Sunday, December 16th, 2001
Cleveland-based Waterlink Inc. sold its shares in Waterlink Sweden AB and Waterlink Germany GmbH, along with their related subsidiaries, to Tyco Group S.A.R.L., a subsidiary of Tyco International Ltd. Proceeds from the late September transaction will be used to reduce Waterlink’s bank debt.
In late September, the Sulfatreat Company, of Chesterfield, Mo., was acquired by M-I LLC. The new company name will be referred to as Sulfatreat, a division of M-I LLC. The phone numbers and addresses will remain the same. M-I’s revenues for last year were over $1.2 billion.
Water Pik Technologies Inc. reported third quarter sales of $75.2 million, an increase of 12.4 percent from sales of $66.9 million for the same period last year. Net income was $1.9 million vs. $1.7 million in 2000.
USEPA Administrator Christine Whitman announced the establishment of a water protection task force at the agency that will be charged with helping federal, state and local partners safeguard the nation’s drinking water supply from terrorist attack.
Philadelphia-based Rohm & Haas Co. reported third-quarter earnings of $53 million vs. $77 million for the same period last year.
The IBWA said changes in its Model Code will require bottler members to include their brands’ contact telephone numbers on product labels and provide bottled water quality information to consumers upon request.
Dow Chemical Co., of Midland, Mich., said third-quarter net income dropped 84 percent over 2000. Market leader DuPont Co. also reported a decrease of almost 75 percent in third-quarter income. Dow reported net income of $57 million vs. $357 million last year.
The Specialty Nets and Nonwovens division of Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc. and Naltex merged in October to create DelStar Technologies Inc. The company’s headquarters will be in Middletown, Del.
Ionics Inc., of Watertown, Mass., reported revenues of $118.3 million for the third quarter vs. $124.9 million last year. Net income was $4.2 million vs. $2.9 million in 2000.
Pure 1 Systems has moved its corporate offices. The new address is 560 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 07632. The phone number is (201) 568-2224 and the fax number is (201) 568-5288.
PPG Industries Inc., a maker of chlorine tablets, said third-quarter earnings fell about 40 percent in all its markets. PPG reported net income of $93 million in the quarter vs. $153 million earned last year.
Canadian-based TransAlta Corp. has awarded USFilter a $7 million contract to use its technology in TransAlta’s water treatment program. TransAlta is Canada’s largest non-regulated electric generation and marketing company.
St. Paul, Minn.-based Pentair Inc. reported $647 million in sales for the third quarter of 2001. For the three months ending Sept. 29, the company had operating income of $51.2 million vs. $61.4 in the third quarter of 2000.
In October, National Filter Media Corp. (NFM) announced it had acquired the Industrial Fabrics Division of Snow Filtration Co. LLC, a BBA Filtration company. NFM manufactures products for liquid and dry filtration.
For the year ending Augt. 31, 2001, Canadian-based Trojan Technologies will achieve revenues of $73 million and expects to report a net loss of $5.1 million compared to $67 million in revenues and a net loss of $7.7 million in the previous year.
USEPA hands down 10 ppb ruling; promises $20 million on arsenic study
USEPA Administrator Christie Whitman said in late October that the arsenic standard in drinking water will be 10 parts per billion. “Throughout this process, I have made it clear that EPA intends to strengthen the standard for arsenic by substantially lowering the maximum acceptable level from 50 parts per billion (ppb), which has been the lawful limit for nearly half a century,” Whitman wrote in a letter to the Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies appropriations measure. Whitman had asked that three expert panels review all new and existing materials. The National Academy of Sciences looked at risk, the National Drinking Water Advisory Council examined costs to water systems throughout the nation, and the USEPA’s Science Advisory Board assessed benefits. Nearly 97 percent of the water systems affected by this rule are small systems that serve less than 10,000 each. The USEPA plans to spend $20 million over the next two years for the research and development of more cost-effective technologies.
Iowa WQA changes dates
The Iowa Water Quality Association winter convention has changed its dates. The new dates are Jan. 15-16, 2002. It will take place in West Des Moines. For more information, please call (515) 282-9303.
