Saturday, February 24th, 2001
Osmonics Inc. of Minnetonka, Minn., said growth in the third quarter somewhat offset revenue lost from discontinued product lines and foreign currency devaluations. Sales of $47.6 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30 increased 1.5 percent from the same period in 1999. 💧
Aqua Solutions Inc. of Jasper, Ga., is the new corporate identity for Solution Consultants Inc., a manufacturer of reagent grade, laboratory water purification systems. The company will continue to manufacture and sell Type I and Type II reagent DI systems and reverse osmosis pretreatment systems. 💧
The Perrier Group of America agreed in December to acquire Black Mountain Spring Water Inc., a Northern California bottled spring water company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 💧
E-watertest.com has introduced a package called Priority 100—a comprehensive water test for people who want their water checked for 100 commonly requested chemical and bacteriological contaminants. 💧
Effective Jan. 1, 2001, Rohm and Haas has announced a price increase of 10 to 15 percent for its vinyl acetate based homopolymer and copolymer emulsions. This increase is a result of rapidly escalating raw material prices. 💧
Houston-based Azurix reported revenues of $183.7 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30, and a net loss of $3.6 million. In other news, Azurix entered an agreement of a merger with Enron Corp. It requires the approval of the company’s shareholders voting on the matter. 💧
In December, the NEX Partners and Messe Frankfurt Inc.—producers of the famed ISH water industry trade show in Frankfurt, Germany—agreed to produce ISH North America, beginning in Fall, 2002. The debut is tentatively scheduled for Orlando, Fla. 💧
Calgon Carbon Corp. announced that effective Feb. 1, it will increase the price of its activated carbon by 6 percent, or as contract terms permit. 💧
Heather Willson, a Central Ohio resident, was presented in December with Hague Quality Water International’s national sweepstakes grand prize of $4,000. She chose the cash over a rider mower and personal watercraft. 💧
Danaher Corp. announced in December that it has purchased the Zellweger Analytics water analysis business from Zellweger Luwa, AG for approximately $40 million. 💧
In November, R&D Magazine selected four technologies from Nalco Chemical Co. as among the top 100 innovations for 2000. Products cited were ACT™, Trasar® 3000 Fluorometer Feed Controller with Dose & Diagnose service, High Stress Polymer Program, and Nalco® 98DF063 flocculant. 💧
Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., has launched www.hamposyl.com, a product website for Hampshire Chemical Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow. Customers and potential customers will find the site a one-stop source for comprehensive information on anionic surfactants. 💧
CUNO Inc. reported record results for the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2000, with worldwide sales of $243.1 million, up 10 percent from $220.6 million in 1999. 💧
In November, Pro Products LLC of Fort Wayne, Ind., acquired Merit Labs of Grafton, Wis. Merit Labs is one of the leading chemical packagers in the water treatment industry. Merit’s operation has moved to Fort Wayne. 💧
Essentia Water Inc. of Phoenix has signed an agreement with Macy’s West, division of Federated Department Stores, to produce a premium, private label water. It was available in early December at over 100 stores. 💧
California takes stand on chlorine;WQA questions state’s standards
In a formal letter to Water Quality Association (WQA) Executive Director Peter Censky, the chief of the division of drinking water and environmental management at the Department of Health Service (DHS) in California cleared up any ambiguity regarding the state’s chlorine standards. David Spath, Ph.D., P.E., notified WQA in December that a proposed maximum residual disinfection level (MRDL) for chlorine, chloramines and chlorine dioxide constitutes a primary drinking water standard. Now, all products making any type of chlorine reduction claims are subject to California’s product certification program.
The overwhelming number of chlorine claims are made for taste and odor. To redefine all chlorine claims as health-related would require rigorous new testing protocols. NSF Standard 42 would be rendered useless within the state. Like other states, California issues an MRDL for chlorine to comply with the USEPA Disinfectant/Disinfection By-Product Rule. But California differs from other states in having a certification program linked to primary drinking water standards, a categorization previously limited to maximum contaminant level (MCL). WQA has told the state’s DHS aesthetic claims made under Standard 42 shouldn’t be covered by its product certification laws. The WQA and DHS met in January and further discussions were planned on the topic.
Arsenic fervor runs high
The USEPA’s recommended standard for arsenic was raised to 10 micrograms per liter of water (mg/L) from an initial 5 mg/L amid a flurry of critical comments during the 90-day public review period following the initial proposal. “Money is the real driver here, not health protection,” said Bruce Macler of the USEPA’s San Francisco office. “It’s going to squeeze a lot of folks (financially) that were never squeezed before for regulations.”
