Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine


Sunday, May 19th, 2002

Flomatic names new manager
Flomatic Valves, of Glen Falls, N.Y., announced the promotion of Nick Farrara to national sales manager. Farrara has been with Flomatic for five years. In 2000, he was named field sales manager responsible for all of the company’s sales including domestic water systems sales. In his new role, Farrara will head up all sales and marketing activities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing/management and is a certified backflow tester. Flomatic manufactures a wide range of valves for domestic water systems, industrial and municipal applications.  

Pentair tabs new CEO
Pentair Inc., of St. Paul, Minn., a maker of professional tools, electrical enclosures and water filtration products, said in March that CEO Randall Hogan will succeed Winslow Buxton as chairman when the latter retires April 30. Pentair has more than doubled its sales from $1.3 billion in 1993, when Buxton began on the company’s board, to $3 billion in 2001. Hogan, who joined Pentair in March 1998, was promoted to president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2001.

PWQA director loses job
After meeting with its Restructuring Task Force, the Pacific WQA decided to discontinue having a full-time executive director at this time. On Jan. 25, Debbie Cosper—who previously held that position—was informed that the position would be eliminated. The PWQA said the change was made so that financial resources could be used on programs rather than full-time staff. In other news, the association has hired Cyndi Pagliaro—wife of Tony Pagliaro, owner of Nimbus Water Systems Inc., of San Marcos, Calif.—as part-time administrative assistant. In addition, the PWQA has moved its offices. The new address is 288 Distribution Street, San Marcos, CA 92078. The phone number is (760) 644-7348 and email: pwqa2002@hotmail.com

Two move up at USFilter
USFilter has promoted Karen DeCampli to the position of municipal market manager in charge of leading the company’s municipal water and wastewater market team. Her responsibilities will include marketing strategies, product introduction and promotion, sales channels and customer relations. DeCampli will work out of USFilter’s Warrendale, Pa.’s office. She joined the company in 2000 as a marketing communications manager, and has over 20 years experience in the municipal filtration industry. In other staff news, USFilter promoted William Scully to the new position of director of e-marketing. He will develop and institute e-marketing programs and tools throughout the company. His responsibilities will cover database management, web-based programs, sales and customer communications. Located at the Sturbridge, Mass. office, Scully has served the company in product management, marketing and communications positions since 1997. Prior to USFilter, he was general manager of the municipal systems division for Westates Carbon.

Professor wins water prize
Venezuelan hydrologist Professor Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe of Princeton University has won the 2002 Stockholm Water Prize. The announcement was made on World Water Day on March 22. The $150,000 Stockholm Water Prize is presented by the Stockholm Water Foundation. It’s awarded to an individual, institution, organization or company that has made the most substantial contribution to the preservation, enhancement and availability of the world’s water resources. He is being honored for his scientific contributions to the understanding of the interaction between climate, soil and vegetation structures, surface water, floods and droughts. The award will be presented to Rodriguez-Iturbe on Aug. 15. He is the first South American to receive the 12-year-old Stockholm Water Prize.

Spencer for hire at FLORAN
FLORAN Technologies Inc., of Norman, Okla., developer of environmentally friendly cleaning solutions for the delivery of high quality drinking water, appointed Herb Spencer as northeast regional sales director. Spencer brings nearly 30 years of water treatment chemical sales and management experience to the company. He is an active member of numerous local, state and national organizations including the American Water Works Association. Based out of Philadelphia, he will oversee sales and market development from New England west to Ohio, and south to Virginia.

GET names sales manager
GET Inc., of Long Beach, Calif., made Marshall O’Neill its new sales manager. O’Neill has over 20 years of experience in sales and management. GET has specialized in seawater desalination for sea and land-based applications for nearly 25 years.

Bergman fills new position
WorldWater Corp. has promoted Brenda Bergman into the new position of project manager of its Philippine operations. The company will utilize its solar pumps in the region. They can deliver more than 2,000 gallons of irrigation water per minute. Bergman graduated from Boston College and is working toward her master’s degree in water resource engineering from Loughborough University in England.

Water sector gets manager
Black & Veatch has named Steven Winchester, a senior vice president, as the new water sector manager of the Pacific Northwest region. He will be responsible for the company’s water-related consulting, engineering and construction operations in the northwestern United States. He will oversee offices in Concord, Calif.; Sacramento, Calif.; Seattle; and Portland, Ore. Winchester has worked primarily in the water/environmental sectors during his 13 years with the company.

Pittsfield hires director
Peter Olsta has joined Pittsfield Plastics Inc., of Pittsfield, Mass., and Precision Spools Inc., as director of business development, effective April 1. Olsta’s responsibilities will include developing new products for existing markets and identifying new applications for the company’s core products. He holds a bachelor’s degree in plastics engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree in business administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Pittsfield Plastics manufactures a wide range of standard and custom products for the water filtration, textile and medical industries, among others.

Benden named GIS manager
Weston & Sampson Engineers Inc., of Peabody, Mass., announced that Matt Benden joined the company as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) manager. Previously, Benden built GIS programs at two firms. Weston & Sampson provides public and private clients throughout New England with planning, engineering and construction management expertise in the areas of water, wastewater, transportation, solid waste, geotechnical, environmental, operation and maintenance, training, IT, construction services, and landscape architecture.

Ask the Expert

Sunday, May 19th, 2002

Per capita water needs

Question: We have been trying to find out the water requirements per capita for the United States and the rest of the world. We have scanned your journal, but could not find it. We need that information for a publication. Could you give us an estimate? Thank you.

Melvin Prueitt
Solar Energy Limited
Los Alamos, N.M.

