Saturday, March 24th, 2001
General Chemical Group Inc.’s subsidiaries, General Chemical Industrial Products and General Chemical Canada Ltd., are increasing prices for flake calcium chloride by $10 per short ton due to rising energy costs, effective in January. This follows a previous $10 increase on Aug. 23. 💧
The town of Goderich, Ontario, awarded USF Canada, a USFilter Operating Services affiliate, a five-year operations and maintenance contract in October to operate the town’s water and wastewater systems, including treatment facilities and collection/distribution systems. 💧
Benguet Corp. signed an agreement with the Metro Roxas Water District in the Philippines to study and develop groundwater sources within the latter’s service area. Roxas City is a growing small metropolis with a population of 250,000. 💧
Oceanside, Calif.-based Hydranautics has raised its prices across the board by 8 percent, effective last September. The increase is based on the significant investment it’s making in new technology, developing new products and increasing its manufacturing capacity. 💧
Groupe Danone has agreed to acquire 50 percent of Shanghai-based Aquarius Water Co. Ltd., the largest hands-on delivery water company in China. Aquarius had sales of RMB (China’s currency) 170 million in 1999. 💧
About 5 million liters—20 percent of the 24 million liters of bottled water sold in México every day—fail to meet government health standards, according to Alberto Helguera Resendiz, president of the Latin American Water Quality Institute (ICLA). 💧
Calgon Carbon Corp., of Pittsburgh, has received a $14 million contract for commercial installation of its ISEP system for removal and on-site destruction of perchlorate. 💧
Pentair Inc. reported sales from continuing businesses totaled $2.7 billion for the year ending Dec. 31, an increase of 30 percent from 1999. 💧
According to a report by the Freedonia Group Inc. of Cleveland, U.S. demand for activated carbon is forecast to increase 4.6 percent per year to 455 million pounds in 2004, with market value expanding 6 percent per year to $380 million. 💧
In December, ARAMARK introduced a water filtration system that claims 99 percent lead reduction and bacteria control, and reduces harmful sediments like dirt, rust and many parasitic organisms. 💧
Trojan wins N.Y. UV contract
The town of Ontario, N.Y., has awarded Trojan Technologies Inc. with a contract to supply the UVSwift™ Municipal Drinking Water Disinfection System. The contract calls for two ultraviolet (UV) units. The systems will disinfect drinking water supplied to a service area of approximately 30,000 people. The two units have been designed to be installed in an existing drinking water facility in order to implement a multi-barrier disinfection strategy, combining UV technology with traditional chemical disinfection.
Culligan talks stalled
Discussions in mid-January over an updated contract for the Culligan Dealers Association of North America (CDANA), the point-of-use industry’s largest franchise, have hit a roadblock. A group of six dealers selected by the CDANA board had been in talks with management from the company’s headquarters in Northbrook, Ill., for more than a year. Some dealers are predicting that many of the highest-grossing dealers will refuse to sign a revised contract drawn up and presented in December by Culligan’s president, Mike Reardon, industry sources confirmed.
WQA inks deal, tackles HPC
Peter Censky, WQA executive director, and Tom Castino, president of Underwriters Laboratories (UL), were among those present at a signing ceremony signaling a new WQA/UL agreement. Similar to the one reached by WQA and NSF International last year, the pact will provide the water industry with one-stop servicing for product testing and certification. The signing event took place on Jan. 10 at UL’s headquarters in the Chicago area. In other news, Censky met with members of Aqua Europa and others in December to discuss the HPC bacteria issue. European officials are beginning to use HPC as a regulatory threat to the industry, attempting to require testing even when there is no proof that HPC is a health hazard. As a result, the WQA and Aqua Europa are trying to convince the World Health Organization (WHO) to help sponsor a conference on the issue. Censky feels the WHO would reaffirm that HPC is harmless.
Salem’s No. 1 in water
For water quality, no city in the country tops Salem, Ore., according to the December issue of Money magazine. Coming in second was Pueblo, Colo., and third went to Panama City, Fla. Salem gets its water out of the North Santiam River.
