With more than 40,000 water storage and wastewater treatment facilities around the country, somebody usually has a question about protective coatings — whether it's about fighting corrosion or preventing infiltration. So Sherwin-Williams' Protective & Marine Coatings division launched Waterblog in March.

“These days everyone turns to the Internet to gather information,” explains Kevin Morris, market development director for water and wastewater.

The NACE-certified coating inspector, whose 17 years with the company have focused primarily on water- and wastewater-related projects, is one of four contributors who post to Waterblog up to three times a week. Topics vary from coatings and revised standards to sewer infrastructure and potable water issues to economic stimulus funding.

Waterblog was conceived as a clearinghouse in which municipal water staff responsible for the design, operation, and maintenance of water storage and wastewater treatment facilities would learn about the latest trends and technologies. Yet it's also designed to generate discussion between readers and contributors, considering that it is a sector in which products are often being improved with new technologies.

The company's policy prohibits references to its products in the posts (although a navigation bar at the top of the page links readers to products, case histories, and other resources). “Instead of offering our particular solution, we try to keep it generic. It's more of a resource than a selling avenue,” Morris says.