Q&A with Colin Kirkland

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In episode ten of Controlling Water—our final episode for season 1—Colin Kirkland draws on over 30 years’ industry experience in water supply and irrigation to answer a wide range of questions from our listeners.

Find the answers to some of your most pressing questions about specific valves, upskilling as a water professional, and the water industry in general.

Bermad Podcast - Colin Kirkland

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Sarah Hello, and welcome to Controlling Water. We’re here today with Colin Kirkland, senior engineer at Bermad Water Technologies. Welcome Colin.
Colin Thank you, senior engineer. That sounds impressive, doesn’t it? I haven’t been called that before. Are you referring to my age, Sarah? Or is it, no, just wondering.
Sarah No, never Colin. Never.
Colin Okay. Just checking.
Sarah I’m really excited about this episode.
Colin Me too.
Sarah It’s the final episode of season one. Amazing.
Colin I know, it’s gone very quickly, I think.
Sarah It has.
Colin I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed it to be honest here. You’d never gather, but I do like talking.
Sarah Well, today’s episode is going to run a little bit differently to most of the season. Over the last little while, over the last few weeks, we have put a call out to our listeners to get them to send in any questions that they might have.
Colin Yes.
Sarah And I’m very excited to say we have a long list of questions for this episode.
Colin Okay. They are good questions, aren’t they?
Sarah They are very good questions.
Colin Just checking.
Sarah They’re very good questions. Some curly ones. Some not-so-curly.
Colin Okay.
Sarah What we’re going to do in this episode is answer as many of those questions as we can.
Colin Okay.
Sarah Have a good chat, and I’m sure there’ll be a few surprises along the way.
Colin I feel like I’m at high school and you’re about to
Sarah Oh no.
Colin Examine me on whether I’ve been paying attention for the year. Making me nervous.
Sarah Oh, not at all. I have a feeling I’ll have to stop myself going down a tangent or a rabbit hole with you.
Colin Fair enough. Okay.
Sarah Should we get started?
Colin Why not? Let’s do it.
Sarah Wonderful.
Colin Okay.
Sarah So, I’m gonna kick off with our first question, Colin.
Colin Yes.
Sarah And this is in relation to the training facilities. Do you have courses outside the standard ones published on the website, that you can perhaps tailor for operations staff?
Colin Definitely. We have a series of different courses that we run in a variety of wide topics, which are there. The issue a lot of the time is that we get a lot of feedback after we’ve done this training sessions, and sometimes, depending on the people that are coming there, they’ll get 50% or 60% use of the course.
Sarah Right.
Colin Because some of the questions or some of the topics aren’t quite relevant all the time. So, one of the things that we’ve really found is that when we do some of these courses now, we really want to optimize the best time that we can for the people that are attending there. So, a lot of the time, if it’s a specific water company, we’ll use a lot of their installation pictures, and we’ll tailor the training to specifically their needs and wants.
Sarah Great.
Colin And we’re actually finding now that the courses that we do are actually more relevant, are more specific than generic, if that makes much sense. Because we’re very aware of the value of their time and it’s a big commitment. If you’re sending three or four people across for training, you want to get the best out of it, you can.
Sarah Absolutely.
Colin So, what I would encourage any of the people on our website, we have the interactive training facility section there, and we really encourage people who are wanting to come to give us their objectives and goals that they want, so that we can prepare and best get the course to suit their needs.
Sarah Wonderful.
Colin Within a time period that they can. If you give me too much coffee, I’ll just keep talking all day. So, we have to sort of cap it at a certain level.
Sarah Sounds good.
Colin But that’s definitely been the way to go, and I’d encourage people, yes, to try and make the courses as specific as possible. We enjoy doing that.
Sarah Fantastic.
Colin That’s more challenging. Yeah.
Sarah So, onto our next question.
Colin Yes.
Sarah Taking a bit of a different tangent. There were many podcasts discussing water hammer.
Colin Yes.
Sarah Is Bermad able to assist us in explaining how we can accurately model some of the Bermad products in this listener’s water hammer software?