Answer: We’re not sure about “water requirements,” but if you’re looking for use per capita and other freshwater data on a global scale, we recommend “The World’s Water: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources.” It’s published by Island Press and edited by Peter Gleick, who is co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute (see www.pacinst.org) and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the International Water Academy in Oslo, Norway. The last volume was 2000-2001. The book is a wonderful collection of data from various resources that offers a broad view of social, economic and political ramifications of water quality and availability around the world. Additionally, you can check the World Health Organization’s website for related information that might be more current: http://www.who.intwater_sanitation_ health/index.html. Also, the U.S. Geological Survey offers more specific data related to the United States: http://water.usgs. gov/watuse/

Water software 101

Question: Hello, I’m a student at Minnesota’s Southwest State University. For my marketing research class, my team was given a local project to research. The question we’ve been asked to answer is to find the demand for software specially designed for water softener or water conditioner dealers. This brings me to your publication… I was just wondering if you would have any information concerning current software that would be available especially for the dealers. Is there any such software at all? Any reference or help that you would be able to give me would be great. Thank you for your time.

Sharon Kuehl
Marshall, Minn.

Answer: WC&P has had a number of articles  on software specific to the POU/POE water treatment and bottled water industry as well as general route business software, mostly related to our ComputerWare column launched in September 1999. Generally, the companies involved in this market include Nevada Computer Systems, UNCO Data Systems, Commercial Business Systems, PC Data/Prism Visual Software, HydroTec Systems Company, Tyrol Data Systems, etc. Feel free to visit their websites. You can find additional information by doing a search for “computer” “software” and any of the following: “water,” “water industry,” “water treatment” or “drinking water.” The results may vary according to market segments from municipal to industrial, etc. To save time, you’ll need to be selective in what you choose to view.

Meanwhile, here’s a list of articles—beginning with the most recent—from WC&P on software/computer topics:

  • February 2002: “Avoiding the Lotus Lag: Implementing Accelerator Software,” Gordon Dorworth
  • November 2001: “Computer Ware: The Route Not Taken—or Routing Redux,” Fred Bussone
  • October 2001: “Routing Automation Technology: One Way to Keep Pace with a Growing Population,” Jennifer Persechino
  • August 2001: “ComputerWare: Dealers Needn’t Fear Additional Market Niches; They May have the Appropriate Software In-House to Manage IT,” Charles D. Kent
  • April 2001: “ComputerWare: Security Revisited—Ensuring a Safe Ride on the E-Commerce Highway,” Pete Simpson
  • March 2001: “Carbon Software: Programs for Design & Optimization of GAC Adsorption in Water Treatment,” Henry G. Nowicki, Ph.D.
  • January 2001: “ComputerWare: Handhelds for Your Route Deliveries—Is It Time to Make Your Move?” Fred Bussone
  • October 2000: “Carbon Software Programs: Sorbent Performance Evaluation ASTM Aqueous Phase Isotherm Program,” Henry G. Nowicki, Ph.D., and Wayne Schuliger, P.E.
  • July 2000: “ComputerWare: Back to the Basics—The Case for Industry Specific Software,” Fred Bussone and Dick McHose
  • May 2000: “Carbon: Software Programs for the Activated Carbon Industry—ASTM Particle Sizing Program,” Henry G. Nowicki, Ph.D., and Homer Yute
  • April 2000: “ComputerWare: Security Basics,” Pete Simpson
  • February 2000: “Bottled Water: Automated Order Processing—Software System and Business Cooperation Reduce Delivery Time, Increase Savings,” Wayne E. Seel
  • December 1999: “ComputerWare: Y2K—The Last Stretch,” Fred Bussone
  • September 1999: “ComputerWare: The Hard and Soft of Information Technology,” Peter Simpson


Global Spotlight

Sunday, May 19th, 2002

Pittsburgh-based Professional Analytical and Consulting Services Inc. (PACS) is providing an open house to the local community to coincide with National Drinking Water Week on May 6-10. It will display water and activated carbon testing services as well as explain sampling procedures. 💧

Patterson Pump Co., of Toccoa, Ga., merged with Atlanta-based Flo-Pak Inc. in mid-March. Packaged pumping stations, produced by Flo-Pak, will continue to be manufactured and assembled in Atlanta under the name of Flo-Pak, a business unit of Patterson Pump. 💧

Poultney, Vt.-based WEDECO-Ideal Horizons Inc. received the Conditional Acceptance Letter from the California Department of Health Services, which allows the use of the company’s TAK55 for the disinfection of filtered wastewater for water recycling. 💧

The Environmental Benchmarker and Strategist has released its annual issue dedicated to the international water and wastewater industry. The issue provides detailed competitive information, financial statistics, operational performance metrics and valuation data for all the major publicly traded water service companies. 💧

In January, Burrard Technologies Inc. changed its name to BLUE Industries Inc. The Geneva, Switzerland-based company specializes in water treatment in the fields of wastewater treatment, farming industry and potabilization. 💧

CPI International, of Santa Rosa, Calif., has received the USEPA’s approval for Colitag, the company’s test method for public drinking water under the Total Coliform Rule. 💧

In March, the USEPA released a document titled, “Centrally Managed Point-of-Use Compliance Strategy: Analysis of Implementation Issues.” It compliments the guidance of a POU/POE treatment strategy for arsenic compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. 💧

Sparkling Spring Water Group Limited announced record revenues for 2001 of $22.9 million, up 19.3 percent from $19.2 million in 2000. 💧

Horizon Engineers has moved its location to 16250 Mustang Drive, Springville, Calif. 93265. The phone number remains the same for the time being. 💧

British Columbia, Canada-based International Water-Guard Industries Inc. reported sales had increased by 129 percent in the first quarter of this year. 💧

Aqua Clara Bottling & Distribution, of Clearwater, Fla., completed its acquisition of BEVsystems International Ltd., of Miami, in March. 💧

Rhino Ecosystems Inc. announced a new dealership for the Columbus, Ohio, area. Rhino Ecosystems manufactures wastewater filtration devices to remove wet waste solids, fats, oils and greases emanating from commercial or residential kitchens. 💧

Watts Industries Inc., of North Andover, Mass., has agreed to form a joint venture with Yuhuan County Cheng Guan Metal Hose Factory, of Taizhou, China. With annual sales of $13 million, the factory is a manufacturer of a variety of plumbing products sold both into the Chinese domestic market and export markets. 💧