The risk assessment on the cancer-causing contaminant was used in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, he said. If passed, the proposal could make the point-of-entry (POE) industry a winner. “POE could go really far on this one by upscaling their treatment,” Macler said. Granular ferric hydroxide, he added, stands to benefit most from the proposal since it’s almost maintenance-free. The proposal was sent to the Office of Management and Budget for approval. Macler expects a decision by late February or March.
Pentair forges Asia market
Pentair has announced its Pentair Water Treatment (PWT) business will bolster its growing presence in the Asia/Pacific region by establishing a distribution center in Taiwan. Opened on Jan. 1, the distribution center will initially focus on supplying PWT’s core product lines: Fleck Control valves, CodeLine membrane housings, STRUCTURAL pressure vessels, WellMate hydropneumatic vessels and SIATA control valves.
Radionuclide rule set
The USEPA updated its standards for radionuclides in drinking water including combined radium 226/228, gross alpha, beta particle and photon radioactivity, and uranium. Water Quality Association technical director Joe Harrison said small water treatment dealers may be affected if the standard (5 picocuries per liter for radium) is stringently followed and treated for centrally. One less expensive option, he added, would be to centrally treat only for radium 226/228 with water softeners while other contaminants be monitored by the point-of-use/point-of-entry industry. Community water systems, which are water systems that serve at least 15 service connections or 25 residents regularly year round, are required to meet the final maximum contaminant levels and requirements for monitoring and reporting. The rule will become effective Dec. 8, 2003—three years after the publication date.
Haliant kicks off RO line
Haliant Technologies has an-nounced the introduction of its complete line of water purification equipment, including reverse osmosis, nanofiltration and electro-deionization products. Haliant is headed by Edward Closuit, former president of Environmental Products USA Inc., and operates from its 20,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Sarasota, Fla.
CPC teams with USFilter
Chester Paul Co. of Glendale, Calif., has announced it has become an authorized stocking distributor for USFilter and the former U.S. Water Products of San Diego. Established in 1948, Chester Paul specializes in residential point-of-use reverse osmosis components.
Merger in California
Clear Creek Systems Inc. of Bakersfield, Calif., and Flow Tech Industries Inc. of Ventura, Calif., have agreed to share industrial and ultrapure water treatment technology through the formation of Flow Tech Systems Inc.—a wholly owned subsidiary of Clear Creek Systems Inc. Clear Creek is an industry leader in mobile, trailer-mounted oil/water and sediment removal processes.
UV sessions create buzz
Seminars regarding ultraviolet (UV) disinfection attracted standing-room-only attendance at the annual American Water Works Association Water Quality and Technology Conference held in Salt Lake City on Nov. 4-9. Water professionals from around the world weighed the pros and cons of UV technology to rid their waters of Cryptosporidium, Giardia and other contaminants. The USEPA is due to publish the Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, which will include regulations addressing UV disinfection, this month.
Water strategy at USEPA
The USEPA’s Drinking Water Research Working Group of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council is considering a broad range of research needs to support the agency’s water regulatory activities. Included is an assessment of research needs for microbes and disinfection by-products, arsenic, Contaminant Candidate List items and other issues. The committee is made up of private-sector experts, government officials and scientists from academia. Completion date for the strategy document is expected to be late September. The group will meet again on March 1.
NORIT spreads wings
Atlanta-based NORIT Americas Inc. announced a merger with Nuon N.V. Norit, the largest producer of activated carbon in the world, and expects major gains in access to markets for its activated carbon, membrane technology, components and engineering services. In turn, Nuon expects access to NORIT’s extensive knowledge and involvement in the drinking water and wastewater markets.
UL unveils new EPH Mark
Drinking water treatment additives certified by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) have a new look as the organization implemented worldwide a dedicated environmental and public health (EPH) Mark. The new Mark took effect Oct. 30. Other industries’ equipment certified by UL with the Mark include commercial food service, and meat and poultry plants. It was developed so products may be identified denoting compliance with EPH considerations. The UL EPH Mark incorporates the “UL in a circle” inside a green triangle logo to help distinguish it from UL’s traditional Marks.
Apyron doubles work space
Apyron Technologies Inc., a materials innovation firm, has leased 38,000 additional square feet of space at its Atlanta headquarters. The expansion—which occurred in late December—more than doubled capacity (previously at 30,000 square feet) and allows for new offices, laboratories and manufacturing space. Currently privately financed, Apyron also anticipates an initial public offering during the first half of this year.