Colin So, Sarah, there are many software companies out there that have very specific software that actually model exactly how water flows in pipes and how water hammer happens, et cetera. And this software has been developed over many years. We don’t work with it personally in-house because we are a valve provider. So we work with independent engineers who really do this and do it very well. But, like any software, bad info, bad information going in, gives you a bad result. So, it’s really, really important that if you’re going to implement some of our products in there, we’re able to talk the same language, as the people who are actually developing or running with that software. So, we’ve got a lot of experience now, knowing exactly how to put in the correct factors and the correct way that the model needs to, to read how our valve performs. It’s a language in itself, basically, and a lot of it has been based on experience. So, we know typically how a product’s going to work, and when we see results at these shows and we think: look, that doesn’t really seem quite right. And a lot of the time it could be how the valve is reacting or the information that’s been put in. So, what we really encourage those modeling engineers that are working with high trend, or KYPipe, hammer, and all these other programs, is to speak to us.
Sarah Right.
Colin And we can then speak in the same language to make sure that the effort and the time they’re putting in, they’re getting the best results. So, yes, we’re able to do it. It’s quite challenging, but it’s very important because if you’re gonna spend a fair bit of money trying to figure out what potentially is going to happen, you wanna get a good result.
Sarah You do.
Colin And an honest result.
Sarah Absolutely.
Colin So, yes. Yeah, we can do that quite well.
Sarah So, Colin, for our next question, we are going to take our minds back to episode eight.
Colin Yes.
Sarah Where you were talking about poor valve installations.
Colin This has raised some eyebrows with some people, especially if I show pictures, I’m going to offend someone here when I talk about this, but it’s a key thing. Yeah.
Sarah I love it. I love it. All right. So, the question that we have is: are there any papers or technical publications where examples like this are described, to enable us to design out these issues in PRV stations?
Colin Yeah. I wish we could do this, but I’m about to offend someone or many people, to be quite honest. But to explain how I first got involved in this sort of process, I used to visit many consultants in the early days and I would have a small a folder with hard pictures, and I would meet with engineers that had specified our product and I’d give them feedback and go back and say: hi guys, have a look at the pictures, and if I were doing this again, this is what I would do.
Sarah Right.
Colin And they really, really valued that. And it wasn’t like we were being critical with what they were doing, but it’s good to learn from getting things wrong. And so, to be honest, we don’t have something that publishes bad installations. We like to show many of the good installations, but in all honesty, when we do the training seminars or when we do video training seminars that people can watch, we like to show that and show those sort of things so that people say, to all intents and purposes, when you’re designing something in paper, it all looks great. But is it practical? Can it be maintained? So one of the things which we really encourage people when they come along to the training seminars, or if we are providing one of our video seminars, we like to show some of those to really highlight why it was a problem and why, to make sure that if you were doing it yourself, you are learning from other people’s mistakes.
Sarah Right.
Colin And, as long as I don’t mention who it is, or where it is, or what part of the country, that’s the key thing. But when I think about feedback that I’ve had from many engineers in the past, they found that invaluable and it’s all about learning,
Sarah Yeah.
Colin and learning to do it well. So, to answer your question, no, we don’t publish it, but we subtly bring it into some of the seminars and training that we use every day.
Sarah Nice.
Colin And that’s what I would really encourage people to listen to and to watch.
Sarah We’re gonna move back to water hammer now for a moment.
Colin Okay. Yes.
Sarah There’s a lot of discussion in relation to water hammer, but nothing on raw sewage pipelines suffering from water hammer.
Colin Yes.
Sarah And our listener has
asked does Bermad have products also suitable for sewage rising main pipelines?
Colin Yes. All of the podcast, which we did in the past here, were basically based on water or raw water. Sewage is a completely different topic altogether, and that’s a that’s a big question. But the answer, the short answer is yes. It’s probably one of the more problematic areas that happens everywhere in Australia, because in a sewer rising main, you basically have pump stations that start and stop 50, 60, 70 times a day, very quickly. They are the worst water hammer generators in creation.
Sarah Yeah.
Colin And it’s so important that these systems work, and work really well. Yes. The answer is we do have many products that work in there, but the nature of the liquid that we’re passing and the importance of the reliability of the pipeline is critical, and yes, there are many things that we can do. So that’s probably a really good topic maybe for season two,
Sarah yeah.
Colin I think that we should incorporate.
Sarah Sounds good.
Colin It’s a very specialized thing here, because the issue is that we really can’t afford to have failure in the products when it’s sewage.
Sarah Of course.
