Since moving to California from Ireland last November, one of my goals has been to connect with local pretreatment and FOG program managers. With this in mind I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak at the California Water Environment Associations 45th Annual P3S conference.
Any conference that sustains for 45 years must have some substance to it, and P3S certainly did not disappoint the 300+ attendees. With four tracks running simultaneously over three days, attendees faced difficult decisions when deciding which session or workshop to attend. I was delighted to find several FOG-themed session included the program.
I left the conference with two key takeaways:
1) Data management is consistently a challenge for FOG program managers, and
2) Building good business relationships is a key success factor for a FOG program
I was excited to hear Joseph Jenkins from EEC discuss the building blocks of a FOG program, as this framework was used to establish Dublin’s FOG program. Equally, I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the outputs from University College Dublin’s @FOGWaste research be included in Judith Marquez's Innovare4Water presentation on source reduction strategies. Its great to see our collective FOG research and improvement initiatives crosses the Atlantic!
One of the building blocks for a successful FOG program, is a good data management applicaiton, and there was several presentations that touched on this topic over the three days. In my own presentation I described how Dublin’s FOG program was established, the challenges faced and the evolution of a data management application, which was the genesis of SwiftComply. I was delighted to see my presentation resonate so clearly with the audience, and in particular the theory of “the 5 C’s of Compliance” was a hit.
For those that couldn’t make it, here is a link to my Slides
I believe that strong, transparent business relationships are critical to a successful FOG program, and it was interesting to see the work underway in LA Sanitation, in Jennifer Kong's (& her team) presentation titled "How to Create a Win-Win by Building Collaborative Partnerships". All presentations will be available on the P3S website, so I encourage you to take a look.
To conclude, I’d like to congratulate P3S Chair Shannon Simmers and her committee on a wonderful, action-packed conference, with special thanks to Berlinda Blackburn for inviting me to speak, and to Rich Von Langen for moderating our session.
I am already looking forward to next year!
Upcoming Events and Conferences
It is great to see FOG being addressed in different conferences and events in the US this year. Later this month the NSF is hosting an international FOG conference in Ann Arbor on 27/28 Feb. I will be speaking at the Western States Alliance FOG forum on 15 /16 April. There is a FOG workshop in Georgia that same week and later this year I believe the AZ FOG group is planning a follow-up to last years great event in Tempe, AZ.