Wednesday, March 15th, 2000
Topway Global Inc., Brea, Calif., received its certificate from the state of California Department of Health Services for its 5-stage RO system. Topway also received its NSF certificate under Standard 58 for a variety of its RO systems. 💧
Fluid Knowledge, Oakland, Calif., has launched an online directory of over 1,700 businesses, organizations and agencies of relevance to the water and wastewater industry called the WaterList, at www.waterlist. com 💧
Marathon Ceramics, Seattle, Wash., originally formed as a division of Mountain Safety Research, has now been incorporated as a separate company. Marathon will continue its exploration of opportunities beyond the outdoor market currently served by Mountain Safety. 💧
Dow Chemical Company’s Liquid Separations business group, Midland, Mich., announced an across-the-board price increase of its DOWEX™ Ion Exchange Resin product line. The price will rise an average of 5.6 percent and will vary somewhat by resin type and grade. The increase is attributed to the increasing price of raw materials and is the first price increase of its ion exchange resins since 1991. 💧
Patent number 6,013,189 was issued Jan. 11, 2000, to protect designs for the countertop ozone purifier developed by W. Alan Burris, Ph.D., president of ALAB LLC of Pittford, N.Y. Burris’ innovation radically “shrinks” the scale of ozone technology to fit in an appliance the size of a food processor—a monumentally difficult research and engineering challenge. 💧
Calgon Carbon, Pittsburgh, Pa., has developed Filtrasorb® 600 as a carbon designed specifically for consistent and predictable removal of MTBE from water. It is available for drinking water and groundwater applications. 💧
Multi-Pure Corporation, Las Vegas, Nev., announced its drinking water system models MP750S, MP400PC and MP1200 that use solid carbon block filter technology have been tested by NSF International to effectively reduce MTBE and chloramine. 💧
The American Society of Testing and Materials’ Standardization News magazine, one of the premier publications covering standards development, is now online at www.astm.org 💧
The Water Quality Association reminds its members softener efficiency standards in California’s SB1006 do not apply to commercial and industrial systems, and only residential systems discharging into a sanitary sewer system must be demand initiated with an efficiency rating of 3350 grains removed per pound of salt used. 💧
Rohm and Haas, Philadelphia, Pa., announced a price increase for most of its ion exchange resins, adsorbents and catalysts. The increase will average a minimum of 5 percent and is attributed to the rise in raw material prices such as polystyrene and divinylbenzene. The increase will also cover raising environmental, health and safety regulation compliance costs. 💧
Environmental publisher Island Press, Washington D.C., has released Rivers of Gold: Designing Markets to Allocate Water in California, the first book to detail examination of water markets and the institutional design issues associated with them, with in-depth case studies of actual water market transactions. 💧
The BetzDearborn and Pulp and Paper divisions of Hercules Inc., Trevose, Pa., and USFilter Corp., Palm Desert, Calif., have entered into an alliance to jointly sell USFilter’s capital and chemical feed equipment and Hercules’ water and process treatment chemicals. 💧
Germans buy Vermont UV firm
Ideal Horizons of Poultney, Vt., is to be acquired by WEDECO AG Water Technology, of Dusseldorf, Germany, in an agreement announced Jan. 12 to combine the two companies’ ultraviolet (UV) light operations in North America.
The combined business will operate as WEDECO Ideal Horizons Inc. The acquisition marks the first transaction by WEDECO following its initial public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Symbol: WDO) in October 1999. WEDECO AG was formed through a merger of the UV activities of its namesake parent company in Herford, Germany, and Katadyn Holding AG of Zurich, Switzerland. With annual sales of US$31 million, the company is Europe’s UV disinfection market leader and No. 2 worldwide in sales volume.
Ideal’s 60,000-square-foot facility in Vermont will house all design, project engineering, manufacturing, service, administration, marketing and sales support for the merged companies’North American operations.