Colin And the nature of the whole variety of the liquids is that it’s got to be reliable and we’re looking for, when people are designing sewer rising mains, they’re trying to pass water at very high velocities and they’re turning pumps on and off very quickly.
Sarah Right.
Colin And it’s terrible.
Sarah Yeah.
Colin So, you have to over-design things substantially, and getting that right is a really key thing. So, that’s going to be an interesting topic, talking about sewage in the next episodes, I hope.
Sarah Definitely.
Colin But hopefully I know a lot of people have asked us about it when we’ve been talking about the podcast and they said, Colin, what about sewage? So, it’s interesting that question came up and it’ll be one for next season, hopefully.
Sarah Sounds like it’s in demand.
Colin Okay. It is. Yes.
Sarah I’m going to stay on the topic of water hammer
Colin yes.
Sarah for just a moment. I know that there are techniques to mitigate the impact of water hammer,
Colin Yes.
Sarah Is it possible to design solutions that eliminate the prospect of water hammer in its entirety?
Colin That’s very difficult because water hammer is, are, is caused by a rapid change in flow. If we take an everyday example at a pump station. So, if it’s an electric pump station where it’s electric motors driving pumps and that power fail. We’re potentially going to have water hammer. So, what would you do in that instance? Would you bring in a diesel generator set to drive that electric unit if the power failed? So, it’s probably very difficult to eliminate it altogether, but it’s really important to do a risk analysis.
Sarah Right.
Colin So, a lot of the times when we provide a solution that we think might be good to act to prevent the water hammer or to reduce the effects of water hammer, that risk analysis has done and said: well, look, what are the issues if this works or it doesn’t work? It’s a very long-winded question and these meetings go on for hours, by the way, it starts off with a really small question. It goes on for hours.
Sarah Wow.
Colin You know, so it’s probably not something that I can answer in its entirety here.
Sarah Sure.
Colin But it certainly would be a good topic to bring up on how to prevent those situations happening in the start. Even though we have solutions to mitigate that, if it does happen, there’s other ways which they can be minimized.
Sarah Interesting.
Colin Yeah.
Sarah Very interesting. Sounds like a future topic.
Colin But that was a tough question, Sarah. Honestly, I thought this was gonna be easy. That was a tough one.
Sarah Oh, I’m sorry.
Colin Okay.
Sarah I’m sorry. Let’s think big for a moment.
Colin Okay.
Sarah Nothing about water hammer.
Colin Okay.
Sarah When we think about innovation and the future of the water industry,
Colin Yes.
Sarah what are you excited about?
Colin It’s a bit scary. I’m excited about valves really, and
Sarah I love that.
Colin it’s a bit scary, but look, there’s so much technology that’s coming out today, when we work with mechanical products. Everyone today has a mobile phone. I was looking at my phone this morning and I was doing emails and I uploaded a new app to my phone yesterday, and we have five apps that Bermad have that we link to mobile phones.
Sarah Right.
Colin When I think today, what we can do with the ability to read, to monitor, and to control a lot of things from your mobile phone, that’s really quite exciting.
Sarah Yeah.
Colin You know, when we think back 20 years ago, we probably hardly even had mobile phones. But I was, to give you an example, I was at a job just this week, and I was in a very remote location in central Victoria, and we were working on a valve, and I was showing the operators how to enter the logs of a valve. In other words, how to put down what the set points of the valve were and how it was configured, and in the olden days, those logs would be written down in handbook.
Sarah Right.
Colin And they’d be written down and they’d be put in a handbook and put in a safe place where it was dry, where the valves were. But today, you can take your phone; you can scan a QR code; you can bring up the valve; you can bring up information on it; you can enter in the logs; you can pinpoint its location in Google maps; and you can send me a text from that situation. And I was talking to the operators about it. And you know, when you look at the feedback that you get from them and they sort of say, look, that’s amazing Colin. It means that any operator could come to that site, scan the information on our free app, and get information instantaneously. You know, we work in a world today where we want instantaneous everything.
Sarah Yeah.
Colin And I find it exciting that all of this information that’s coming out now with these apps that we’ve got, give you the ability to look at a valve and when you come to a valve that doesn’t work, you know, you’re looking at what you’re seeing there. Well, with the phone apps, I can look at the logs and I can see, well, what did it do through the week? What did it do at two o’clock this morning?
Sarah Yeah.