Report: Salt is on the rise
American salt makers produced 16.1 million tons during the first six months of 2001, up 3.1 percent from a year earlier, the Salt Institute announced in its half-year 2001 Summary Report of U.S. Salt Sales. Revenues totaled $613.2 million, up 5.2 percent. Water conditioning sales were up 67,000 tons while chemical sales continued to sag, down about 24,000 tons.
Softener use goes west
Water softener use in the United States is growing the fastest in the west and north central, according to the Water Quality Association 2001 National Consumer Water Quality Survey. In the west, the previous survey—conducted in 1997—found only 5 percent used softeners. It’s now 10 percent. Four years ago, 18 percent of homes in the north central area used water softeners. The 2001 survey found that figure had jumped to 22 percent.
State gets MTBE delay
California Gov. Gray Davis was expected to postpone banning the controversial gasoline additive MTBE from the state’s fuel supply by one or two years, petroleum industry sources said in late September. California refiners were pushing for a two-year extension, but conceded that a one-year delay was more likely. The move is viewed as Davis’s formal response to the USEPA’s decision in June denying a waiver from Clean Air Act mandates and requiring the state to start blending corn-based ethanol, rather than MTBE, into its gasoline.
N.C. well facts found online
Prompted by numerous requests from local residents, Mecklenburg County (N.C.) has made public, drinking wells’ records more accessible with the evolution of a website. The new website, www.maps.co.mecklenburg.nc.us/wells, gathers information from county and state agencies that test well water or investigate groundwater contamination. The site is a welcome addition for many people as scattered records make it impossible to identify how many wells are in use in the county. Mecklenburg officials estimate that more than 100,000 people, most located in Charlotte’s rural fringe, pump their drinking water from the ground. According to the Charlotte Observer, groundwater or soil is contaminated in about 1,000 places across the county. Petroleum products leaking from underground storage tanks are leading contaminants of well water in the county and state. More than 17,400 leaking tanks have been catalogued statewide. The N.C. Groundwater Section website, with statewide contamination data, is www.gw.ehnr.state.nc.us
Student lands AWWA grant
Paolo Scardina, an engineering graduate student at Virginia Tech University, has won a $150,000 grant from the American Water Works Association Research Foundation based on discoveries that could help prevent outbreaks of waterborne diseases. His research is on air bubbles in drinking water. He began studies on the subject as an undergraduate and has continued through his master’s and doctoral programs. Scardina’s research is also being used by engineers with the California Department of Health Services to identify problems at two facilities that have experienced eruptions of air bubbles. The last treatment barrier in most drinking water treatment plants is filtration. A burp of bubbles can puncture tiny holes in filters, which may allow for dangerous particles entering the water.
Court favors Pall in case
The United States District Court has ruled on the side of Pall Corp., of East Hills, N.Y., in a patent infringement suit against CUNO Inc. The Court found that CUNO’s PolyPro XL filters—and filters with the same pleat configuration such as CUNO’s LifeAssure filters—infringe on Pall’s U.S. patents. The Court will address Pall’s request for damages and injunctive relief, which includes CUNO ceasing the sale of all infringing products. The case began in December 1997.
Leno’s Harley helps victims
Frank Davis, a water well driller from Portales, N.M., placed the high bid of $360,200 on the online auction site eBay in mid-October for talk show host Jay Leno’s Harley Davidson motorcycle. The money will go to the Twin Towers Fund for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Leno asked celebrities who visited his show to sign the limited edition motorcycle, which he bought in July. A list of stars covered it with their signatures including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise during appearances on the Tonight Show. Davis said he plans to tour with the bike and raise more money for the fund.
Severn Trent buys, builds
Severn Trent Services, of Fort Washington, Pa., has acquired Environmental Systems Technology Corp. (EST), of Milford Square, Pa., a leading manufacturer of devices for toxic gas release mitigation and related process equipment. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. EST products and personnel will be transitioned into Severn Trent over the next few months.