WEFTEC, of Alexandria, Va., launched a new website, www.weftec.org. It provides a streamlined method for users to register for conferences, make lodging arrangements, find particular exhibitors, or preview technical sessions, workshops, facility tours and special events. 💧

ZENON, of Ontario, Canada, reported its best ever quarter as its fourth quarter 2001 helped register year-end revenues of $125 million. This represents a 48 percent growth over 2000. 💧

Albuquerque, N.M.-based MIOX Corp. was awarded the President’s “E” Award for excellence in exporting in April. A manufacturer of water disinfection equipment, the company has over 500 U.S.-installed systems and over 300 systems installed in 20 other countries. 💧

Milwaukee-based Badger Meter Inc. signed a pact with Hydrometer GmbH, of Ansbach, Germany. The arrangement is expected to lead to specific contractual agreements for products and technologies for the North American submetering and water utility market. 💧

Donlar Biosyntrex Corp. reported revenues of approximately $880,000 for the first quarter ending March 31, 2002, up roughly 45 percent from revenue reported for the first quarter of last year. 💧

McDermott Co., center, is joined by Todd Horsfield, of Trojan Technologies, and Jill McDonald, of Hellenbrand Water Conditioners, as they display an array of Wisconsin state-approved water treatment devices, including a reverse osmosis system modified for POU treatment of arsenic and a UV disinfection unit for pathogen removal. The photo was taken at McDermott’s annual dealer meeting Feb. 12 in Oshkosh, Wis.

Anthrax issue causes havoc at VLPI; Feds storm offices amid kit concerns
Vital Living Products Inc. (VLPI), of Matthews, N.C., has promised to remove its anthrax test kits from the market, as part of a court agreement to settle false advertising charges by the Federal Trade Commission. VLPI president Donald Podrebarac signed the settlement. In the agreement, the company admits no wrongdoing. It’s not required to pay a fine, partly because no kits were sold. Last October, Podrebarac spoke at the New York’s Friars Club—an odd venue for his topic—and announced his struggling company would soon release a do-it-yourself anthrax-detection kit. At the time, anthrax was a subject on every American’s mind. Instantly, shares of the company’s stock skyrocketed. On Oct. 1, VLPI shares had been trading at a nickel apiece. Soon, the amount ballooned to $2 each, a 4,000 percent increase. This caused a mad rush among thousands of investors hoping to turn tragedy into absurd profits. Just as quickly, however, the dream of VLPI and its investors faded. It climaxed in late November when Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents arrived with search warrants at VLPI’s offices after questions began to emerge about the reliability of its anthrax kits. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also launched an investigation (Podrebarac resigned from the company April 10). And the Feds aren’t stopping at VLPI. In early December, the SEC filed charges against four people and a New York company for manipulating shares of Spectrum Brands by making allegedly fraudulent claims about the company’s purported anthrax-killing chemical product. The four people, one of whom allegedly has ties to organized crime, are also facing criminal charges.

NSF to alter some standards
The NSF Standards Department was busy preparing new editions of Standards 42, 44, 53, 55 and 58, which were expected to be adopted in March. Two of the more significant revisions are in Standards 42 and 53. The change in Standard 42 that will affect the most companies is the removal of classes from the chlorine reduction claim. The claim will now be “chlorine reduction” with a required average reduction of at least 50 percent. Manufacturers may claim higher percentage reductions on performance data sheets or elsewhere in product literature. In Standard 53, a radon reduction claim has been added for point-of-use, carbon-based systems. A candidate system must reduce an influent challenge activity of 1,000 pCi/L to 300 pCi/L. The protocol also evaluates the retention of radon decay products, gamma radiation exposure to the user, and the progeny activity at the end of the filter cartridge’s life. With Standard 55 for ultraviolet (UV) light treatment systems, a thorough revision has occurred. It has been formatted to match the ANSI version, and the materials and pressure testing sections were harmonized with the other drinking water treatment unit standards. Other significant changes include the replacement of Bacillus subtilus with MS-2 coliphage as the surrogate organism for the Class A performance claim. A Cryptosporidium and Giardia inactivation claim has also been added. A general cyst reduction claim is available for systems with a prefilter upstream of the UV treatment unit if the prefilter passes the Standard 53 cyst reduction test. Meanwhile, NSF and the WQA sponsored a meeting of bioterrorism experts at NSF’s headquarters in March. Also represented were the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Army, public utilities, academia and consultants to the water treatment industry.

Arsenic has ties to strokes
Long term exposure to arsenic, a groundwater contaminant in some areas, has been linked to heart attacks, strokes and diseased arteries. Researchers from the National Taiwan University in Taipei for the first time report a strong, dose dependent relationship between arsenic exposure and the development of atherosclerosis—a build-up of plaque—in the arteries leading to the brain. The findings point to arsenic, and perhaps to other pollutants, as risk factors for blood vessel disease throughout the body. The report appeared in late March in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.

Osmonics breaks new ground
Minnetonka, Minn.-based Osmonics Inc. introduces the E-Basics program, a pre-engineered component package designed for process water applications. The program is an extension of the company’s EZ-Kit Series and E-Series RO machines. Components that comprise the E-Basics program include Tonkaflo pumps, Desal membranes’ stainless steel housings and high-pressure piping, pre-filter housings and frames. In other company news, a new website has been introduced by Osmonics. It gives engineers and facility managers three tools to easily compute the savings gained by using a reverse osmosis (RO) system for water purification in their facilities. The website, www.rotools.com, features an RO sizing tool that uses water temperature and desired permeate flow data to recommend the right RO machine. After selecting the appropriate machine, the site then calculates estimated cost of the RO system as well as savings for specific boiler feed applications. Meanwhile, the company has received ANSI/NSF Standard 53 (health effects) certification for its Flotrex GF pleated filters.