With more than 20 years experience in the UV business, Ideal Horizons president Jesse Rodriguez—a past member of the WC&P Technical Review Committee—will manage the new entity as vice president and chief operating officer. Ideal Horizons was founded in 1983 and quickly became a market leader in North America in UV applications for industrial process water and residential and commercial units for home and office use.
John Marrino, WEDECO Inc. Water Technology N.A. president, will be president and CEO of the merged firm. WEDECO AG chairman Werner Klink said he expects growth of better than 30 percent per year through 2005, at which time sales are projected at $280 million. This includes $83 million attained through strategic acquisitions such as that of Ideal Horizons. WEDECO operates in more than 80 countries through wholly owned subsidiaries and representatives.
’60 Minutes’ targets MTBE
A Jan. 16 broadcast of the 60 Minutes news program stirred renewed interest in the groundwater contaminant methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). Reporter Steve Kroft told viewers “MTBE is turning up in lakes, underground aquifers and in 20 percent of the nation’s urban wells, forcing some cities to shut down local water supplies.” The report cited Santa Monica, Calif., as one city where “you haven’t been able to drink the water here for nearly four years” when it discovered that 70 percent of its wells were contaminated with the gasoline oxygenate.
Industry reaction was universal. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) called for more studies, saying “MTBE was a real threat to drinking water resource and public health, demanding immediate focus.” The AWWA Research Foundation issued a fax news bulletin listing the three studies it sponsored concerning treatments for the contaminant, including ozone with hydrogen peroxide, and advanced oxidation techniques for MTBE removal. The Water Quality Association sent a fax broadcast to its members that said as far as it knew, air stripping and granulated activated carbon rated to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) chloroform were the two most effective technologies for MTBE removal.
Chesapeake buys another EcoWater dealership
Chesapeake Utilities Corp. of Dover, Del., now owns another Eco-Water dealership with its recent purchase of Carroll Water Systems, Inc. of Westminster, Md. It will leave company founder and president Ron Smith at the helm. Smith started the dealership 17 years ago. The tally now reaches four as the number of residential water dealerships or stores owned and partially owned by the publicly traded Delaware utility, which bought its first dealership in March 1998. Several months ago it purchased Douglas Water Conditioning, a top EcoWater dealership in Waterford, Mich.
Son buys out mom at Rayne
Rayne Corp., a distributor of water treatment equipment based in Ventura, Calif., has been acquired by Millenium Water Inc.
“Basically, what we have is the final cleanup of the late David Nancarrow Sr. estate,” said Bob Denne, Rayne president. “David, his son, has formed the company (Millenium) to buy Rayne from his mother.”
Millenium is owned and operated by Dave Nancarrow, chairman and CEO: Mike West, vice chairman; Denne; Greg Nancarrow, vice president, and Larry Cousins, vice president and chief financial officer.
The Nancarrows operate Rayne dealerships in Santa Barbara and Ventura and—with West and Cousins—own four additional Rayne dealerships in California and Arizona. Rayne also operates dealerships in Santa Clarita and Foothill, Calif. There are 42 Rayne dealerships across the country. The latest were added in December in Las Cruces, N.M., (run by Mark Monger) and in October in Chesapeake, Va., (run by Richard Arsenault).
Millenium Water will continue to operate the company under the Rayne name, which has been in existence since 1928. It’s address, phone and website will remain the same as well.
Judge tosses magnetics suit
An Indiana U.S. District Court judge in mid-January dismissed a lawsuit against the Water Quality Association, Bob J. Johnson & Associates and Spectrum Labs Inc. filed by Charles H. Sanderson, president of Fort Wayne, Ind.’s Superior Manufacturing, on Nov. 3, 1999.
The suit claimed damages to Sanderson’s business, which includes the sale of magnetic devices for the control of scale, because of statements by the defendants about the technology his products incorporate, going back as far as “the 1970s.” He alleged a “conspiracy” that amounted to “restraint of trade.”