Meanwhile, Arkansas and South Carolina have selected Severn Trent to supply on-site sodium hypochlorite generating systems. The units represent the largest electro-chlorination systems to be installed in each state. The Clinton Water Treatment Plant in Van Buren, Ark., is a 6-million gallon per day (mgd), surface water treatment facility supplying local residents and a large ConAgra Frozen Foods plant. The system was installed in September as part of a project upgrading plant capacity from 3 to 6 mgd. Later in September, Severn Trent installed a similar system for the 8 mgd Marion Wastewater Treatment Plant in Marion, S.C. Both systems are designed to assist the communities’ growing demand for potable water while reducing the potential for community exposure to chlorine gas.
In other Severn Trent news, the company has reached an agreement with Hanovia Ltd., of the United Kingdom, to use ultraviolet (UV) technology for customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Severn Trent and Hanovia will market and develop UV disinfection systems for municipal drinking water and wastewater treatment. Hanovia’s products will be marketed under Severn Trent’s FrontLine brand. Also, NSF International has awarded Severn Trent certification for its ClorTec line of on-site sodium hypochlorite generating systems.
End to typhoid fever?
Scientists have genetic blueprints for two strains of salmonella bacteria, one of which causes the potentially deadly typhoid fever, according to reports released in October. This is expected to help scientists create vaccines and treatments for infections caused by the strains. One research team mapped the genes for a strain of typhoid-causing salmonella that’s resistant to several antibiotics. The strain, S. typhi CT18, is one example of the emerging worldwide problem of multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections, reports the Oct. 25 edition of Nature. Dr. Julian Parkhill of The Sanger Centre in Cambridge, U.K., led the study. He said that the genetic mapping raises the hope that typhoid fever can be eliminated. Meanwhile, a team led by Dr. Michael McClelland of Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego, California, came up with the sequence for S. typhimurium LT2, which can infect animals and is a major cause of increased incidence of foodborne gastrointestinal illness around the world.
Blue-White gets new digs
Blue-White Industries, of Huntington Beach, Calif., moved to its new corporate/manufacturing building in September. Construction of the 48,000 square-foot facility began in September 2000. The new address is 5300 Business Drive, Huntington Beach, Calif., 92649. The phone number is (714) 893-8529 and the fax number is (714) 894-9492.
E. coli crashes campus
Four more cases of E. coli linked to a pancake tailgate party at the University of Wisconsin-Madison were reported, taking the total to 26, university officials said. The party was held at campus on Oct. 6 before a football game. Two of the infected are children and the rest were UW students, officials said. They said one student remained hospitalized but was in good condition. At least 1,000 people attended the university-sponsored party. Health officials said the source of the E. coli was probably not the food, since only a small percentage of those who attended became ill.
Anthrax test finds outlets
Vital Living Products Inc. (VLPI), dba American Water Service, said that Meijer Inc., of Grand Rapids, Mich., plans to sell PurTest Anthrax Test chainwide in the pharmacies of its 152 stores in five states. VLPI began development of the anthrax test following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. The test utilizes technology similar to that employed by the company’s PurTest Bacteria Test, which has been on the market since 1996 and tests water for the presence of coliform bacteria. The anthrax test detects the presence of anthrax germs and spores, providing consumers with results at home or the workplace. In related news, VLPI said ACE Hardware, of Oak Brook, Ill., will distribute the anthrax test as well. Through its 10 distribution centers in the United States, ACE will make the test kits available nationwide to its 5,100 dealers. The company also said it expected to close a private placement of its common stock by late October where it will raise approximately $750,000 by issuing around 10.5 million shares.
Clinton office avoids scare
The Secret Service investigated two vials containing salmonella that were sent to former President Bill Clinton’s office in New York in late October, the Washington Post reported. Jim Mackin, a Secret Service spokesman, said there’s no connection to the anthrax scares. Salmonella is a common food poisoning bacteria that is rarely deadly. Mackin said several vials containing an unknown substance were received by Clinton’s office in early October. The fermentation process turned the substance into salmonella in two of the vials, he said. Clinton didn’t handle the package and nobody has gotten ill from it.