STL on the move in Ohio, Delaware, California
Severn Trent Laboratories (STL), of Fort Washington, Pa., an operating unit of Severn Trent Services (STS), has opened a service center in Cincinnati. Michael Thurza will manage the center. He has over 10 years of environmental laboratory experience in the Cincinnati area including bench experience, field services, business development and project management. STL is now located in 44 cities. In other news, STS was awarded a contract with the city of Lewes, Del., to operate its wastewater treatment plant. The three-year contract for turnkey operation of the plant and 22 sewage lift stations is valued at $1 million. In addition, STS was awarded a contract to supply its Universal Aqua Technologies line of RO membrane products for California’s Alamitos Barrier Recycled Water Project Advanced Water Treatment Facility.

Culligan, Millipore see light
Culligan International and Pure Pulse Technologies, a subsidiary of Maxwell Technologies, entered into an agreement to collaboratively develop water purification systems that employ PurePulse’s technology to eliminate microbial contamination. The PureBright process, also used in bioprocessing and medical product sterilization, uses brief flashes of broad spectrum pulsed light 90,000 times more intense than sunlight at sea level to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and other microorganisms that can transmit disease. PurePulse also formed a strategic alliance with Millipore Corp. in April to combine the technology with its virus removal processes.

Kinetico, Pall sign deal
Kinetico Inc., of Newbury, Ohio, has entered into a cooperative agreement with Pall Corp., of East Hills, N.Y., to explore development of new drinking water treatment technologies. Pall is a manufacturer in the fields of filtration, separations and purification. Pall’s business is organized into two broad markets—life sciences and industrial. Fiscal 2001 sales were over $1.2 billion. It has operations in over 30 countries.

Motown offers up big hit
With water bills rising in Detroit, the city has decided to approach its citizens with a new alternative—bottled water. The bottled water would be initially marketed locally, then statewide, and potentially nationally and internationally, reported the Detroit Free Press. The $300 million Water Works II plant, which is expected to open next year, will provide the water. An outside company would bottle the product. Meanwhile, the new  rates—which would go into effect July 1 and be reflected in consumers’ August bills—needed city council approval. It was expected to pass. The proposal would average 13.5 percent more for Detroit residents, and 15.2 percent for suburban customers.

With bottled water, an advantage for consumers is that the water would have to meet state and federal purity standards, which aren’t required for other bottled water products. Ozonation will be used to lessen the need for excessive chlorination, making the water better for consumers and the environment. Ozonation is an electrical procedure that uses oxygen to generate a gas that’s released into untreated water, killing bacteria faster than chlorine. The city’s bottled water would contain fluoride, which has been shown to help build strong teeth and is lacking from most bottled waters. The city said it conducted tests comparing Detroit’s water with several bottled waters, including Evian and Aquafina, and has found the city’s water is just as good or better than store brands.

IBWA announces 4 speakers
The International Bottled Water Association announced in mid-March the keynote panel for the opening general session of the association’s annual convention and trade show in October. The keynote session will be open to all registered attendees and will include an audience Q&A with the presenters. Panel members include Michael Bellas, chairman and CEO of Beverage Marketing Corp., a leading supplier of information, consulting and financial services specializing in meeting the needs of the global beverage industry. Also named were William Dolan, editor of Bebidas magazine, the longest established Spanish-language beverage industry trade publication serving 22 countries in Latin America, Spain and Portugal; Richard Hall, founder and chairman of Zenith International Ltd., a business consultancy specializing in the food, drinks and packaging industries worldwide and publisher of trade magazines such as H2O Europe, BottledWater World and Soft Drink World; and Jonathan Hall, publisher of The Hall Water Report, a bi-weekly newsletter for leading segments of the drinking water industry. The session will occur on Oct. 10 from 11 a.m. to noon in Phoenix.

MYCELX names distributors
MYCELX Technologies has announced San Antonio-based Steve Mechler & Associates and Engineering Sales Associates, of Charlotte, N.C., as full-line distributors of MYCELX products. The company’s filters bond to hydrocarbons to make them hydrophobic and viscoelastic, removing them from the water stream entirely. In addition, the filters are said to remove pollutants—PCBs, hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents and pesticides—from water to below detectable limits in a single pass.

USFilter signs contracts
Indianapolis has selected USFilter Operating Services Inc. to manage the city’s waterworks system under a 20-year public-private partnership valued at approximately $1.5 billion. The move by the nation’s 12th largest city marks the largest public-private partnership for water services in the United States. With a service area that encompasses a 25-mile radius around Indianapolis, the waterworks system serves about 1.1 million people and employs more than 460 people. The system includes four surface water treatment facilities with daily water production averaging 143 million gallons per day. In related news, state utility regulators in late March unanimously approved Indianapolis’ proposed $515 million purchase of the Indianapolis Water Co.

USFilter was also busy signing two more contracts. The company will provide the largest nanofiltration plant in the world for the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District in Fountain Valley, Calif.
The $25-million Memcor continuous microfiltration-submerged system will be a crucial part of an advanced water reclamation project. The second contract will provide AES Granite Ridge’s 720-megawatt natural gas-fired power station in Londonberry, N.H., with cooling tower, boiler feedwater and demineralization systems. The ACTIFLOC system, a clarification and filtration water treatment system, will be used to pre-treat makeup water for the power station’s plume-abated cooling tower.

In other news, USFilter Distribution Group and SpeedRead Technologies, of Indianapolis, have reached an agreement whereby USFilter will distribute SpeedRead’s fixed network Automatic Reading System to water utilities and municipalities throughout Indiana and western Ohio. Meanwhile, USFilter’s John Meunier Products received ISO 9001:2000 certification on Dec. 10, 2001, more than two years before the final deadline for organizations to meet the new standard.

Parkson makes purchase
In March, Parkson Corp., of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., purchased Waterlink Separations Inc., of Lake Bluff, Ill and its Hycor product line. Parkson’s corporate marketing department relocated to the Lake Bluff offices and will handle all marketing activities for Florida and Illinois. Parkson Corp. provides technology for water and wastewater treatment to the municipal and industrial markets.