William C. Lee, chief judge of the court, ruled in favor of the defendants, dismissing the case based on the statute of limitations, lack of jurisdiction of the court and “moreover, Sanderson’s claims are woefully lacking in any factual basis.” He also granted Spectrum’s motion that Sanderson pay legal costs for this and previous actions he has taken against the company and its president, Duane Nowlin.
Council seeks action on POU/POE, bottled water
Members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) National Drinking Water Advisory Council have approved several recommendations aimed at perceived inadequacies in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations for bottled water. The panel also approved recommendations on point-of-use/point-of-entry (POU/POE) devices. Recommendations included:
- The NDWAC called on the USEPA to work with the FDA to ensure that bottled water meets testing, monitoring and reporting standards “at least as stringent as the requirements for public water supplies.” The council also recommended a joint USEPA-FDA working group or memorandum of understanding to coordinate developments such as a “quality assurance and reporting program.”
- POU/POE devices “may be a solution for certain small water systems” in meeting drinking water standards. NDWAC urged USEPA to support research to identify affordable devices and to evaluate their viability for protecting certain sensitive subpopulations, assuming such units would be maintained and operated by public water systems.
Osmonics to move 2 units, close Phoenix operations
Osmonics Inc. of Minnetonka, Minn.,will close the doors of its Phoenix manufacturing facility by the third quarter in an effort to rationalize product lines and to reduce excess capacity. Its major product lines will be moved to other existing manufacturing locations with available capacity, including its Orec™ ozone generator product line, which will move to Minnetonka, and its Lakewood Instruments™ product line, which will move to Milwaukee, Wis. Phoenix employees are being offered either transfers or severance packages.
Cancer institute awards grant to study arsenic
The National Cancer Institute recently awarded a grant to Dartmouth Medical School to assess the feasibility of constructing historic exposure to inorganic arsenic in public and private drinking water. The study will be conducted by Margaret Karagas, who had been investigating arsenic exposure via drinking water as part of a case controlled study of skin and bladder cancer in New Hampshire, where incident rates have risen markedly in recent years.
Danone buys McKesson, becomes No. 2 U.S. bottler
Paris-based Groupe Danone has agreed to buy the water products division of McKesson HBOC Inc. for $1.1 billion cash, of which $230 million represents the value of tax savings realizable by Danone. The transaction is subject to regulatory review and other conditions.
McKesson Water was the third leading bottled water company in the United States, with a recognized portfolio of brands including Sparkletts, Alhambra and Crystal. It has estimated revenues of more than $380 million and operates 14 production facilities marketing bottled water in 30 states. The majority of its activities are conducted in California and Texas with a primary focus on home and office delivery, which generates approximately 80 percent of sales. Groupe Danone is now the second largest bottled water company in the U.S., with its Evian brand the leader of bottled water worldwide and its Dannon Natural Spring Water still the leading water brand sold through supermarkets in the U.S.
N.Y. toughens MTBE limits
New York Gov. George Pataki ordered the state health and environmental conservation departments to toughen allowable MTBE limits in surface, ground and drinking water. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) published a proposal to slash the ambient water quality criteria for MTBE from 50 µ/L to 10 µ/L. Meanwhile the Department of Health is still developing a proposed change, which will mirror the DEC’s numbers.
Revised Lead-Copper Rule
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted revisions to the lead and copper rule that require systems subject to the lead service line replacement requirements to replace only the portion they own rather than replace the systems they control. USEPA retained the requirement that suppliers offer to replace privately owned line portions at the owner’s expense and added two related requirements: systems replacing partial lines must give residents 45-day advanced notice; and risk control guidance must conduct one follow up test for each partial replacement and disclose the results within 90 days. The revisions also streamline a host of monitoring, reporting and public notice requirements to simplify implementation.
New facility: CEI’s new facility at 28091 Scippo Creek Drive in Circleville, Ohio, will enable the filtration media manufacturer and supplier to expand its range of products while giving its customers continued quality service, according to president Rick Ciminello.