NSF releases 2 reports
NSF International has released six new verification reports and statements for the ETV Drinking Water Treatment Systems (DWTS) Pilot. Two of them are from Kinetico Inc.—the Macrolite® Coagulation and Filtration System, Model CPS100CPT for the removal of arsenic and the Kinetico CPS100CPT Coagulation and Filtration System for the physical removal of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in drinking water. Two others include the Lapoint Industries Aqua-Rite Potable Water Filtration System and the Rosedale Products Inc. Bag and Rigid Cartridge Filter System Model GFS-302P2-150S-ESBB. The Koch Membrane Systems TFC-ULP4 Reverse Osmosis Membrane Module and the PentaPure H-3000-I Mobile Water Purification Station round out the reports. The USEPA and NSF have approved these reports for distribution. These reports are located in their entirety on the NSF and USEPA websites (www.nsf.org/etv and www.epa.gov/etv, respectively).
Also, in October, NSF and JIA met in Ann Arbor, Mich. JIA is a partner organization of NSF in Japan, and one of only four Japanese companies with ownership and access to the Japan Water Mark. JIA had previously accepted NSF testing in support of the Water Mark, i.e. testing to the JIS 3200 series standards. During the meeting, a review was conducted of the upcoming deadline for compliance of drinking water treatment units with the Household Goods Quality Labeling Law. This will be required of all water purifiers sold in Japan with an implementation date of April 1, 2002. In order to meet the labeling law, products must first be tested to the JIS 3201 performance standard.
WQA series hits the road
The Water Quality Association (WQA) is looking to expand its tour of educational series seminars to members across the country. The first in this new series was to be the Water Quality Technology Seminar held Oct. 25-26 in Indianapolis. Aspects of high purity water systems, regeneration efficiencies, UV disinfection, testing for arsenic, and membrane technologies are some of the topics covered. Certification exams will also be offered, and sessions will be given WQA CPD credits. According to the WQA Newsfax, the goal is to promote industry technologies and help members grow new markets. Areas expressing an interest so far are Oregon, Washington, Florida, Texas, and the East Coast. Contact the WQA education department at (630) 505-0160 if you’re interested in having a course come to your state.
USFilter breaks new ground
USFilter’s Kruger Products first installation of the BIOSTYR® process has begun operation at the Freeport, Ill. wastewater treatment plant. The biologically aerated filter process is part of an $11.4 million wastewater treatment upgrade. The process consists of upflow filtration through submerged and floating fine spherical media where the air and wastewater are introduced below the base of the media. Process adjustments allow the system to perform either nitrification or simultaneous nitrification and dentrification. The system’s compact size, which combines a biological reactor with filtration, is designed to achieve maximum wastewater purification with limited technology and space requirements. USFilter teamed with the design engineering firm, Montgomery Watson, of Minneapolis, the Freeport Water and Sewer Commission, and USFilter representatives—Vessco Inc., of Eden Prairie, Minn., and Peterson & Matz Inc., of Palatine, Ill.
In other news, the first immersed membrane bioreactor unit developed by USFilter is being demonstrated for wastewater reuse in the Sammamish Valley, King County, Wash. The project is a partnership between King County, Seattle-based Carollo Engineers and USFilter. The county is evaluating the technology for full-scale reclamation facility that would supply irrigation water to local landscaping businesses, sod farms, nurseries and a golf resort. These facilities currently supplement their potable irrigation supply with water from the Sammamish River, a salmon-bearing watercourse threatened by low flows and high water temperatures.
IDA Congress pushed to 2002
The International Desalination Association (IDA) World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse has been postponed until March 8-13, 2002, due to the recent terrorist attacks on American soil. The show will take place in Manama, Bahrain. Ghassan Ejjeh, president of IDA, explained: “Despite much adversity over the past (couple of months), we made very attempt to proceed with our plans; however, it no longer seems to be the most sensible or sensitive course of action. The volume of concerns has intensified in the last few days and we feel that deferring the date for a short time will allow us to present the best possible program with the utmost attendance and participation.” The conference was originally slated for October 26-31.