Perrier changes name, focus
The Perrier Group of America Inc. changed its name to Nestle Waters North America Inc. in April. The Perrier Group has been part of Nestle SA since 1992, and reported directly to Perrier Vittel SA, the water division based in Paris, France. This division has also changed its name to Nestle Waters, which now accounts for nine percent of Nestle’s revenues. Nestle Waters markets 72 bottled water brands in 160 countries around the world. Global revenues from bottled water last year totaled $4.5 billion. The new name also symbolizes the shift of the bottled water industry from a focus on imported sparkling water to domestic, non-carbonated brands. The Perrier Group of America grew 23.5 percent last year while posting revenues of $2.1 billion.

Hydromatix bought by BOC
BOC Edwards, a leading supplier of chemical and exhaust gas management systems for the industrial and microelectronics industries, acquired in March Hydromatix Inc., a manufacturer of high-efficiency, process-critical liquid purification systems. Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based Hydromatix technology is being integrated into BOC Edwards’ Chemical Management business to form a liquid abatement group. Hydromatix helps companies in the surface finishing industry to recycle rinse waters with a minimum amount of waste, allowing them to attain zero-discharge status. Located in Wilmington, Mass., BOC  employs nearly 43,000 people, operates in over 50 countries, services 2 million customers and had sales of $6.2 billion in 2001.


Report paints grim picture of water; UN and WHO team up on initiative
Lack of sanitation will kill 20 million of the world’s poorest children over the next decade unless governments take urgent action, according to a development report. The Human Waste report by British development agencies Tearfund and WaterAid was published to coincide with the United Nations World Water Day. The report said 2.4 billion people—or 40 percent of the world’s population—were without adequate sanitation. Nearly 6,000 children die each day from conditions like diarrhea caused by a lack of clean water and adequate toilet facilities.

The United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) all paid special tributes to World Water Day with separate announcements March 22.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan noted fierce competition for, and continued mismanagement of, water resources in a world whose population is booming and weather patterns shifting made multinational cooperation toward sustainable development key to averting future world conflicts and ensuring global security. As such, he touted a program of 23 UN agencies to develop a World Water Development Report, the first edition of which is to be released at the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan, in March 2003. He also pointed to the importance of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Aug. 26-Sept. 4. For more information, see www. waterday2002.iaea.org, www.wsp.org/spanish/index.html or www.johannesburgsummit.org

Meanwhile, the WHO cited statistics showing that waterborne diseases kill at least 3.4 million people every year, making them collectively more lethal than AIDS, urging greater international effort to improve water, hygiene and sanitation conditions of the world’s poor.

And, three months after winning approval for an almost $500 million budget increase because of the anthrax scare following terrorist attacks Sept. 11 and fear of bioterrorism, the CDC launched an international plan to fight global epidemics: “Protecting the Nation’s Health in an Era of Globalization: CDC’s Global Infectious Disease Strategy.” For details, see www.cdc.gov/globalidplan/

Calgon keys on Crypto, GAC
Calgon Carbon Corp., of Pittsburgh, has been granted a Canadian patent for controlling Cryptosporidium in drinking water using ultraviolet light. The company has been previously granted patents for controlling Crypto in the United States and the Netherlands. It has also applied for patents in Asia, Australia, Europe and South America. In other news, the company is holding discussions with Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. to form an alliance for sales and reactivation of granular activated carbon (GAC) in Japan. Mitsubishi is the largest producer of GAC in Japan. Calgon Carbon is the world’s largest manufacturer of GAC and operates a reactivation facility in Fukui Prefecture, Japan.  

Pentair endorsed for PED
Pentair Water India, manufacturer of CodeLine brand membrane housings, has been recommended for the PED conformity certificate by an independent third-party inspector, Hartford Steam Boiler International GmbH. The PED certification is a European Community directive applied to products to establish a regulatory framework for pressure-related risks.

Azurix returns concession
Azurix, a unit of bankrupt energy trader Enron, handed back a water and sewage concession in Argentina’s most populous province in late February. Azurix’s concession provided services to 2.5 million people and employed 1,300 workers. Meanwhile, Argentina is in the throes of a four-year recession that has pushed unemployment beyond 20 percent and left 45 percent of the population in poverty. The move comes after Buenos Aires had its credit rating slashed after admitting it was having trouble meeting obligations on its bonds. Problems became worse after the government unpegged the value of the peso from the dollar, the fallout of which created a financial crisis that spawned riots and pressured resignations of successive presidents. Azurix won the concession in 1999 with a $438 million bid to provide drinking water and sewers to 72 cities in Buenos Aires for 90 years.

Cholera hits Malawi hard; Congo tries to corral disease
A cholera outbreak has killed more than 500 people and sickened 18,000 in Malawi. Authorities blame a food crisis and flooding for the dramatic increase. Last year, 2,000 cases were recorded. The food shortage has forced many to resort to eating roots and leaves to stay alive, making them more susceptible to the highly contagious waterborne disease. The bacteria cause diarrhea and kill by dehydrating the victim. It’s estimated that nearly 80 percent of Malawian farming families ran out of food at the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, a deadly cholera outbreak, which has killed hundreds of people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, is finally being brought under control, health officials said in March. The central African country has been involved in a three-year war. There had been 5,021 cases and 407 deaths from the illness in southeastern Katanga since November. Cholera is spread through contaminated food and water. More than 2 million people have died over the past three years in Congo, mostly from starvation and diseases such as malaria, AIDS and cholera. Another 2 million have been displaced by fighting, mostly in the east.

ADI wins Chinese contract
Canadian-based ADI Systems Inc. has been contracted by a recycle paper mill—Hua Run Paper Co. Ltd., of China—to furnish process designs and major equipment for a wastewater treatment system. Located in Shandong Province, the mill is expanding production and the existing wastewater treatment system is unable to meet discharge limits. ADI already has a presence in China with a wastewater treatment plant operating at a similar mill near Shanghai. Through its partner in China, ADI was able to negotiate a contract and expects installation this spring.


