Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

Global Spotlight

Brentwood, Calif.-based Pacific Ozone Technology is building a new manufacturing, engineering and sales facility in Benicia, Calif. For more information, call (925) 634-7252 ext. 21. 💧

Glacier Water Services Inc. acquired Pure Fill Corp. and its wholly owned subsidiaries—National Water Services, Pure Fill Finance Corp. and Pure Fill Container Corp. The acquisition was expected to close in January. No details of the agreement were disclosed. 💧

German utility RWE AG posted six-month sales in January and said operating profit rose at least 18 percent due to strong core business and the acquisition of Thames Water. RWE AG also purchased American Water Works last year. 💧

In January, Ultimate Juice Co. sold Saratoga Spring Water, the oldest U.S. bottled water company, to a private investor group led by Saratoga’s president, Adam Madkour. The refrigerated juice company said it still plans to distribute the water on its trucks. 💧

GE Glegg Water Technologies Inc. has formally changed its name to GE Water Technologies Inc. The company provides pure water solutions for industrial and engineering companies. It will remain in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.💧

CUNO Inc. has implemented SEAGULL’s web-to-host solution to provide integrated, browser access to its enterprise applications, enabling self-service capabilities for its subsidiaries, distributors, wholesalers and consumers. 💧

HTH Water Products, of Kennesaw, Ga., has introduced HTH Poolife, a dealer-exclusive line of pool care products. The announcement was made at late November’s International Pool and Spa Expo in Phoenix. 💧

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd., which converts seawater into potable water, will buy a water desalination facility on Grand Cayman Island from the Hyatt Hotel there for $1.5 million. 💧

Ozolutions Inc., a Toronto-based international marketer of water treatment systems, has announced the establishment of a U.S. office in New York City. 💧

French-based STEDIM S.A. and Pall Corp., of East Hills, N.Y., announced in November a cooperative agreement that will accelerate the acceptance of disposable systems in biopharmaceutical processing. 💧

WEDECO received a U.S. patent (#6,313,468) in early January for its UV transmission monitor, which is called the “Hippo.” It’s designed for continuous on-line monitoring of UV transmission. 💧

Campbell Manufacturing Inc., of Bechtelsville, Pa., has received NSF certification for many of its water filter housings and cartridges. The company manufactures a broad line of water system accessories and filtration products. 💧

Water Pik Technologies Inc., of Fort Collins, Colo., said its fourth-quarter profits for 2001 rose 16 percent despite a slight decline in sales. Net income was $5.7 million compared with $4.9 million a year ago. Water Pik is a maker of personal health care products and pool heaters. 💧

Aqua Clara Bottling & Distribution, of Clearwater, Fla., has signed an agreement to acquire BEVsystems International Ltd., of Miami. Aqua Clara is a master distributor for GNC Distribution Centers. 💧

Sionix Corp., of Irvine, Calif., has received a purchase agreement for eight modular dissolved air flotation water filtration systems from Paramount Financial Group. Sionix develops dissolved air flotation technology for drinking water and wastewater treatment systems for municipal and industrial applications. 💧

In mid-January, Osmonics Inc., of Minne-tonka, Minn., signed a new, non-exclusive supply agreement with Safety-Kleen Corp., of Columbia, S.C., that allows Osmonics to sell its WasteWizard oil/water separation system to more outlets. 💧

Fort Washington, Pa.-based Severn Trent Services Inc. installed two of its UV disinfection systems at the Sterling, Mass., potable water treatment plant, a 1.5 million gallon per day facility. UV disinfection replaces chlorination as the process used to alleviate bacterial contamination. 💧

The Shaw Group has purchased IT Group Inc. The IT Group addresses the infrastructure and environmental needs of private and public sector clients and is a provider of services such as facilities management, water and remediation, among others. 💧