Water sent in abundance
Immediately following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, bottled water companies sprang into action and reacted with full force. In fact, Soft Drink Letter reports that so many cased of bottled water were sent that Red Cross and National Guard units were saying they had more than enough water to meet their needs. Joseph Doss, president of the International Bottled Water Association, shared the news recently with the group’s annual convention in Miami Beach, Fla.
Osmonics gets city order
Minnetonka, Minn.-based Osmonics Inc. received a third order from the city of Pascagoula, Miss., worth $1 million for two skid-mounted reverse osmosis systems to purify its water. Designed especially for municipal water treatment, the custom systems will be added to four existing Osmonics RO systems. A city of 27,000 residents, Pascagoula has the capacity to purify 3.5 million gallons per day, representing 80 percent of the total daily city water needs. Scheduled to be completed in early 2002, the two systems will produce an additional 2.2 million gallons of purified water per day, treating 100 percent of the city’s water supply. The city’s source water is tainted with tannins and also contains high concentrations of dissolved minerals that result in discoloration and foul taste.
Apyron’s unit touted by WEF
The Water Environment Federation presented the Innovative Technology Award to Atlanta-based Apyron Technologies during ceremonies October 16 as part of WEFTEC 2001 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Apyron garnered the award in the Process Equipment category for its “arsenic treatment unit” using the Aqua-Bind® Arsenic Removal media. The awards recognize products or services that use new ideas, methods, alterations or unique changes from existing systems in four categories: collection systems, instrumentation, process equipment, and solids handling and disposal. On the same day at the conference, Glen Daigger and Elena Bailey received the Harrison Prescott Eddy Medal from the WEF. Daigger, a senior vice president with CH2M Hill, of Denver, and Bailey, an aeration product manager at Enviroquip Inc., of Austin, Texas, won for their article, “Improving Aerobic Digestion by Prethickening, Staged Operation, and Aerobic-Anoxic Operation: Four Full-Scale Demonstrations.”
SPEX makes 1-year promise
SPEX CertiPrep, of Metuchen, N.J., now guarantees stability of all Organometallic Oil standards for one year from date of shipment. These standards are commonly used for ICP, ICPMS, AA, XRF, rotrode and atomic fluorescence spectroscopy. Included are 29 single-element reference standards, a wide variety of multi-element standards and stabilizer/solubilizers.
Paris hosts big water show
A good turnout is expected when water treatment professionals converge on the 3rd Aqua-Expo, the French International Water Quality and Protection Exhibition in Paris, France, on Feb. 6-10. Free to the public, the show promises to cover the point-of-use, point-of-entry residential, commercial and light industry segments. Major themes will include The French School of Water Management, Household of Tomorrow, Health and Safety in the Water Industry, Water and the Environment, Water and Leisure, Seawater, Water and Quality of Life, and The Water Professions. More than 30,000 water industry professionals, including over 100 exhibitors, are expected to attend.
Azurix pulls plug in area
Azurix, a subsidiary of energy company Enron. Corp., has withdrawn from its contract to distribute drinking water in Buenos Aires after ongoing disputes with the provincial government. In the last several months, Azurix has accused the province—Argentina’s largest and most indebted—of failing to comply with certain conditions of the 30-year deal for which the company paid $439 million in 1999. Azurix provides water services to 2.5 million people in 71 cities in the province.
Crypto cases cause concern
In Saskatchewan, there were 60 cases in August of Cryptosporidium, which causes diarrhea, fever, nausea and general malaise. The figure compares to only five in the same month last year, said Dr. David Butler-Jones, the province’s chief medical health officer. The increase in Saskatchewan comes after two swimming pools in Alberta were closed in August because of the waterborne parasite. At least 16 people were confirmed to be infected and another 21 were showing symptoms of the disease in Medicine Hat and Didsbury. The microscopic parasite lives in the intestines of humans and animals and is found in animal and human waste. It can pose a more serious danger to people with reduced immune systems, such as those with AIDS or cancer. Crypotosporidium is the same parasite that sickened hundreds of people in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, earlier this year after the town’s drinking water became contaminated.