Sunday, May 19th, 2002

A material question

Dear Editor:
    I am a postgraduate student from the University Science Malaysia. I read the article, “Spiral-Wound Elements for Potable Water Treatment,” by David Paulson & Gary Davis, in WC&P’s August 2001 issue. Currently, I am doing some research regarding spiral wound membranes and wish to get some mesh spacer for both my feed and permeate channel (net-type and corrugated type). Could you kindly tell me where I can get this material? Your help is very much appreciated. Thank you.

Boon Seng Ooi

Author response: One of the chief suppliers of the net material is the Nalle Corp located in Texas, USA. If you want a small piece of the standard size (either 0.028 or 0.034 inches thickness), we can send it to you in exchange for a copy of whatever report you write on your studies. The corrugated spacer is proprietary to Osmonics, and is only available from us. A small size piece can also be supplied for research purposes. Just let us know how big the pieces need to be.

David Paulson,
Technical Services Director
Osmonics, Minnetonka, Minn.

Correction: In the WC&P March 2002 issue (World Spotlight, “Supplying Croatia with Drinking Water …,” p. 72), we incorrectly credited the two photos. The photographer is Samantha Zubak.

WQA New Orleans Trade Show—All the Ingredients for Success Save One

Sunday, May 19th, 2002

By David H. Martin

March’s Water Quality Association (WQA) Convention & Exhibition in New Orleans brought together, under one roof, all the ingredients for water treatment dealers to survive and thrive. The educational programs dealt with—often in depth—many of the key issues facing the water improvement industry from legislation to certification to emerging technologies to new niche markets to “best business practices.” The show floor was filled with booths of more than 200 exhibitors representing residential, commercial and industrial product sectors. Products included complete, ready-to-sell systems, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components, software, financing as well as a number of dealer “shared identity” programs with marketing support as well as branded products.

The only thing that seemed to be in short supply was a satisfying number of small independent dealers, free to buy from multiple vendors exhibiting at the show. Total attendance—like most trade shows over the last year—was down significantly from last year’s show in Orlando. (The early estimate was 600 visitors fewer than Orlando’s 3,700 the year before.) This was cause for concern for many independent component marketers and system OEMs who depend on the small independent dealer.

The WQA is exploring new avenues to attract larger numbers of independent dealers to future shows. These vary from holding future conventions in major population centers in mid-America only; holding several regional shows instead of one “national” show in alternate years; and sponsoring “WQA Pavilions” at broader-based trade shows (i.e., The International Housewares Show, Kitchen/Bath Industries Show and commercial/industrial events). But a contract has already been signed to bring the WQA Show to Las Vegas in 2003 and Baltimore in 2004. Both those venues generally draw well, though, it was stressed by WQA executive director Peter Censky.

Since attendance at the show was a sore spot among OEMs and other exhibitors, WC&P’s editors asked me to cover this show in the same manner I cover other shows for the magazine. The idea is to let those who didn’t attend gain an idea of what they missed—and why they should attend next year. The breadth of the WQA trade show is so wide it’s somewhat daunting to include in one column all that was displayed in New Orleans, but I tried…

New dealer identity programs
Osmonics (now reorganized into three operating units—Household Group headed by former EcoWater president Dick Elliott, Filtration & Separations Group by Roger Miller, and Process Water Group by Curt Witenauer) is coming off a big year with several new products, according to president Ed Fierko, interviewed at the company’s show booth. Announced last year at WQA Orlando, Osmonics launched its AvantaPure dealer identity program with a separate booth. It’s not a franchise program but possesses many of the same promotional elements, based on purchase of AvantaPure brand products from exclusive distributors—which assemble the units from Osmonics-manufactured water softener valves and RO membranes—and sold to consumers through independent dealers.

Alamo, San Antonio, Texas, showed its new ProTreat brand product line, backed with brand image support literature for independent dealers. Alamo also has its own brand name on the Aseptrol antimicrobial water softener disinfection tablets, a new product from Engelhard for which it’s the exclusive distributor. Aquativa, a division of Covenant Air and Water, Bradley, Ill., was promoting its own dealer identity program, offering marketing support along with its line of water softeners and RO systems under the same brand.

Canada’s Water Depot is a Barrie, Ontario, assembler of residential water softeners and drinking water systems, currently supplying five Ontario dealers with products and “Water Depot” store identity elements. President Al Dennis revealed plans to pilot a Water Depot Store in Michigan later this year. Plans to offer the program to additional U.S. dealers are undetermined, said Dennis.

LeverEdge, Tampa, Fla., showed its lines of SteelTec (stainless steel) and Avian water softeners. The company also markets a line of air conditioners and offers water improvement dealers proprietary financing packages from its Independent Savings Plan Co. subsidiary.

[A more broad listing of exhibitors and products and/or services they had on display in New Orleans can be found in the sidebar to this article (see Showing at a Convention Near You).]

Message in a bottle
Bottled water equipment seen at WQA 2002 was fairly extensive, considering the proposed new Bottled Water Section for the association. It was indicated that fully half the dealers present either already offered customers bottled water or were planning to do so. The dealers felt more work needed to be done, though, before the market segment got its own WQA section, according to Jack Lorenzen, Quality Water Services, Lincoln, Neb.

Exhibitors included Sunroc Corp., showing a complete line of floor and countertop hot/cold units, including three models under its CORDLEY/Temprite brand; Koolworks Inc., San Raphael, Calif., with its thermoelectric water cooling devices for cabinet bottled water coolers and POU; Coster Engineering, Mankato, Minn., industrial RO bottling equipment; Culligan, water coolers and bottling equipment; Market Design & Development Inc., Dalton, Ga., displaying its UV Cooling Technology’s antibacterial cooler; Oasis Corp., Columbus, Ohio, showing cabinet style bottled water coolers; Severn Trent Services Inc. (Universal Aqua Technologies), Torrance, Calif., showing RO-based bottling equipment; SHURflo, Santa Ana, Calif., bottled water dispensing equipment; STC Plastics, Chino, Calif., displaying its polycarbonate water bottles and bottled water dispensers, and Water Resources International, with its membrane-based bottling equipment.

