Underground construction technologies make appearance


If you missed the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show in Indianapolis last week, you missed a lot!

The 35th annual show, held Feb. 23-26 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, drew 9,474 attendees, up from 8,583 the show attracted the year prior. Companies attending the show went from 3,766 in 2014 to 4,196 this year.

The WWETT Show also brought in a record number of 597 exhibitors, up from 529 last year. Several of those exhibitors are big players in the underground construction business and brought with them examples of their tools.

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HammerHead had piercing tools on display, while Toro had a directional drill on the show floor and Ditch Witch had everything from vacuum excavators to trenchers and a directional drill.

“The plumbing industry has been able to kind of grab onto trenchless a little bit easier,” says Jason Haas, director of marketing for HammerHead. “Technologies like pipe bursting, pipe ramming, they’ve embraced it a lot quicker than other industries.”

RODDIE Inc. had several of its pipe bursting tools on display and demonstrated them throughout the show.

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“It’s a great place to see what is out there if you’re exploring getting into the underground construction business,” says Henry Elford of Philadelphia, who is looking at expanding his company into offering pipe bursting services. “I’ve been here now for about eight years and the idea to expand actually came from this show.”

International Feel

The show has taken on a more international feel, with exhibitors from 14 countries and attendees from 52, including every continent except Antarctica.

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While there’s more for pumpers and cleaners than ever, there are also more classes and more exhibitors geared toward the underground construction market and gas and oil industry.

The name change is a reflection of that, and it opens the show up to more people, more technology and more ideas, all of which benefit you.

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A popular truck at the 2015 WWETT Show was the tricked-out Chevrolet truck being given away at the Industry Appreciation Party on Wednesday night. Throughout the week attendees and exhibitors made their way to the registration area to check out the truck — decked out with sponsor logo.

A total of 12 finalists were chosen early Wednesday morning — 10 of them were present.

Max Silva, of Warren Environmental in Carver, Massachusetts won the top prize. Silva opted to take the cash prize option of $35,000 to help pay off student loans.

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The other finalists were Steve Brown (Franklin Fibre – Lamitex Corp. in Wilmington, Delaware), Shannon Hicks (City of Webster in Webster, Texas), Jeanne Kubacki (Atlantic Drain Service Company in Roslindale, Massachusetts), Dave Walker (Alloy Specialties in Ransom, Illinois), Gary Burris (C.N.Wood Co. in Woburn, Massachusetts), Ashley Manes (OMSI Transmissions in Twinsburg, Ohio), Rich Sogge (Security Sanitation in Traverse City, Michigan), Michael Miranda (Liquid Waste Industries in Dallas, Georgia), Dennis Fanara (Gold Seal Plumbing in Spokane Valley, Massachusetts), Wesley Wooten (Lewis Farms & Liquid Waste in Currie, North Carolina) and JJ Lang (TOPP Industries in Rochester, Indiana.

More Changes Next Year

This year the biggest change was the name change. Next year there will be another change — new show days.

The 2016 WWETT Show shifts from the Monday through Thursday format to a Wednesday through Saturday format. The 2016 show will kick off with Education Day on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. The exhibit hall will open on Thursday, Feb. 18 and run through Saturday, Feb. 20.

“This show just keeps on getting bigger,” says Steve Dabney, who was walking the show floor on Wednesday looking for equipment for grease trap cleaning. “My feet are already sore and I’ve only been through half the show. It’s a great event.”


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