Calif. tackles chromium 6
The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) released a fact sheet in November on hexavalent chromium in drinking water after a series of media reports in the Los Angeles area about historical chromium 6 releases and emerging occurrence data. ACWA’s information complemented data from the state Department of Health Services, which is considering setting a separate drinking water standard for chromium 6 based on a public health goal of 2.5 µg/L set in 1999 by the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. The USEPA currently regulates total chromium at 100 µg/L, and California’s total chromium standard is 50 µg/L.
Softener campaign planned
At the urging of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts will begin a major campaign against self-regenerating water softeners sometime this month or early Spring, according to the Water Quality Association (WQA). The campaign will urge consumers to switch from automatic water softeners to portable exchange service. The sanitation district plans to use bill stuffers and local consumer confidence reports to tell customers that their sewer bill may triple if water districts are obliged to use expensive treatment technologies under water board rules. Water treatment dealers should contact the WQA for further
Chinese lake drying up
The largest natural lake in northern China faces extinction soon, parched by lack of rainfall and reckless use of water by factories and farmers, water resources officials said in December. The threat to the Baiyangdian Lake in Hebei province has highlighted a water crisis in the country so severe it threatens the country’s economic development and social stability. Hundreds of thousands of people have grown dependent on its water for drinking, fishing and agriculture.
Disease strikes in Spain
Investigators were scouring ventilation and water systems for the source of bacteria that has infected at least 40 people with Legionnaires’ disease near Barcelona, Spain, health officials said in November. Ages of the victims range between 38 and 92. Symptoms of the disease include high fever, cough and shortness of breath. The elderly and people with weak health conditions are most at risk.
Scanning for Crypto
Portland, Maine-based ImmuCell Corp.’s Crypto-Scan®—a product that’s used in laboratory testing of water supplies for the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum—received approval in November as an official product under the recently enacted Water Supply Regulations by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) in the United Kingdom. Three hundred water sources in England and Wales will be monitored. After a water sample is collected and concentrated, the technology will prepare the sample for the detection of the parasite.
Ontario’s wells, testing
Ontario’s drinking water is threatened by more than 100,000 abandoned wells that allow manure, chemicals and other surface contaminants to rapidly poison groundwater, according to the Ontario Groundwater Association. Since it costs up to $10,000 to plug a well, many owners simply walk away and the province has no way of knowing whether old wells are sealed unless they receive a complaint from the public. In other news, the Quebec Environment Minister an-nounced a $600 million package that includes stern measures and more frequent testing to ensure the quality of drinking water. His main recommendation is the adoption of the norm for water turbidity now enforced in the United States. Drinking water in Quebec must now meet the standard of 5 nepholometric turbidity units. He wanted a new standard of 0.5 NTUs by October 2000.
Mexican exhibit on water
Concerned with serious water issues facing humanity in the very near future, the museum Papalote, Museo del Niño (Children’s Museum), located in México City, has opened a 7,000 square foot highly interactive exhibit, designed to promote public awareness in children, their families and their teachers. Themes address basic issues with emphasis on the importance of water management and distribution; problems of sanitation, pollution and human rights; sharing of burdens, and benefits and responsibilities. Beginning this year, the exhibit will tour the Mexican states in an effort to reach as many visitors as possible.
Safe water worldwide
Experts from around the world began discussing in November the need to increase the supply of safe drinking water, and expand the availability of basic sanitation services—measures that could save millions of lives each year. The program, called Vision 21, was launched last March by the Geneva-based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, which is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization and the U.N. Children’s Fund.
Water shortage in Africa
Leaks from aging water systems, massive waste and water theft contribute to a shortage of fresh drinking water in Africa’s rapidly urbanizing cities, a U.N. report said in December. Those using groundwater are extracting water from aquifers at a rate much faster than they can be recharged by nature. Africa, the fastest urbanizing region in the world, is growing in population by 5 percent every year.
Thames buys Chilean utility
Thames Water plc. of London, and a member of RWE Group, purchased a controlling stake in Empressa de Servicios Sanitarios del Bio-Bio S.A. (ESSBIO) of Concépción. The stake is being bought for US$336 million from the Chilean government, the previous majority owner. Thames holds 50.9 percent of ESSBIO. It supplies approximately 1.5 million people in Concépción, Chile’s second largest city, with water and wastewater services. Thames plans to invest more than US$100 million in ESSBIO within the next five years.
WHO promises billions
The World Health Organization hopes to halve the number of people without access to water supply and sanitation by 2015 and drastically cut the planet’s annual death toll from waterborne diseases. In a global report launched in Brazil in late November, WHO said it also aimed to provide universal access to water supply, sanitation and hygiene within the next 25 years—all at an estimated extra cost of some $7 billion a year globally. The report said 1.1 billion people worldwide had no improved water supply and 2.4 billion had no improved sanitation. Most of them lived in Asia and Africa.