Norland International Inc., Lincoln, Neb., showed distillation-based bottled water plants, PET bottle blow molding system plus two new products. Its new BF 150/5 gallon bottle filler can be ordered with optional BF 150 small bottle adaptor kit that allows bottlers to tap the growing “private label” bottled water market. Norland can supply short print runs of labels, bottles, caps and boxes.

POU coolers
Cabinet-style POU systems seen in New Orleans included complete lines of carbon filtration and RO systems by Oasis and Sunroc, which also sells systems under its CORDLEY/Temprite brand. The systems feature hot/cold faucets and are available in both countertop and floor models. Industrial Hot & Cold Ltds., Santiago, Chile, showed hot/cold POU coolers and cabinet RO systems. Liquid-Air Inc., Reno, Nev., showed its cabinet style combination water generator/electrostatic air filtration system with hot/cold water faucets. Mollendo Equipment Co., Long Island City, N.Y., showing Puretech units, combining carbon block and membrane technologies. PHSI Pure Water Technology Division, Sandpoint, Idaho, showed its line of POU coolers, including an advanced double-stage ozone unit.

innowave inc. featured its model 270 cabinet water purification system that combines ion exchange, distillation and carbon filtration technologies for “broad spectrum” protection from contaminants. It also showed UV/carbon cabinet systems and its model 360 distiller, suitable for dental offices with re-contamination issues.

The 2002 WQA Show in New Orleans experienced many of the same problems that currently affect other trade shows outside the industry, including declining attendance by small independent dealers. As more independent dealers are acquired by larger dealers, especially those affiliated with “shared identity” marketing programs, the problem is likely to worsen as the independent dealer universe continues to decline. Some WQA programs may seem redundant in the expanding world of the “programmed” dealer, whether the program is a franchise or a less formal group identity, offering training and marketing resources alongside those offered by the WQA.

Still, if you are an independent dealer or assembler and want to remain that way, you missed a wonderful opportunity to improve your chances of survival if you weren’t in New Orleans, especially as a WQA member. Just ask the exhibitors named in this roundup story!

Showing at a Convention Near You—WQA 2002

Soft on water
Residential water softeners shown in New Orleans included: Alamo Water Refiners, San Antonio; Addie Water Systems, Janesville, Wis.; AquaCare Systems, Vista, Calif.; Charger Water Treatment, Elgin, Ill.; Culligan International, Northbrook, Ill.; EcoWater Systems, St. Paul, Minn.; Enting Water Conditioning, Dayton, Ohio; Great Lakes International (GLI), Racine, Wis.; Hague Quality Water International, Groveport, Ohio; Hellenbrand Water Conditioners, Waunakee, Wis.; Ionics Inc., Canonsburg, Pa.; Kinetico Inc., Newbury, Ohio; Bauer Soft Water Co., Granger, Ind.; Mid America Water Treatment, Hanover Park, Ill.; Nelsen Corporation, Norton, Ohio; Osmonics, Minnetonka, Min.; Pegasus Water Systems, Cape Coral, Fla.; Pentair, Chardon, Ohio; RainSoft, Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Rayne Corp., Ventura, Calif.; Springsoft International, Bloomingdale, Ill.; Water Resources International, Phoenix, and Water-Right, Appleton, Wis.

Crowing about RO
Residential reverse osmosis (RO) systems exhibited at WQA 2002 included many with optional UV lamps for bacteria and virus protection. Among exhibitors: Addie; AquaCare; Aquaflex International, Corona, Calif.; AvantaPure; Charger; Clack Corp., Windsor, Wis.; Culligan; CUNO/Water Factory Systems, Meriden, Conn.; EcoWater; Enting; Good Water Warehouse, Fullerton, Calif.; GLI; Hague; Hydrotech Inc., Valencia, Calif.; Ionics; Kinetico; Mid America; Nelson; Nimbus Water Systems, San Marcos, Calif.; Pegasus; Rainsoft; Rayne; So~Safe Products, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; Springsoft; TGI Pure Water System, Brea, Calif.; Water Resources International; Waterworld USA, Stafford, Texas, and Premier/Watts Industries, Phoenix.

Membranes and RO components were represented by Applied Membranes Inc., Vista, Calif., showing RO membranes and components; Dow/FilmTec Corp., Midland, Mich., with its FilmTec RO membranes and Dowex ion exchange resins; Flowmatic Systems Inc., Dunnellon, Fla., with its complete line of RO components; Hydranautics, Oceanside, Calif.; Hydrocomponents & Technologies Inc., Vista, Calif., with its stainless steel and fiberglass pressure vessels and membrane components; Osmonics; Osmotik, Buena Park, Calif., showing advanced membranes for home and industry; Precision Installation Products Inc., Foothill Ranch, Calif., a master distributor for RO component parts; R.O. UltraTec USA Inc., Fallbrook, Calif., showing spiral-wound membrane components and RO housings.

Undercounter carbon filters
Carbon-based undercounter POU filtration systems seen in New Orleans included those from Charger; Clack; Culligan; CUNO; Doulton Water Filters, Onsted, Mich. (carbon/ceramic); EcoWater; Filtration Plus, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; GLI; H2O International, Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Hydro Systems International, Plantsville, Conn.; Crane/Kavey Water Equipment Corp., Palmetto, Fla.; Keystone Filter, Hatfield, Pa.; Kinetico; Mid America; Nelson; PentaPure Inc., Eagan, Minn.; Puretech Company, Ltd., Seoul, Korea; Shelco Filters, Newington, Conn.; Sta-Rite Water Treatment Group, Delevan, Wis.; Sun Water Systems, Ft. Worth, Texas; Vortech Latinoamerica, Miami; Waterlink Pure Water Division, West Palm Beach, Fla. Also, CoolWorks Inc., San Rafael, Calif., showed its in-line water chiller that delivers chilled treated water from the tap.