CPVC OK’d for Calif. homes
The California Department of Housing & Community Development incorporated a major change in the California building standard in November that approves postchlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) plastic pipes for the state’s plumbing code. FlowGuard® Gold™ CPVC is produced by BFGoodrich, which has over 40 years of experience in plumbing applications, and exceeds ANSI/NSF Standard 61 for water quality with no pH level restrictions as found in copper pipe.
Study: Cutting cancer risk
A six-year study in Colombia indicated elimination of an ulcer-causing bacteria with antibiotics can stop or even reverse the growth of precancerous stomach lesions. Infection with H. pylori has been linked to ulcers and stomach cancer, but whether treating the infection prevents cancer is questionable. The study—conducted by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans—found the lesions were about three to five times more likely to regress in people who received a two-week course of drugs designed to eliminate H. pylori, compared with participants who received a placebo that didn’t contain any medication. The study included 852 patients, 97 percent of whom were infected with H. pylori.
Fluoride in Superior
Beginning in November, the town board of Superior, Colo., decided to add fluoride to the town’s drinking water. A 1999 survey indicated a majority of residents favored the move. Superior officials will bring the water’s fluoride total to 0.9 milligrams per liter, which equals the recommendation of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The town’s drinking water naturally has about 0.3 mg/L of fluoride. According to many experts, fluoridated water helps reduce tooth decay.
Solar City takes big step
To launch its entry into distribution of water treatment products, Solar City Inc., of Tampa, Fla., acquired Filter Equipment Wholesale (FEW) in December. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. With four locations and over 20 years of experience, Solar City plans to bring consumer finance programs to water treatment professionals in Florida. By acquiring FEW, Solar City has gained access to customers and vendors. Bill Diamond, former president of FEW, has joined Solar City to lead its water division.
CCC backs USEPA rule
The Chlorine Chemistry Council offered its support in January for the Stage 2 Microbial and Disinfection By-products Agreement by the USEPA and a diverse group of stakeholders. The agreement, announced in late December 2000, represents an important step in improving microbial protection while reducing disinfection by-product levels in U.S. drinking water supplies.
USEPA updates UCMR
The USEPA has finalized analytical methods for 14 contaminants on the List 2 Screening Survey of the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule. It’s also requiring monitoring for those contaminants in drinking water. And the agency modified the UCMR to improve implementation of monitoring for both List 1 and List 2 contaminants. The UCMR Monitoring List is comprised of three separate lists based on analytical methods readiness and current contaminant occurrence data: List 1 for Assessment Monitoring, List 2 for the Screening Survey and List 3 for Pre-Screen Testing.
Haliant launches RO line
Haliant Technologies has introduced its complete line of water purification equipment, including reverse osmosis, nanofiltration and electrodeionization products. Haliant Technologies is led by Edward Closuit, former president of Environmental Products USA Inc., and operations are headed up at a 20,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Sarasota, Fla.
Genes mapped for E. coli
Scientists have mapped the full genetic sequence of E. coli 0157:H7 that causes sometimes-deadly foodborne illnesses. They say the research lays the groundwork for stopping the bug before it ever reaches humans. The findings are reported in the Jan. 25th edition of Nature. E. coli infects about 73,000 Americans each year, usually through undercooked contaminated ground beef. The bacteria can also lurk in unpasteurized milk and juices, contaminated water, and fruits and vegetables.
AWWA funds major project; early tests block pathogens
Becker and O’Melia LLC has received major funding from the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF) to investigate a new water treatment strategy that in preliminary studies has shown protection against pathogens in drinking water, said Becker president Bill Becker in mid-January. He said that while some filtration products are moving away from pre-chlorine because of concerns over disinfection by-products, which have been linked to cancer and birth defects, this research on the use of oxidants in enhancing filtration is promising.
The proper use of pre- and immediate oxidants can minimize the chance of future waterborne disease outbreaks. AWWARF will provide $150,000 to the research and consulting firm for the project, “The Use of Oxidants to Minimize the Passage of Pathogenic Particles Through Granular Media Filters.” The research follows up on another project announced by Becker and O’Melia with AWWARF entitled, “Impacts of Major Point and Nonpoint Sources on Raw Water Treatability.” In related news, the AWWARF sent out a request for proposals to demonstrate a “Point-of-Use/Point-of-Entry Implementation Feasibility Study for Arsenic Treatment” at public water systems. The deadline for response was Feb. 15, 2001.