Separate entity: Iron Out Inc. of Fort Wayne, Ind., formed a new company, Pro Products LLC, as a separate entity from the parent company. Iron Out’s “Pro Line,” experienced enough growth last year to incite the new division, which is based in Ft. Wayne also. Robin Barna is vice president and general manager and Jason Meyer is the national sales director.
Water as flood relief
Spc. David Acevedo and Spc. Erik del Toro from the U.S. Army base in San Juan, Puerto Rico, are pictured operating a water purifying machine on a beach in Catia la Mar, 40 miles from Caracas, Venezuela, to help victims of the killer floods there at the end of last year. The United States continued its assistance efforts despite a decision by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to reject hundreds of U.S. military engineers who had been invited to clear a critical coastal road. About 120 U.S. soldiers in Venezuela whose main mission is to help provide clean drinking water to survivors were used.
GE buys Canadian firm
GE Power Systems finalized its acquisition of Glegg Industries of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, increasing its stake in the company from 82 percent to 100. Glegg is a privately owned water treatment firm in the industrial market that was formed in 1978. The new organization will be named GE-Glegg Water Technologies and will focus on water treatment applications at the power plant level.
Naltex opens English office
Naltex has opened an office in Merseyside, England, to be headed by Vaughan Williams, who has over 20 years experience in the international netting industry with expertise in the filtration marketplace. The establishment of a European office is to help the Austin, Texas-based thermoplastic netting manufacturer achieve its goal of improved service and rapid technical assistance to its European customers.
British bottled water is up
U.K. bottled water sales are breaking all records in 1999 with a 22 percent increase in consumption, to an average of 20 liters per person, said new research by Zenith International presented at an annual industry conference in Buxton, U.K. The British bottled water consumption level passed fruit juice in 1998 and is now 10 times higher than in 1986. The leading brand is Evian, owned by the Danone Group of France. Increased sales for the year are attributed to better summer weather and an improving economy; the industry also increased its advertising and expanded consumer choice through new products and packaging.
Argentina gets a billion more
The Inter-American Development Bank has granted Argentina an additional US$1 billion for its national infrastructure program, bringing the total amount to US$13 billion from US$12 billion announced last year. Infrastructure Minister Nicolas Gallo unveiled the four-year program in December to build homes and water treatment plants, repair highways and expand ports. The project is expected to create a quarter of a million jobs.
EU proposes creation of public health agency
According to the Australian Water Association, the European Commission has signaled a proposal to create an independent EU agency on public health and food issues, which could cause a major shake up for European procedures on scientific advice, risk evaluation and crisis management on environmental, public health and food safety issues.
U.S. firm buys French water business in turnaround
The water treatment business of Otene, STTE and Grai companies of Bezon-Paris, France, has been purchased by Dublin, Ohio-based Ashland Specialty Chemical Co. for an undisclosed amount. The business will be consolidated into Ashland France and will be a wholly owned affiliate in the company’s industrial division, continuing to supply products and specific process chemicals in France as part of an overall strategy to strengthen European business.
Trojan reports expected loss
Trojan Technologies Inc. of London, Ontario, Canada, announced a loss for the first quarter ending Nov. 30,1999 of $4.23 million before taxes and a special restructuring charge of $2.5 million. After the special charge and taxes, the net loss for the period was $4.1 million compared to a restated income of $0.6 million in 1998. On a per share basis, there was a loss of $0.24 compared to income of $0.04 for the same period last year. Sales revenue of $16.5 million was 28 percent below last year’s restated first quarter but is still in line with company expectations for the quarter.
Drought sans hurricane
At least 500,000 residents of San Juan, Puerto Rico, went without water for at least a week because of a failure at a main pumping station that provides drinking water to hospitals, schools and hotels in the capital city and surrounding towns of Carolina and Trujillo Alto. Hotels and hospitals had to switch to stored water, while the University of Puerto Rico canceled classes for 67,000 students. Islanders that usually store water during the hurricane season were caught off guard by the sudden January drought. The government provided tanker trucks to supply free drinking water.