As I kicked off SWPA’s Annual Meeting in Chicago last December, my first thought—and the first thought of many of our members—was what a crazy two years it has been. However, that being said, we at the Submersible Wastewater Pump Association believe it has been a successful time for our members and the industry as a whole, despite the challenges. This has been in no small part due to the innovative, creative, and flexible thinking found throughout this sector as well as the shared commitment submersible pump professionals have for pushing the industry forward. For example, for the 2021 Annual Meeting, SWPA held a hybrid meeting, partially in person and partially virtual, so that the valuable information was available to all of our members, regardless of travel restrictions, COVID, and so on.


Long recognized as the industry leader in educating and training the submersible wastewater pump industry, the SWPA also announced its 2022 Training and Educational programming at the Annual Meeting in Chicago. SWPA’s Annual Meeting is the highlight of the year for its members, and the association proudly awarded two $1,000 Charles G. Stolberg Memorial Scholarships to young engineering professionals. 

In addition to presenting the SWPA Membership Industry Outlook for 2022, an annual inside look at SWPA members’ insights and predictions for the coming year (a summary of which appeared in last month’s SWPA Insight column), SWPA’s Annual Meeting also celebrated the association’s ties with thought leaders from all corners of the pump manufacturing and water sectors. Industry veteran Tom Decker of Thomas Decker Consulting didn’t disappoint with his always informative and entertaining presentation on the “State of the Industry and Year in Review.” Vanessa Leiby, executive director of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA), presented a legislative update that is crucial to understanding funding and legislation that will affect the water and wastewater industry in 2022 and beyond. 

Current SWPA President Jessie Hinther also addressed the attendees, stating, “During a very challenging last eighteen months, SWPA was able to continue to educate the submersible wastewater pump industry by adapting and offering its industry leading training programs through non-traditional training methods (like on-demand and virtual classroom), while still providing the opportunity for much needed PDH/CEU credits.”


In 2021, SWPA successfully expand its renowned live training to virtual training in response to COVID-19 and the industry’s need for training despite travel restrictions that practically eliminated live training. The mission of the Submersible Wastewater Pump Association—to enhance the global wastewater environment by informing, educating, and providing leadership in the design, procurement, and operation of submersible wastewater pumping stations—moved forward in this “new normal” by adapting our educational training, 

For example, SWPA University was launched and included a fall and spring ten-week virtual classroom. Taught by industry experts and SWPA members, classes were held one hour per week on a host of topics that included training on both pumping and controls systems, as well as addressing today’s industry issues, like managing major storm events to non-flushable consumer products and how to eliminate clogging. SWPA University also offered an on-demand program, where industry professionals can train online, on their own timeline. As part of the coursework, participants received both the Submersible Pumping Systems Handbook (4th Edition) as well as SWPA’s Start Up and Tuning Manual. Best of all, certificates of completion were issued by SWPA that allowed participants to earn up to ten hours of CEU credits.

Looking ahead, SWPA will continue with a broad-based educational platform in 2022. SWPA University’s spring session will begin March 1 and will run for ten weeks. SWPA’s on-demand training will expand in 2022, with new programs set to launch on the March 1 date as well. The fall semester will begin September 6, and both individual and corporate rates will again be available. 


For the upcoming year, we also expect a return to traditional, in-person education as well as our streamlined hybrid sessions. SWPA’s industry leading Pumping Systems and Controls Training two-day live program will be offered in Chicago in December, in conjunction with the next SWPA Annual Meeting. We were unable to hold our live annual training for the first time in over twenty-five years due to COVID-19, and we received lots of inquiries about when the SWPA training will be back. There is no better place to train and interact with industry professionals than SWPA’s live two-day training. We are finalizing dates now for December.

Finally, in SWPA’s effort to bring top-level education and training, as well as timely and updated programming to the wastewater industry, we will expand our live training program by partnering with the Hydraulic Institute (HI) in the summer of 2022. SWPA and HI will hold a joint training event on June 23 and 24 in Columbus, Ohio. This live industry event will be a collaboration of two great organizations that we are very excited about and a great boon to the industry as a whole. 


For information on SWPA training, meeting schedules, or membership information, contact SWPA Executive Director Adam Stolberg at or visit

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