Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

Global Spotlight

Lancaster, Va.-based e-Components International has introduced its Fozmula Ltd. line of liquid level switches and controls. The British line includes 316 stainless steel, brass or PVC. 💧

Professional Water Technologies, a manufacturer of RO chemicals, has moved its corporate headquarters to a larger facility. The new address is 2420 Grand Ave., Suite A, Vista, Calif. 92083. Tel: (800) 914-9072 or (760) 597-2437; Fax: (760) 597-2437. 💧

A bill endorsed by the National Ground Water Association that would help low to moderate-income Americans install or upgrade wells has been added to the 2001 Farm Bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. 💧

CUNO Inc. reported record results for the third quarter ending July 31, including worldwide sales of $63.4 million, up 1 percent from $62.8 million in the same period in 2000. 💧

Houston-based Hammonds has launched its company website. Hammonds specializes in fluid powered engineering and manufacturing through its tablet water chlorination system. 💧

EcoWater Systems Inc. announced a $4.2 million expansion of its Ripley, Miss., facility in late August. The expansion doubles the size of the current operation to 200,000 square feet. An additional investment of $4.6 million will equip the new facility. 💧

Vista, Calif.-based Progressive Composite Technologies Inc. has launched its website (www.protecpressurevessels.com). It includes downloadable engineering drawings and technical information for side-porting and multi-porting vessels. 💧

Canada’s Choice Spring Water Inc. purchased Echo Springs Water Co. Ltd. in late August for $11.5 million. 💧

Fort Washington, Pa.-based Severn Trent Services acquired Ecometrics Inc., of Silverdale, Pa., a supplier of water and wastewater disinfection and purification equipment. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Last year, Ecometrics had revenues of almost $3 million. 💧


Oil titans strike MTBE deal
Five major oil companies agreed in August to remove MTBE contamination in thousands of groundwater sites in California as part of a lawsuit settlement. The lawsuit was initiated by Communities for Better Environment. MTBE, an additive being phased out in California gasoline by the end of next year, has contaminated water in some 10,000 locations in the state. Chevron, Shell, Equilon, Texaco and Unocal agreed to the settlement approved by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stuart Pollak. Four other companies—Tosco, Arco, Exxon and Mobil—declined to settle the lawsuit. The five oil companies that agreed to the settlement admitted no wrongdoing and must answer questions from the state water pollution boards that regulate groundwater cleanups. In other related news, MTBE has leaked into 48 wells in public water systems serving hundreds of thousands of people throughout the state. In all, samples were gathered from 8,311 groundwater sources. State records show 1,189 underground tank sites leaking MTBE are within 1,000 feet of public water supply wells or on drinking water aquifers. More than 2,500 public drinking water systems that serve 30.5 million—or 90 percent of the state’s population—have been sampled for the carcinogen.

Tomlinson makes 2 moves
Cleveland-based Tomlinson Industries has acquired the OEM product lines from Pro-Flo Products Inc., of Cedar Grove, NJ, which sells to the water treatment and plumbing industries. The product lines purchased are the water bubbler cartridges, glass fillers, point-of-use faucets, water fountain components and freeze prevention bleed valves. In other news, Tomlinson has appointed Pardee, Freeman Inc. as representative for its line of food service equipment in the six New England states.

Osmonics releases brochure
A four-page product brochure detailing model specifications, system design and applications of the Osmo BEV Series has become available from Osmonics. The series is a new line of membrane filtration systems engineered specifically for use in beverage water applications, such as bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, teas, fruit juices, low-sodium products and sports drinks. Meanwhile, the company reported sales of $51 .7 million for the second quarter ending June 30, 2001, an increase of 3.2 percent compared to sales of $50.1 million for the second quarter 2000. Net income totaled $1.2 million for the second quarter 2001 compared to $1.8 million for the second quarter of 2000.
Carbon produces neutral pH

Carbochem, of Ardmore, Pa., has developed a special grade of granular coal-based carbon to provide a neutral pH without requiring acid washing. This grade is produced by a process that doesn’t require extensive backwashing while achieving a stable pH. This property provides an advantage when placing new carbon filters into service in terms of minimizing downtime and thereby reducing costs. It also contributes to achieving the desired water quality.

Women sue city over water
One hundred, fifty-four women have filed lawsuits against the city of Chesapeake, Va., claiming its drinking water caused their miscarriages. The women are seeking more than $1 billion. The lawsuits allege the city knowingly poisoned the women and their fetuses when the women drank or used water that contained trihalomethanes (THMs). More lawsuits are expected. City officials have disputed the allegations and say the city stayed within federal guidelines for safe drinking water. No hearing date has been set.