Colin And what were the alarms that went out? So, what’s really exciting in the next phase of where we are traveling to with Bermad, is that Bermad’s investing huge time in technology. Not just technology in how to make our valve work well, and how to make the pilot work, or the aspects of the mechanical product. But how do we utilize technology and efficiency together? So, you can use your mobile phone or a tablet to communicate, to operate, to modify valves, and what we have coming up is absolutely mind blowing in my opinion. It’s a bit scary for an older person these days to work with young guys, but let me tell you, it is actually exciting and it’s a whole new way in which people are living today.
Sarah Amazing.
Colin You know, those arguments we have with battery charge and our phones every day.
Sarah Yes.
Colin You know, well, the importance is we need to have all this to work with communication and the ability to do all this through cloud-based solutions and have good backups and all of that is really quite exciting. And I think for some of the next episodes here, it’d be really good to talk about how we incorporate new technology today to really read, monitor, and operate our products. Not just mechanically, but through cloud-based solutions as well. So that’s, what’s getting me going in the morning, as far as coffee.
Sarah Very exciting.
Colin Yeah.
Sarah Sounds very exciting, Colin.
Colin Yeah.
Sarah And so, thinking about where we’re heading as a water industry, what do you think are the main challenges that the industry is facing in the next few years, and how might we overcome them as well?
Colin Yes, that is a very big question. That’s a hard one. Okay.
Sarah Sorry about that.
Colin No, that’s okay.
Sarah I warmed you up for a while.
Colin Sure. Yeah. Sure. Okay. Look, there’s so much to talk about climate change and there’s only an infinite amount of water on this earth, of course, and when we think about where our products are originally manufactured in Israel, Israel is a country that are the leading country in the world that take 80% of drinking water and recycle that back; they’re the leaders in recycling water in the world.
Sarah That’s amazing.
Colin There’s millions of cubic meters of water that they recycle every year. And to take 80% of your water that you drink and recycle that and reuse it,
Sarah Yeah.
Colin is amazing. We take a lot of the innovation and the technology, which the Israelis provide, because they value water so greatly. They make water, of course desalination is a huge thing today. We know that we are running out of water and we’re able to make clean drinking water for irrigation or for drinking,
Sarah Wow.
Colin out of sea water today, and I think some of the big challenges are to really respect, and to know that, that’s all we have, so we really have to manage it well.
Sarah Yeah.
Colin A lot of the time, you know, we have showers that go on for too long or we waste water unnecessarily. The challenges are to really work with water and really ensure that we don’t waste it.
Sarah Yeah.
Colin And make ourselves efficient. And this is what so many companies in the water industry are really working to be efficient about, and that’s a real challenge for the future. You know, when I think about my children, my children’s children, we’ve only got that amount of water. We have to do it well.
Sarah Wow.
Colin So as long as we are learning from what other countries and other people are doing and implement those solutions, it’s gonna be really challenging, but really exciting coming for the next chapter in keeping the water we’ve got.
Sarah It’s quite a sobering thought.
Colin Well, it is, it is.
Sarah Yeah. But an exciting challenge.
Colin And you look at what we have today, Sarah, we have, in Melbourne, for example, we didn’t have desalination many years ago, and today we use desalination water every day, and I shudder to think what we would do without it.
Sarah Me too.
Colin That’s right. So, it’s really important that we value water and think about it as a commodity that we can’t waste it.
Sarah Absolutely. Next question.
Colin Yes.
Sarah It’s all about career development in the water industry.
Colin Okay.
Sarah Hopefully it’s not a tough one.
Colin Okay.
Sarah We’ll see where we go.
Colin Okay.
Sarah So, say someone was on the cusp of commencing their career in the water industry,
Colin Yes.
Sarah what three pieces of advice would you give them?
Colin Go for it. Number one: just go for it. Look, when I think about the areas that we are in – we are in irrigation, we are in water mining, building services. All of those aspects, the people that I work with every day are all, they’re not all specialists, but it’s such an industry that has got such a future. As we said, we were talking before, we only have an infinite amount of water on this planet and we have to do it efficiently. And it’s a really sad situation that we are losing a lot of people in the industry today too, as well. So, if I were young and, I see this challenge in the country specifically, you know, where obviously there’s lower populations, where people are really struggling to find people to get into the irrigation industry, or to get into the water authority, or to get into the mining aspect of water supply. It’s very difficult to get people. And if you were young and studying civil engineering, or mechanical engineering, or you’re an electrician, you’re a fitter, doesn’t matter what sort of level of education, the water industry has huge challenges.

