For the second successive year NSF International hosted the FOG Prevention Conference in their home City of Ann Arbor MI. Moving the event to the local Community College Auditorium, provided more space for attendees with a theatre style presentation facility. The event was well attended particularly by the Hydromechanical GI manufacturers.
Notable on display was the new Endura Sampling Well. Drawing on many of the Endura XL design features, the new sampling well also has features such as integrated 4″ and 6″ connection compatibility, a novel self-cleaning design, built in fall and includes a new format of ‘quick access’ cover fasteners that will see transition onto the other products in the XL range as 2018 progresses.
Sampling was just one of a number of elements that were introduced as part of the new requirements in Miami-Dade County FOG Control Ordinance. Carlos Hernandez made a very informative overview presentation and explained some of the context for key decisions that were made in preparation of the new ordinance that had been in the works for almost 4 years. It officially came into effect on Friday March 1st.
Over the two days of the Conference, sixteen presenters delivered subject matter ranging from FOG 101 to FOG Futurology. From the presentations made, three significant industry trends came through clearly.
1. Hydrid FOG Control Systems: No one manufacturer or product can provide a one stop solution for FOGS. There is a notable increase in the number of consultants in the sector that can potentially offer an independent, performance-based approach to the respective clients at different levels. Greater collaboration for all parties will be key in moving the sector forward – as will the need to focus on the respective core competencies.
2. Interceptor Monitoring: Complemented by the new Miami Dade FOG Control Ordinance and ongoing work by companies such as ATS GreaseWatch (http://www.atsgreasewatch.com) and Riptide Tek (http://www.riptidetek.com), the proximity of the industry to more widely implementing and adopting real-time interceptor monitoring and associated cloud-based data management, has never been closer.
3. Sustainability & Building Resilience: This was mentioned and introduced in several presenter’s materials. Activity toward the first implementation of US Green Building Council LEED Innovative Design Credit in respect of FOGS is significant and has been an under-exploited channel to date. If the definition of FOGS control systems can be defined at an earlier stage of the design process and locked-in based on making contribution to the LEED sustainability process by the Architect, there is potentially less risk of product substitution further along in the construction process.
The 2018 NSF FOG Prevention Conference provided a solid platform for interaction and exchange between key industry players, but perhaps moreso than the 2017 event, felt a little less balanced in its overall mix of attendance. It will be interesting to see what actions are taken to address this toward a 2019 event, but nevertheless this was without question a worthwhile investment in time and networking for those who participated.