USFilter gets boiler deal
USFilter has been awarded contracts to provide a 744 gallon-per-minute (gpm) water treatment system for boiler feed system make-up, and a 7,000 gpm pretreatment system for the Hermiston Power Project, owned and operated by Calpine Corp., of San Jose, Calif. In other news, contrary to an earlier report, USFilter maintains a working relationship with Envirogen Inc., of Lawrence-ville, N.J. Both companies are treating groundwater that’s been contaminated with ammonium perchlorate or MTBE. Meanwhile, USFilter has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to operate and maintain Houston-based Equistar’s water and wastewater systems at its Clinton, Iowa, facility. Utilities at the facility include wells, fire water systems, cold lime softener, cooling water, boiler feedwater makeup system, wastewater treatment and a polishing pond.

School water contains lead
Lead was discovered in drinking fountains at 35 of 40 Portland (Ore.) Public School buildings tested. According to a Portland Public Schools news release, 35 of the 40 buildings contain at least one drinking fountain that tests over the USEPA’s recommended action level for lead (15 parts per billion, ppb). Of the 600 samples taken, three were above 100 ppb, with the highest at 162 ppb. District officials ordered all drinking water faucets shut off in all 110 Portland schools and five-gallon water coolers were added. Water was to be trucked in until re-testing on all drinking water faucets shows levels below 15 ppb. High levels of exposure can cause brain damage, stunt growth, damage kidneys, impair hearing and cause vomiting, headaches and appetite loss.

CDC: Water needs fluoride
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 100 million Americans are at higher risk for dental disease because their communities don’t put enough fluoride in drinking water. Also, the CDC released guidelines that recommend labeling bottled water for its fluoride content. The CDC said it issued the report in part because of the increased popularity of bottled water in the past decade. Fluoride has been found to prevent, slow and occasionally reverse tooth decay. The CDC suggests a small amount of fluoride—about one part per million—in drinking water.

GE ordered to clean Hudson
The Bush Administration said in August it will require General Electric Co. to clean the Hudson River and remove toxic waste it dumped into the waterway over several decades. The project is expected to cost several hundred million dollars. The USEPA said it will stick with a Clinton Administration plan forcing GE to pay for cleaning up polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that it discharged along 40 miles of the river during industrial procedures. The draft plan, delivered to New York state officials for review, was to be finalized in late September.

Alaska lacks plumbing
Alaska has made significant inroads in improving rural water and sanitation systems during the past decade, but still leads the nation in the percentage of homes without plumbing facilities. The U.S. Census Bureau released figures in August that show 8,269 homes, or 3.83 percent of occupied homes in Alaska, lack complete plumbing. That’s a big improvement from 1990 when 29,024 homes, or 12.5 percent, were without plumbing. Nationwide, 0.51 percent of homes lack complete plumbing facilities. Climate, geology and the size and remoteness of Alaska’s rural communities contribute to the state’s water waste disposal problems.

National enters U.S. market
National Plastics Corp. partnered with United Group Inc. for North American representation. National Plastics is a supplier in the design, engineering and manufacture of complex plastic components and assemblies such as radiator surge tanks and brake reservoirs. United Group’s product managers and account managers will work with industry engineers to develop application specific designs.
 
NSF releases White Book
NSF International has published its first White Book. It provides the most up-to-date list of nonfood compounds that comply with the technical requirements of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, including 21 CFR, 8 CFR and 40 CFR. The book includes products that were previously authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service and sanitizers that are currently approved by the state of Wisconsin. It lists companies that have agreed to participate in NSF’s voluntary Proprietary Substances and Nonfood Compounds Listing Program, and over 15,000 products from more than 500 companies.

8 fall ill due to E. coli
Eight people in Wisconsin were sickened in an E. coli outbreak linked to a county fair, and 51 other possible cases were being investigated. Three children were hospitalized. The Ozaukee County health department said the confirmed cases were among people who attended the county fair from Aug. 1-5, but the source of the bacteria was still being investigated. This is the third major E. coli outbreak in the Milwaukee area in a year. More than 20 students at Bethesda Elementary School in Waukesha were infected in October 2000 by a school cafeteria lunch. An outbreak of E. coli-related illness at two Milwaukee-area Sizzler restaurants last summer sickened more than 60 people and killed a 3-year-old girl.