The big thing today, of course, is that you can see all of these jobs. You can see all of these things on so many different platforms; on YouTube, you can listen to podcasts, you can read blogs and all of that sort of information. But there’s so many… there’s so many opportunities for people coming into that. And if you are wanting a career, I would suggest it’s a wonderful place to start. If I think about… think about irrigation, for example. Irrigation are really struggling in the country right now to get people to actually get into that. Now, when we think about, well, what are we doing with irrigation? Is it plumbing? Is it a mixture of plumbing and electrical information?

Well, we might be working with pumps, or PLCs, or we might be doing, specific irrigation installation. You think, well, I can use a plumber for that. Well, it’s very specific plumbing and it’s very industry specific. So, there’s so many opportunities to make a good career out of it is the other thing, rather than just a normal career, but it’s specializing in the water industry has great… look, it’s done me incredibly well. And I’m really pleased that I started off in pumps many, many years ago. I remember my father thinking: you’re going into pumps, okay. Hmm. Okay. Well, it’s been wonderful. It’s been a great career.

So, three pieces of advice. I would just say, go, go, go. There’s lots of research that you can see there, and you can read and see about it, but… it’s got some, I would really encourage anyone to do it and find a good career out of it too, as well.

Sarah So, for engineering grads, Colin, why pick the water industry over other industries?
Colin Look, it’s growing. It has to grow, and the opportunities are there. It’s when we have this work life balance, when I think about what that’s done for me. I’ve been able to travel. I love traveling. This week I was standing next to seven-foot grey kangaroos watching eagles flying overhead where I was in country Victoria,
Sarah Amazing.
Colin out in amazing country. Look, water is everywhere. If you want the ability to work with organizations that supply a variety of industries and you want to travel, you want to have a variety of experience, and if you like learning and you’ve been through university or college, and you’ve been learning about this, it’s a great opportunity to continually to learn.

When I think back on my career, there’s not a day or a week goes past, you’re not learning more. And if you’re in an organization that’s really moving and developing with technology, it’s fantastic. Yeah, look, I can’t speak for other industries in road building or whatever, but water, we are always going to need it, it’s never gonna go away.

Sarah It’s true.
Colin And, yeah, it can definitely give a great career for you, and there’s so many opportunities to learn too as well. One of the things that you’ll find with a lot of pump companies or filtration companies or valve companies – they have their own universities or, not own universities, but they have their own courses which they work with universities and colleges, or they do their own training and their own education to the industry to keep people in there and to keep them educated. So, a big part of what we do as a major supplier is continuing to educate. So, if you like to learn, if you like to grow. This is definitely the industry I would go for. Certainly.
Sarah That’s great.
Colin Yes.
Sarah Sounds really great.
Colin And if you get it wrong, what’s the worst thing that can happen? You can get wet.
Sarah Exactly.
Colin You know.
Sarah Exactly.
Colin That’s what someone always said to me. You aren’t doing it right unless you get wet, somehow, you’re gonna get something wrong. So, it’s only water.
Sarah I love it. I love it. Colin, I have a question for you that admittedly was one of my questions.
Colin Was it?
Sarah It was, yes.
Colin This isn’t a tricky one is it?
Sarah I snuck this one in.
Colin Okay.
Sarah I was very curious about this and it’s a question I’ve never asked you.
Colin Okay.
Sarah And I’ve always been curious to know.
Colin Yes.
Sarah What has made you stay with Bermad? What’s special about the team? About the work? What is it?
Colin So, my boss is listening. Is this important? Okay. No, look…Bermad is a really interesting organization. I’ve been there 23 years. It basically is a company that just never sits still. My mother always says to me, I dance in my pants and I would never sit still. But this is like the company. Bermad is an organization that when, I’ve not worked in many companies in my career, but this is one where I always knew that I wanted it in my last company that I worked for, because it’s such an innovation company. It’s a company that’s successful. Continually successful. It’s continually innovating, challenging, frustrating.
Sarah Yeah.
Colin Well, did I say that out loud? No, but it is. And it’s an organization where quite uniquely, what I’ve found from other companies that I’ve worked with, it’s got people in there with huge amounts of passion that really care. I know this all sounds a little bit sort of cliche, but it’s really how it is. Look, it’s not that every day is perfect. That’s just not reality. But the thing is, is that when we look at what our parent organization do, their mission in life is really to make that product absolutely the best. Ultimately, when I’m out there working this week, when I was out there working this week, I was working in a really difficult situation, in a really challenging environment, watching this valve working, and I remember when we’re commissioning the valve, we made some modifications. And I remember watching the valve, working, thinking, this is just fantastic.