Erie heats up in Belgium
Erie Water Treatment Controls, of Elk Grove Village, Ill., has expanded its European operations to meet increasing customer demand. A new facility has been built in Olen, Belgium, and houses 11,600 square feet for assembly and warehousing space, sales, marketing and distribution. According to Mike Kopacz, Erie’s executive vice president, “Since being acquired by Aquion Partners last year, we’ve realized new growth and significant interest from both existing and prospective customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We needed to upgrade our infrastructure in order to meet that increased demand and to serve our customers more efficiently. With major product rollouts scheduled for later this year, we’ve positioned ourselves to take full advantage of the new facility.” The operation is under the guidance of Nick Govaert and Roel Gilissen with the support of Kopacz and his Chicago-based staff. Besides Erie, other major Aquion brands include RainSoft and ClearWater Tech.
Memcor sues over membranes
Memcor Limited has started patent infringement proceedings against Norit Membraan Technologie BV, of Hengelo, Netherlands. The suit, filed in the U.K., alleges that Norit infringed Memcor’s European patent number 0666774, which relates to a membrane integrity testing method. The infringement proceedings relate to a patented testing method that verifies membrane system integrity. The water displacement test allows the operator to monitor the performance of the membrane to detect membrane system defects or failures within the membranes. Membrane filters are increasingly being used at municipal drinking water plants to remove microorganisms from water. Memcor is a subsidiary of Vivendi Water.
NSF gains presence in Asia
NSF International has expanded its third-party certification services for Taiwan and China-based customers through a partnership with NSF-ISR South Asia, which provides management systems registrations in Asia under a licensing agreement with NSF International Strategic Registrations Ltd. NSF-ISR is acting as a local liaison for Taiwan and China-based manufacturers seeking NSF certification for drinking water treatment units, plumbing and plastic piping components, bottled water and foodservice equipment. NSF-ISR will develop business relationships with current and potential customers, collect their product samples and work with them to obtain certification. NSF will certify products and initiate ongoing reassessments. NSF-ISR employs about 100 employees and has approximately 20 offices in Tiawan and China. The company plans to open more offices this year including locations in Vietnam and Thailand.
Rhino charges into the U.S.
Ontario, Canada-based Rhino Ecosystems Inc. has acquired Indiana Rhino LLC. The purchase translates into six million more Americans using the company’s wet waste recovery technology. The deal is expected to net Rhino Ecosystems a minimum of $1.7 million over five years. Florida and 13 million more customers are expected to be covered by a similar dealership still in discussion. The plan is directed at establishing new dealerships over a three-month period with a target market of 145 million people, resulting in a minimum of $290 million in sales over a five-year period.
Mirant bids for desal plant
Singapore water treatment firm Hyflux Ltd. and U.S. power firm Mirant Corp. announced in September that they would jointly bid to build the city-state’s first seawater desalination project. Fresh water for industry and public use is a critical issue in resource-scarce Singapore, which now relies on Malaysia to pipe in much of its supply. The new plant is expected to be operational by 2005. Hyflux specializes in designing and manufacturing membranes to pre-treat seawater used in desalination process, while Mirant is a global independent power producer.
WEDECO spreads its wings
WEDECO AG Water Technology has upgraded its presence in Europe with its own company in the Netherlands. To manage the new office, the company has successfully recruited an employee with more than 10 years management experience. In other news, WEDECO has established a Brazilian subsidiary, WEDECO Tecnológico Águas Ltda., which has headquarters in Sao Paulo. The company will operate as the South American head office for WEDECO and support existing agents in South and Central America. Meanwhile, WEDECO reported in mid-October that the world’s largest wastewater disinfection system is operating in Manukau, New Zealand.