It seems appropriate that our Aging Infrastructure issue coincides with a recent influx of information on municipalities and other organizations (finally) feeling the benefits of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. While the immediate impact has certainly not yet come close to the projected promise of significant economic recuperation, at least we have begun to see some activity.

The $787 billion program promised to create four million jobs and allowed for approximately $150 billion in emergency funding for public works infrastructure, with more than $7 billion earmarked for drinking water and wastewater projects.

One of the biggest concerns among pump and motor manufacturers continues to be the controversial “Buy American” clause. John Engman of Emerson Motors says shipping to the site is the critical factor contributing to the confusion over the clause's compliance requirements. “You may be buying a pump from an American manufacturer, but if the vertical pump is shipped in two sections (pump and motor), then both items must meet the criteria,” he explains.

The paperwork required to ask for the money, as well as the red tape involved with receiving it, has contributed to the confusion and political backlog.

This month we introduced a new online blog and monthly update in print from consultant David Courtney that should help us sort it all out. He uses several tools to closely monitor stimulus activity that affects our industry and post lists of projects in the works. Visit his blog frequently for updates and continue to read Pumps & Systems for vital news and information regarding the ongoing impact of the stimulus package. Be sure to comment about projects for which you would like more information and continue to let us know if you receive orders as a direct result of a stimulus-funded project.

Our October issue features in-depth commentary from ITT's Colin Sabol on aging infrastructure in municipalities with specific evidence of the impact on our industry and insight on possible solutions.

On the tradeshow front, I just returned from the ISA Expo in Houston where I got a first-hand look at some amazing new industry technology, which will be featured in future issues of the magazine. The Pumps & Systems team will be on the road next week at WEFTEC in Orlando. Visit us at Booth #2851.