And look, I know this sounds like I’m being a sales person and I’m pushing what we’re doing, but sometimes you take it for granted that the product you’re working with, works so well, that you know what it’s supposed to do, you know what it’s trying to do and when you watch it do it so well, you just think that’s what is so great.

Sarah Love that.
Colin Anyway, that gives me a real kick. So, when you work with an organization where the product you’ve got is working so well, and it’s not to say we’re perfect, we make mistakes, and we do things wrong. I prefer not to speak about them, but no, it’s great, and to have a management team and a style in the organization that are very open to change. You know, when you look at a lot of companies that are very rigid and very stuck in their old ways and doing things. When I think about my career back with Bermad, it has changed so dramatically, but really moved with the times.
Sarah Yeah.
Colin Which is great. And if you like learning, and you like being part of a team where you’re valued, you listen; it’s great. Yeah. That’s why I stay there.
Sarah I love that.
Colin And it’s a great team. It’s a great team.
Sarah It sounds like it.
Colin To be able to take a percentage of your business and educate people, which of course, at the end of the day, we are a sales organization that relies on selling product. But at the end of the day, the values that the company has, to give you an example, we’ve had many cases where I think a lot of companies are challenged when things go wrong. You know, you can react to a lot of different ways when things go wrong. You can say, well, that’s not my fault. Or you can say: okay, so it was partially our fault. It doesn’t matter whose fault it was. Let’s make it work, and having that attitude of, you never walk away from a job.
Sarah Sure.
Colin And if it costs you money, you have to do it.
Sarah Right.
Colin And when you hear that from the top management down, I think that gets reflected as time goes, business goes by, because there’s a lot of trust in what we do in all this business. It’s fantastic when you work for an organization that’s like that, and you can continue. So that’s been really good. Hopefully there hasn’t been too many stuff-ups. No, there’s been plenty. What am I talking about.
Sarah But it sounds like you learn from those.
Colin Absolutely.
Sarah Rather than something detrimental, it’s much more about learning.
Colin Absolutely, it is. Do you know it’s, if you are actually honest in talking about potentially how your valves can fail, how you can prevent that happening, this is what we need to do to try and make that sort of work. So, it’s really good that they encourage you to do all this. Their whole aspect is do the best that you can possibly do with the product, and make it a long term solution that people can trust with you.


So, it’s great.

Sarah Fantastic. Fantastic. All right. Curious question for you.
Colin Okay.
Sarah What’s the best feedback you’ve received from a client?
Colin Holy Moly. Am I allowed to swear here or not? No? No, no, look, it’s part of the Scottish whole thing. No, no, I’m not going to swear. You know, one of the things, just as I was mentioning before, if you’re being really honest about your product, like any piece of mechanical equipment, you have to be… if you’re doing a risk analysis on your product, and let’s say for example, we have a pressure reducing valve working in a very old part of a town that’s very sensitive to breakage, and you were talking to the engineers and s
aying look, this is what we suggest for your solution, and this is what we suggest.

But look, what we really have to talk about is the risk of if the valve fails, this is what we need to think about. And I think being able to speak really honestly about how your product works; how to make sure it’s a long term solution; how to make sure that operator intervention or scatter or something, doesn’t make it malfunction; and really being open and honest about what it’s going to do; and having so much experience that has taught you to really, openly speak about that, is really enlightening. And I found a lot of operations managers would say to me, Colin, so let me be clear. You’re not gonna tell me how great you valve is. You’re gonna tell me why it’s gonna fail and how you… and that sort of feedback that we’ve had from clients, that we want to be as honest as we can, to make sure that they really get an honest appraisal of what the product’s actually going to work with.