Saudi Arabia rep for Dow
The A. Abunayyan Trading Corp., an affiliate of the A. Abunayyan Group, will act as representative and distributor for Dow Chemical’s FILMTEC® membranes for Saudia Arabia. The membranes are used to convert brackish and salt water into fresh water for drinking, agriculture and industrial processes.
Bottler capitalizes on fad
Aqua Terrena, a Swedish spring water bottler, announced in mid-January it would set up a U.S. subsidiary to deliver imported pure Scandinavian drinking water to Florida’s hospitals and nursing homes. The move plans to take advantage of a growing fad in the Sunshine State. The company also has had discussions with U.S. disaster relief authorities over a technology for airlifting drinking water into disaster zones.
Polio strikes island
A mini-outbreak of polio occurred in late December on Hispaniola, the island that includes the Dominican Republic and Haiti. At least six people in Dominica and one in Haiti have contracted confirmed cases of polio, and 26 others are suspected of having the virus, health officials said. Dominica was declared free of wild polio in 1994, and the latest cases are believed to have sprung from mutant strains of virus used in the oral—or Sabin—vaccine, which uses a live but weakened form of the microbe.
Degrémont plant in India
Degrémont, a subsidiary of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux Water Division, was awarded a 2 billion rupee contract (US$1=46.4 rupees) for the design, building and operation of a 635 million liters per day drinking water production plant at Sonia Vihar in New Delhi, India. Operational in three years, the plant will be equipped with the company’s technologies of pre-settling, settling, sand filtration and sludge treatment.
Illness fells racers
Dozens of people who paddled rivers and climbed mountains in Borneo as part of an adventure race contracted a sometimes-fatal bacterial illness often transmitted by rat urine, the government said in January. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it has confirmed 68 cases of leptospirosis, which lurks in contaminated water and soil, among participants in the race. None of the cases was fatal. About half of the racers were Americans.
India regs put clamp down
Due to increasing demand, the number of small regional players in the India bottled water market has been growing by 70-to-100 percent per year. The growth rate has attracted international brands such as Coca-Cola’s Kinley and PepsiCo’s Aquafina. Other international players hoping to crack the market include Levers, Nestlé and Danone. Confusion over new regulations, however, could hinder their plans. The Indian government has been forced to tighten bottled water standards after sample tests taken by consumer groups revealed some smaller producers were selling little more than tap water.
Cholera gains momentum
The World Health Organization said in January that it sent specialists to South Africa to help it control a spreading cholera epidemic that has killed 58 people, as local officials announced they had a case of the disease in a fourth province. The outbreak began in the northeastern province of Kwa-Zulu Natal in August, where it has also sickened 14,512.
Liquitek buys Distech
Liquitek Enterprises Inc. acquired 74 percent of Distech Limited from its six largest shareholders in exchange for 11,359,593 shares of Liquitek stock. Distech of Auckland, New Zealand, owns a patented, state-of-the-art vacuum distillation technology capable of producing purified water from sources containing harmful chemicals such as MTBE, TCE, PCE, BTEX, PCB, arsenic and salt.
Rhino charges into S. Korea
Rhino Ecosystems Inc. of Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, has signed its largest international distributor for the sale of a patented line of Wet Waste Interceptors to the Republic of South Korea. The December agreement assigns Kint and Associates Inc. the exclusive right to market all current and future Rhino products to South Korea and totals US$1 million in annual purchases from Rhino.
Celebrating dam’s 30 years
With much fanfare in January, Egypt marked the 30th anniversary of the Aswan High Dam opening. Packing 17 times as much sand and stone as the greatest pyramid at Giza, the 366-foot high dam on the Nile once supplied as much as 80 percent of the country’s electricity. New facilities have been built, and it now supplies about 20 percent. Progress has its price, however. Tens of thousands of Nubians have been displaced and the farmland has become less fertile.
Disease forces showers ban
A Paris hospital banned showers and ordered water pipes disinfected after four people were diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease in late December. Officials suspect that the waterborne bacterium developed in unused sections of water pipes in the newly opened Georges Pompidou European Hospital. Legionella can be inhaled when water is released into the air through air conditioners, steam or other means. Disinfecting with chlorine or heat usually kills the bacterium, which causes a form of pneumonia.