California DHS requirements for disinfectants are clarified for WQA
California Department of Health Services (DHS) representatives, in a telephone conference call with the WQA, clarified the state’s requirements regarding any water treatment device making claims for the reduction of drinking water disinfectants chorine, chloramine or chlorine dioxide. The requirements took effect on Jan. 1. The USEPA’s Disinfectants/Disinfection By-Products Regulation classified chlorine and chloramine concentrations in drinking water above 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and chlorine dioxide above 0.8 mg/L as adverse health contaminants. California advises that a claim simply stating “chlorine reduction” or “chloramine reduction” must now be interpreted by DHS to be a health claim requiring certification under the state’s Water Treatment Device Certification Law. Aesthetic claims for these disinfectants, such as those in ANSI/NSF Standard 42, may continue and don’t need to be certified by DHS as long as the claims are clearly identified in labeling, literature, websites, print media and other advertising statements as “aesthetic” or “taste and odor.” DHS personnel have affirmed that each of the following are examples of acceptable claim statements for products not requiring California device certifications—chlorine taste and odor reduction; aesthetic chlorine reduction; or aesthetic chlorine, taste and odor reductions. All WQA members marketing products in the state with chlorine or chloramine reduction claims are advised to modify all advertising claims “as soon as practical.” For more information, call (916) 324-3726 or (916) 323-8069.

Nalco forms membrane team
ONDEO Nalco has formed the PermaCare Membrane Separations Group to focus on developing and supporting the group’s range of products and services used to enhance RO, NF, UF and MF applications. The range comprises threshold antiscalants to maximize plant recovery, cleaners to restore performance of fouled membranes and bio-control agents to combat biological fouling. PermaCare also offers a range of specialist services that include membrane autopsy to identify cause of performance loss and design and testing of custom cleaning programs that target site specific foulants. The team will be headed by Brett Andrews. It will also support the OEMs of membrane systems.

CEI tries to block lawsuit
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed a motion in mid-January to intervene in a lawsuit brought against the USEPA by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The NRDC is trying to force the USEPA to lower the federal standard for arsenic in drinking water even further—a move CEI believes would be a detriment especially in rural communities, which are already hard pressed by financial ramifications of the latest ruling. In late October, the Bush administration decided to adopt a Clinton-era standard, which changed the amount of arsenic allowed in drinking water from 50 parts per billion (ppb) to 10 ppb. The NRDC’s lawsuit calls for a 3 ppb standard. CEI’s motion is being filed on behalf of small water suppliers in Desert Sands, N.M.; Oberlin, Kansas; Lusby, Md.; and Camano Island, Wash. The motion to intervene has been filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C., Circuit. The text of the motion is available at http://www.cei.org/gencon/023,02285.cfm

NSF upgrades its website
NSF International announced several enhancements to NSF Online at www.nsf.org. They include a customized bulletin board listing services that apply to customer-specific industries, online application and product submittal forms for the Drinking Water Treatment Unit and Water Distribution Systems certification programs, forms for annual certification audits, certification policies and a customer satisfaction survey. NSF Online, launched in June 2001, is a free service for the organization’s certification customers. In other news, NSF has released a new verification report and statement for the ETV Drinking Water Systems Center. The Osmonics Inc. Model 150 Ozone Disinfection System has completed ETV testing and the USEPA and NSF have approved this report for distribution. This report is located in its entirety on the USEPA and NSF websites.

USEPA tackles perchlorate; state reaches agreement
The USEPA has released a revised draft risk assessment of ammonium perchlorate, a component of solid rocket fuel. It’s the latest step in an ongoing effort to assess the human health and ecotoxicological risks posed by perchlorate. Comments will be accepted on the draft risk assessment until March 6. The USEPA will also hold an external scientific peer review workshop in Sacramento, Calif., on March 5 and 6 to review the assessment and accept additional comments. The meeting will be open to the public and more information is available at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/ under the heading for Jan. 2. In other news, USEPA Administrator Christine Whitman urged Americans to test their homes for the second leading cause of lung cancer in the country—indoor radon gas. Approximately one home in 15 across the nation has unacceptably high radon levels; in some areas of the country, as many as one out of two homes has high levels. Radon test kits, sold at home improvement and hardware stores, are easy to use and provide accurate readings of home radon levels. The USEPA  designated January as National Radon Action Month.