Water recalled in Midwest
In August, Bareman Dairy, of Holland, Mich., recalled 19,700 gallons of its Crystal Clear Drinking Water in one-gallon containers. The recalled bottled water containers are coded with a “sell by” date of Dec 8 JD. The company said that some of the batch may have been tainted by an equipment sanitizer, which is made of peroxiacetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The water was sold under the Bareman Dairy label and distributed in Michigan’s lower  Peninsula, northwestern Indiana and Illinois.

Uranium found in S.C. wells
According to a Clemson University study, Simpsonville (S.C.)-area homes are plagued with uranium in their wells. The uranium is in scale, a deposit that coats the inside of water heaters and plumbing. One well in the area had the second-highest uranium concentration ever recorded for a drinking-water well. Of the 176 wells tested since January, 61 of them have elevated levels of uranium, state health officials said. More recently, natural deposits of uranium have been found to be a problem in wells in several North Carolina coummunities.

AWT sets training dates
The Association of Water Technologies (AWT) will offer three levels of water treatment training at the first of two regional training seminars in 2002. The first seminar will be held in Dallas in February. It will offer participants basic and advanced water treatment along with a course on wastewater treatment. The basic course will be open to water treatment professionals who are entry level through five years of experience, and will focus on the basics of chemistry, boiler water treatment, cooling water treatment and pretreatment. The advanced course will be geared toward those with more than five years of experience and who are working toward certification. The second regional training seminar will offer basic water treatment only, and will be held in Baltimore in March.

Zenon cruises to order
Canada-based Zenon Environmental Inc. has sold two additional water treatment systems to Holland America Lines Westours. The contract for the two systems is valued at approximately $5 million. In light of recent landmark legislation in Alaska, all vessels sailing Alaskan waters must now undergo strict sampling and testing requirements for any wastewater discharged into the sensitive marine environment.

Calgon gets Calif. contract
Pittsburgh-based Calgon Carbon Corp. was awarded a $9.4 million contract from a water utility in Southern California to design and provide its unique ISEP and Rayox UV/oxidation systems for the removal and onsite destruction of perchlorate, NDMA and 1,4 Dioxane from groundwater. The project is scheduled for completion by June 1, 2002. The systems will purify up to 11 million gallons of water per day and help provide drinking water for several communities in southern California.

WQA weighs in on arsenic; California looks at reform idea
ter Advisory Council formed an Arsenic Cost Working Group that included WQA representatives Dr. “Regu” P. Regunathan, of Regunathan & Associates Inc.; Frank Ardite, of Englehard Corp.; and Matt Simmons, of Arsenic Solutions Inc. Over numerous contacts via meetings, emails, conference calls, etc., the group reviewed and made some recommendations with regard to the arsenic rule previously introduced by the USEPA in March 2001, according to WQA Newsfax. After much discussion, the group released the final report on Aug. 14.

Some of the report’s suggestions include: the cost of POU solutions are significantly lower than previously thought, and new economic analyses of POU should be ordered by the USEPA; the USEPA should expand use of POU to larger size water system categories from 500 people to 3,300 people; sampling and monitoring should be done of 25 percent of all units each year while visiting each household at least once a year; “mechanical warnings” specified by section 1412.(b)(4)(E) of the SDWA may be done with TDS or flow volume monitoring with a visual or audio warning signal to the user; users should be notified of any device that removes fluoride; and the USEPA should include a statement allowing the use of POU options when all other requirements have been taken by the public water system. The WQA sees this as an opportunity for POU/POE to treat other contaminants as well.

In other WQA news, California’s Proposition 65—passed as a public referendum and known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act—requires businesses to label products that are known carcinogens or cause reproductive health problems. According to Newsfax, several home water treatment companies were sued by environmental groups for selling brass faucets containing trace amounts of lead. Senate Bill 471 would require any private plaintiff to provide a “certificate of merit,” which proves he had consulted with an expert before initiating action under Prop 65. The bill also requires approval by a court of any settlement brought by private entities in order for that settlement to be enforceable. As of early September, it was unclear whether the legislation will be passed in its current format.

International

Swedish team takes home prize; competition brings out the best
Magnus Iscason, Johan Nilvebrant and Rasmus Oman, of Bromma, Sweden, were honored in August as the grand laureates at the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize ceremony. The prize is an award and competition founded by the Stockholm Water Foundation and sponsored by ITT Industries Inc. Now in its fifth year, the prize is awarded to high school students who have contributed to water conservation and improvement through outstanding research. The team’s project was entitled “Removal of Metal Ions from Leachate.” In their work, the students assessed the use of natural materials in removing metal ions from waste deposits.
he United States was represented by Brenda Goguen, of Woodbridge, Va. Her project was entitled “Molecular Characterization of Potential Fish Pathogens in Waters Where Reported Pfiesteria piscicida Outbreaks Have Occurred.” In her work, Goguen challenged conventional wisdom that fish kills occurring in the Chesapeake region are attributable to Pfiesteria piscicida.