And a lot of the time, a lot of the time it’s difficult to say: I’m sorry, I don’t think it’s right. Or no, we don’t have a product, because look, we are a sales organization that wanna sell product. And I think getting the feedback that there are clients that say, well looking a lot of the time it’s, we value your opinion that you don’t always say: yes, we’ve got a solution. We may have a solution, but these are the risks. Or, in other words, you’re being honest about it.

Sarah Yeah.
Colin And I guess that’s integrity in an organization. I guess it’s experience, because in a lot of cases, if you didn’t really know terribly well, and you said, look, yeah, it should be fine. Yep. Let’s go for it, but it failed. Then it reflects back on you and your company. Colin, you told me that was gonna work. So, I think having that feedback from clients that they’re saying that: look, you’re bearing your underbelly a little bit, and you’re actually saying really truthfully what you think and you’re basing it on experience. That’s the thing.
Sarah Yeah.
Colin So, yes. That’s been quite an interesting response we get from clients. We look a bit puzzled and they’re s
aying okay, all right.
Sarah I love it.
Colin Yeah, of course. It is the best product in the market. You realize that Sarah, don’t you?
Sarah Of course.
Colin Of course. That’s a given, isn’t it? That’s right. Yeah. Yeah, of course.

Interesting answer Colin.

Yeah. Okay.

Sarah Alright, Colin. Last question of season one.
Colin Well, you’re looking serious now, hold on.
Sarah It’s probably the toughest.
Colin Okay. Okay.
Sarah Will there be a season two of controlling water?
Colin Will there be a season two? I sincerely hope so. I’ve personally thoroughly enjoyed it. The feedback that we’ve had from clients and from consultants and people, has been really encouraging. It’s really interesting, the process of doing a podcast and who listens to it, and it’s another form of being able to get information on how your product works and why it works. It’s been interesting to know how many people listen to them as well. My wife often says, Colin, who listens to someone talking about valves. But I said, there are some poor saps out there who do.
Sarah Many people, many people.
Colin I’m sure they do. But yeah look, it’s been really enjoyable. From our perspective, we wanna make sure that the content we’re putting out, is useful for people. When I think about the number of topics that we could use, which would be useful. I think when I’ve spoken to people, when they listen to them, when they’re driving to site or they’re driving to work in the morning, there’s many things we think could be useful in the next episode. In fact, you brought up many of them through the questions through this podcast itself. So, look, we’re excited about it. We’re hungry to do it again, and I look forward to it. It’ll be great.
Sarah Wonderful, wonderful. Yes. There’s many topics out of today’s questions that I think would be really interesting to cover in a lot more detail.
Colin Absolutely. Nelson. Did I pass the exam by the way? Did I?
Sarah Oh, look. I think there’s at least a high distinction.
Colin Oh, that’s very encouraging. Thank you.
Sarah Well, Colin, thank you for a wonderful season one.
Colin It’s a pleasure.
Sarah Really interesting to have a chat with you.
Colin Great.
Sarah A huge thank you and appreciation to all our listeners as well. It’s been fantastic to have you along for the entirety of season one, and we very much look forward to chatting with you on season two again.
Colin Can’t wait. Good on you, Sarah. Thank you.
Sarah Thank you.

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  • A head-shot photo of Colin Kirkland, The Air Valve Product Manager & Victoria/Tasmania Technical Sales at BWT.


    by Colin Kirkland

    Air Valve Product Manager / Technical Training

    Colin has more than 40 years’ experience working in water supply and irrigation in Australia, including 24 years with BWT. He credits his training at Weir pumps in his native Scotland for providing him with a solid grounding in engineering.

    Colin is a mechanical engineer and a fitter and turner, who prides himself on taking a hands-on approach when designing and implementing successful installations across all aspects of BWT’s products and markets.

    As Air Valve Product Manager, Colin performs training seminars in pipeline design incorporating air release valves around Australia.

    Read more about Colin: Who’s who at BWT – Colin Kirkland

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