In related news, San Gabriel (Calif.) Basin Water Quality Authority board members voted unanimously in late January to publicly release a draft $250 million groundwater cleanup agreement over the objections of Aerojet and other polluters who said the cleanup negotiations should remain behind closed doors. Five areas of the San Gabriel Valley, including the Azusa-Baldwin Park area, were placed on the federal Superfund cleanup list in 1984 after traces of industrial solvents and rocket fuel were found in the groundwater. Water providers have maintained a safe water supply by closing more than 30 wells affected by spreading contamination.

Genetics helps water tests
New genetic testing methods could mean faster and more accurate detection of harmful bacteria and viruses in water, according to an American Academy of Microbiology report. Dr. Joan Rose was the steering committee co-chairwoman. Gene probes, genotyping and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are among the molecular techniques being researched that could replace the current—and outdated—method for testing water. The current method can’t detect disease-causing viruses like hepatitis A or E, bacteria like Helicobacter, or parasites such as Cryptosporidium. They also can’t identify waterborne intestinal diseases that annually kill as many as two million children worldwide, the report says. The full report can be found at http://www.asmusa.org/acasrc/acal.htm

New drugs to treat disease
New research shows how the bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease take hold in cells. By manipulating a cell protein involved in regulating a cell’s traffic flow, the bacteria—known as Legionella pneumophila—build themselves a home base where they can live and reproduce safely, Yale University researchers report. The discovery may eventually lead to new targets for drugs to treat Legionnaires’ disease and other bacterial illnesses. The bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease live in water, but people can come down with the illness when the bacteria are circulated in the air such as an air-conditioning system.

Firm seeks end to anthrax
Houston-based Ultra Violet Systems Inc. (UVSI) claims it has an idea that can destroy the DNA of anthrax by shining UV light while calculating the correct intensity and wavelength. The company says the device can effectively remove 99.9 percent of the pathogens as well as anthrax on the surface of mailed letters. UVSI already uses it to sanitize bottle caps of drinking water. The company specializes in air disinfection and may target commercial airliners as a possible application.

USFilter assists 4 plants
The town of Saugerties, N.Y., awarded a $700,000 contract to USFilter’s Envirex Products in January to supply eight rotating biological contactors and other equipment for its wastewater treatment plant. Also, the borough of Naugatuck, Conn., and USFilter Operating Services have entered into a 20-year wastewater partnership valued at $155 million that will enable the community to provide wastewater services for five more years. In other news, the city of Carmel, Ind., has selected a process by USFilter’s Kruger Products to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. Meanwhile, the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, will be the location of USFilter’s largest North American submerged microfiltration system. The continuous microfiltration-submerged system will produce 14 million gallons of water per day and apply chlorine resistant PVdF membranes to purify the city’s surface water.

Study notes chlorine danger
Millions of Americans have been drinking tap water contaminated with chemical by-products from chlorine that exceeds safe amounts for pregnant women as recommended by various studies, two environmental groups claim. Chlorine is commonly used to disinfect drinking water; however, when it’s added to water that contains organic matter such as lawns or runoff from farms, it can form compounds such as chloroform that can cause illness. The study was released in January by the Environmental Working Group and Public Interest Research Groups who identified areas that might have increased risks of miscarriage, neural tube defects and reduced fetal growth from women drinking chlorination by-products. Still, C.T. Howlett Jr.—executive director of the Chlorine Chemistry Council—said government agencies found no compelling link between reproductive hazards and chlorinated water.

