncertain economic conditions and manpower are the things we are really paying attention to for the years to come. The changing conditions of todays wastewater (flushables and fibrous materials) continue to be a challenge. Clogging and downtown is never a good thing; however, it does present an opportunity for our members to develop new and innovative products to address this issue.

Where do you see submersible wastewater pump customers driving the market in the coming year?  

Grinder pumps continue to be the darling and workhorse of our industry. Shipments continue to grow in all size categories and larger grinder pumps are being called upon for usage in more and more applications. In addition, demand will continue to increase for more sophisticated controls that allow for internet access, remote monitoring, SCADA systems, and other technological advances to become more efficient.


  • Pump Systems and Controls Training Seminar, March 3-4, 2020, Chicago, Illinois
  • SWPA’s Spring Committee Meetings, March 5, 2020, Chicago, Illinois
  • SWPA’s Summer Meeting and Plant Tour, August 2020, Hosted by Schneider Electric
  • SWPA at WEFTEC, October 5-7, 2020, New Orleans, Louisiana

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