Disease kills British man
A British man died in August from Legionnaires’ disease while vacationing in the northeastern Spanish province of Tarragona. The 63-year-old man was taken to the hospital after complaining of breathing difficulties, Reuters reported. He died a few days later from Legionnaires’ disease with pneumonia-like symptoms. The patient had a history of heart and respiratory problems and a spokeswoman for the local health department said it was an isolated case. Legionnaires’ disease is carried by water vapor and has symptoms similar to pneumonia. It can be transmitted by air conditioning and drinking water systems.

WEDECO provides UK with UV
WEDECO AG Water Technology said in August that its UK subsidiary, WEDECO UV Systems plc, was awarded a major contract for wastewater disinfection in northeast England. Northumbrian Water, a major supplier of water and sewerage services in the region, gave the company an order to upgrade six sewage treatment plants with its TAK 55 wastewater disinfection system. In other company news, WEDECO AG Water Technology reported half-year sales to be $30.1 million, a 63.6 percent increase over last year ($18.4 million) at the same time. In other company news, WEDECO Ideal Horizons, a U.S. subsidiary of WEDECO AG Water Technology, was selected to deliver UV disinfection systems for three water production plants to the Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA), of Morrow, Ga. CCWA selected CH2M Hill Inc. to evaluate and design the retrofit of the drinking water production plants (WPPs) and to prepare bid documents for pre-selection of the UV equipment.

Skanska works on pipeline
Skanska’s Argentinian subsidiary, Sade Skanska, has begun construction of the Colorado River Water Pipeline in Argentina. The total contract is valued at $82.5 million, of which Skanska is responsible for half. The other half will be covered by Techint, an Argentinian company. The customer is the province of La Pampa in Argentina. The project is scheduled for completion next year.

Turkish sex tied to water
For a month beginning in July, the women of Sirt, Turkey, refused their marital duties until the men provided running water to the village. The women had grown tired of hauling water—for miles in some instances. By August, the government had agreed to the men’s requests that it give them pipes so they can build a water system, the Anatolia news agency said.

Trojan buys Ga. UV firm
Canada-based Trojan Technologies Inc. said it has acquired Pureflow Ultraviolet Inc. of Atlanta. Pureflow distributes ultraviolet (UV) equipment to the industrial and commercial markets in North America. Trojan views the purchase as a way to diversify from its traditional municipal government markets. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but the transaction was to be completed in September. In other Trojan news, the company has been awarded a contract to supply drinking water disinfection systems to North Bay, Ontario. The contract includes four units designed to treat up to 21 million gallons per day of drinking water. Also, the company was awarded a contract to supply UV disinfection technology to North Battleford, Saskatch-ewan. Two municipal drinking water disinfection systems will disinfect 2.9 million gallons of water each day supplied to the city’s 14,000 residents.

Giants eye Mexican market
The world’s largest bottled water companies are rushing into Mexico where notoriously inadequate tap water has created one of the most promising markets for water in bottles. France’s Danone, Switzerland’s Nestle and U.S. soft drink titans PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are widely expected to increase their presence in the country in the coming months. As a result, some analysts said a major consolidation process could transform an industry where some 3,000 different brands of bottled water currently fight for market share. According to a recent report by J.P. Morgan, Mexico is now second only to Italy in per-capita consumption of bottled water. Mexico’s 97 million people consume a total of 3.25 billion gallons a year—six times more than any other Latin American nation. While in many countries small bottles of water dominate the market, 92 percent of packaged water sales in Mexico are in 5-gallon jugs that many Mexicans keep in their kitchens for drinking and cooking.

Azurix improves services
Houston-based Azurix plans to spend $250 million in the next few years expanding and improving its water and sewage services in Argentina’s Buenos Aires province. The investments will bring running water to an extra 250,000 people and will provide sewage connections for 350,000. Azurix, in which Enron Corp. has a substantial stake, took over running water and sewage services catering to 2 million people in 71 districts of the province in July 1999. In August, Azurix was purchased by American Water Works. Later, German-based RWE reportedly bid $3.6 billion for American. Last year, RWE acquired U.K.-based Thames Water.

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