WQA adds features to site
As of Feb. 1, a new “members only” section of the WQA website (www. wqa.org) has been available. Each member has received a letter that contains a name and password. Members enter these into the site’s sign-in window that appears when the “Member Log In” button on the home page is clicked. Some of the features include the Tank & Valve and RO Unit Shipment Reports (the WQA Newsfax will no longer print these); a membership directory with more information than is available in the “member finder” section (this will remain available to the public); archives of the WQA Newsfax, WQA News and InterNews; and a variety of statistical reports. In the future, the WQA is also planning on having on-line purchasing of books and materials as well as on-line registration for seminars and conventions. In other WQA news, a new program is being developed that would reach out to state associations and groups. The goals are to increase general, two-way communication between the states and the WQA; keep abreast of developing trends common to different states; and alert states to regulatory matters that could become “hot button” issues. Throughout this year, state associations will be contacted by the WQA for input concerning the program. Periodic updates will appear on the website, WQANews and WQA Newsfax.

TCE tabbed cancer-causing
After years of citing inconclusive studies, the USEPA may re-classify the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) as a “likely” cause of cancer, not just a “suspected” carcinogen. According to agency documents, animal and occupational health data suggest that TCE is “highly likely to produce cancer in humans.” While the change in language may seem minor, it might also affect funding and health care coverage for those who drank TCE-tainted water. One such place is Tucson, Ariz., where TCE polluted groundwater wells served about 47,000 people. A similar case in Massachusetts was the subject of a 1998 movie, “A Civil Action.” Soybean oil might be a cheap, effective means for cleaning up or containing TCE. Tests of the soybean remediation technique, which involves injecting a soybean-and-water emulsion into a contaminated aquifer, are under way at a handful of sites across the country. A colorless, volatile liquid that’s soluble in water and organic solvents, TCE degrades very slowly, taking several months or years to disappear from the soil or groundwater.

WPC addresses U.S. water
Providers of operational services for water and wastewater treatment in the United States have announced the formation of the Water Partnership Council (WPC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable water quality in the country. According to the USEPA, it will cost taxpayers $151 billion over the next 20 years to overhaul the nation’s water infrastructure and an additional $140 billion to improve the country’s system for treating wastewater. Charter members of the WPC include Covanta Water, Earth Tech, ECO Resources, OMI Inc., Thames Water North America, United Water, USFilter and U.S. Water. WPC’s website is www.waterpartnership.org

International

Disease kills 28 in month
A cholera outbreak in central and southern Malawi killed at least 28 people in December, according to health officials. The country had recorded the deaths out of a total of 1,394 cholera cases during the month. The waterborne disease was first detected in December in the southern district of Mangochi, which borders Mozambique, before it spread to central Malawi. Cholera outbreaks are common in Malawi during the rainy season between October and April because of poor sanitation and limited access to potable water. Nineteen people were killed in a previous cholera outbreak in which 1,500 cases were reported.

NSF signs pact with ABINAM
NSF International has signed an agreement with Associaçao Brasileira da Industria de Áquas Minerais (ABINAM) to provide certification services and audits to its 240 Brazil-based bottled water manufacturers. NSF will be the exclusive provider of consultative audits and third-party certification services for ABINAM members. These services are provided under the NSF Bottled Water Certification Program. “These days, businesses must think globally in order to be competitive. Our partnership with NSF aligns us with the world leader in third-party certification and will raise ABINAM water bottlers’ quality control to the level of their NSF-certified counterparts around the world,” said Carlos Alberto Lancia, president of ABINAM. “ABINAM members’ certification will also help create a competitive market for high-quality bottled water within Brazil and in international markets.”

In other news, NSF has certified the first two Class A ultraviolet (UV) microbiological water treatment systems to ANSI/NSF Standard 55. The systems—UVMax Pro7 and UVMax Pro15—are manufactured by Canadian-based Trojan Technologies. They were the first to be listed as Class A units. UV Pure Technologies Inc., of Canada, has also completed their certification for its Hallett Water Unit 10 as a Class A system. UV Class A systems are designed to disinfect or remove microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, from contaminated water to a safe level. Class A systems in combination with an ANSI/NSF certified cyst reduction filter can treat both surface and groundwaters for protection against natural pathogens.

Canada agency aims to prevent chemicals in water
Health Canada plans to begin environmental tests on everything from birth control pills to shampoo because of increasing concerns about everyday substances finding their way into the water system, according to the CWQA. Antibiotics, antidepressants and other drugs have been detected in effluent as well as lakes and rivers near sewage treatment plants. Finished drinking water hasn’t been tested for the substances. This is aimed at addressing concerns that the general population could be exposed—through drinking water—to substances such as pharmaceuticals. When people take prescription drugs, about 80 percent of the drug is excreted. Health Canada announced that as of last September, any companies that want to sell new products covered by the Food and Drug Act will have to notify the government. Health Canada will consider potential environmental effects.

Italy bans mineral water
Selling mineral water by the glass in Italian restaurants and bars will be banned under a new decree from the Ministry of Health. As of March 14, according to the rule, mineral water will have to be served from intact, unopened bottles to “guarantee the consumer’s health.” Ordering a glass of water will be allowed only in the case of tap water. Meanwhile, packaging companies are preparing to sell single-dose plastic bottles.

Walkerton report paints messy picture full of mishaps
Two distrustful and incompetent brothers and a conservative government determined to cut spending and red tape were key contributors to the Walkerton, Ontario tragedy, the inquiry into the E. coli disaster has concluded, reports The Canadian Press. The E. coli outbreak culminated in May 2000 in one of the country’s worst public health crises. Seven people died and 2,300 fell ill, with damage estimated at $155 million. Sources familiar with the 700-page report, released in late January, said it paints a catastrophe waiting to happen in the town of Walkerton. The brothers who ran the system—Stan and Frank Koebel—chose to ignore safety guidelines for disinfecting and monitoring the town’s drinking water. They were also found to have falsified records as bacteria-filled water made its way to the taps of 5,000 residents.

Loan to finance program
The Ceara (Brazil) state government has received a $136 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to finance the Integrated Water Resources Management Project, the state’s water resources secretary said. Part of the funds will be used to finance the construction of the Catu dam. The government has called for proposals to build the dam, which is 1.05 km long and 16.25 m high.

Uranium threat to water
Concerned about water pollution, Yugoslav experts have measured radioactivity levels up to 1,100 times the normal in five areas hit by depleted uranium-tipped munitions during NATO’s 1999 air war regarding ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. There is no longer any danger of uranium being dispersed by air, but some risk exists of it entering groundwater.

Zenon serves White House
Canadian-based Zenon Environmental received a repeat order from Citizens Water Resources, of Anthem, Ariz., in January for an expansion of the company’s drinking water plant. The expansion will increase total drinking water capacity to 8 million gallons per day. In other news, Zenon reported that the cities of Sweetwater, Texas, and White House, Tenn., have chosen its systems to provide residents with drinking water. The projects combined are worth more than $8 million. Also, Zenon has begun construction of a new manufacturing plant to be built in Oroszlany, Hungary, about an hour outside of Budapest. The new plant, expected to be complete by year end, will more than double the company’s manufacturing capacity and complement the existing system assembly plant in neighboring Tatabanya. Zenon provides advanced membrane products and services for water purification, wastewater treatment and water reuse.

Country faced with tragedy
Costa Rica faces an “ecological tragedy” after nearly 88,000 gallons of diesel fuel pumped by the state oil firm spilled into a river for a week before being noticed, said the Central American Water Tribunal, an environmental group. The Tarcoles River, where the spill occurred, is already the most contaminated river in Costa Rica. The river runs through some of the country’s most fertile farmlands.

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