A radiant alternative
Ultraviolet exhibitors at WQA 2002 included Aquaflex International, showing its line of stainless steel chamber Germicidalight UV lights ranging from 2-100 gpm. Others included Atlantic Ultraviolet Corp., Hauppauge, N.Y., showing its complete line of UV purifiers, lamps, quartz sleeves and electronic ballasts; innowave inc., Omaha, Neb., showing its line of UV cabinet-style POU systems; Instapura, Cuernavaca, Mexico; Nero Systems, King of Prussia, Pa.;   R-Can Environmental, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, showing its Sterilight UV sterilizers; So~Safe Products; TGI Pure; Trojan Technologies, London, Ontario, Canada, showing its line of TrojanUVMax residential and commercial sterilizers; WEDECO-Ideal Horizons, Poultney, Vt., showing UV for domestic, commercial and industrial applications, and Wyckomar Inc., Guelph, Ontario.

Zoning in on ozone
Ozone equipment exhibitors included ClearWater Tech, San Luis Obisbo, Calif.; Dell Industries, San Luis Osbispo, Calif., a designer and manufacturer of a complete line of ozone water treatment, including mobile units and portable systems for water and air treatment; Good Water Warehouse Inc.; Osmonics Inc.; Ozotech, Inc., Yreka, Calif., showing ozone generators, POU/POE ozone systems; Pacific Ozone Technology, Inc., Brentwood, Calif., showing ozone generators for multiple markets; R-Can Environmental Inc.; Sunroc Corp., Dover, Del., showing its TechXpress Sanitizer for bottles; WEDECO-Ideal Horizons, Inc., and Wyckomar Inc.

Filters & cartridges
POU/POE filters and housings seen in New Orleans included Aqua SRL, Italy, showing plastic housings, cartridges and self-cleaning filters; Clack Corp., showing filter cartridges with many specialized media; Chester Paul Company, Glendale, Calif., showing filter components including John Guest, Aquatec, Amtrol, Omnipure and Fiberdyne; Doulton Water Filters, Onsted, Mich., showing ceramic filter elements; FilterCor, Inc., Sun Valley, Calif., showing string wound, pleated and carbon filters; Filtration Plus USA, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., showing coconut carbon block air and water filtration products; Hydro Systems International, Plantsville, Conn., showing a wide variety of housings, cartridges and filters including GAC, carbon block and KDF; Filtteck Co. Ltd., Taiwan, showing Poly-Ray pleated filter cartridges with microfiber media for pre-filtration of membranes and A-B pure polypropylene cartridge filter; Housingsytems, Minneapolis, showing disposable filter/media housings; KX Industries, Orange, Conn., showing its line of MATRIKX extruded carbon block filters and PLEKX spiral wound filters; Keystone Filter Division, showing standard housings plus specialty units including giant reinforced nylon and high-performance cellulose filter and microfiberglass cartridges; Omnipure, Caldwell, Idaho, showing its CL-Series GAC inline filters as well as carbon block and sediment filters; PentaPure Inc., West St. Paul, Minn., showing commercial and residential filters using Pentalodide resin disinfection technology; Pi-Tech America Inc., Lincolnwood, Ill., showing Pi-Water multi-media filtration said to energize water; Rusco Inc., Brooksville, Fla., showing spin-down sediment filters; Shelco Filters, West Hartford, Conn., showing a complete line of industrial filters; Specialty Sales Inc., Lyons, Ill., showing hose, tubing and fittings; USFilter’s Plymouth Products Division, showing a new ¾-inch port filter housing design for greater strength and versatility; Water Inc., Carson, Calif., showing Everpure filtration products; Waterworld USA, showing filters and cartridges in many configurations, and Waterpia Co. Ltd., Republic of Korea.

Media, resin, salt & chemicals
Filtration and ion exchange media and chemicals were represented by ADI International Inc., Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, showing filtration media for arsenic reduction; Alcan Chemicals, Naperville, Ill., showing activated alumina for arsenic removal; Antunes Filtration Technologies, Carol Stream, Ill., showing multi-bore capillary membrane technology; Apyron Technologies Inc., Atlanta, showing media for arsenic reduction; Barneby Sutcliffe Corp., Columbus, Ohio, showing coconut shell carbon media; Carbon Activated Corp., Gardena, Calif., showing coconut-shell and coal-based carbon filter media; Carbon Resources, Oceanside, Calif., showing carbon media and carbon impregnated paper; Clack Corp., showing an industry-leading selection of media; Futamura Chemical Industries Co. Ltd., Japan, showing activated carbon filtration media, including carbon fiber sheets; Hangzhou Zhengguang Resin Co., China; Inversand Company, Clayton, N.J., showing manganese greensand filter media; KDF Fluid Treatment Inc., Three Rivers, Mich., showing KDF process media for chlorine, metals and bacteria reduction; K&M Plastics/Composites, Elk Grove Village, Ill., storage tanks; Mid America, Hanover Park, Ill.; Mineral-Right Inc., Appleton, Wis., showing silica gel zeolite for problem water; Morton Salt, Chicago; Nu-Calgon, St. Louis, showing food-grade phosphates; North American Salt, Overland Park, Kan., showing salt and K-Life potassium chloride regenerants; PentaPure Inc., showing PentaPure idionated resin; Purolite Co., Bala Cynwyd, Penn., showing its line of ion exchange resins; ResinTech, Inc., Cherry Hill, N.J., showing its lines of highly selective ion exchange resins and carbon media; Rohm and Haas Co., Philadelphia, showing ion exchange resins; Spectrum Labs, St. Paul, Minn., showing its expanded line of water treatment chemicals; Thermax Ltd., Mumbai, India, ion exchange resins, and United Salt Corp., Houston.

Controls, faucets, accessories
Valves, faucets and other components were represented by Air Gap International, Irvine, Calif., showing code-approved air gap units; DMT Co. Ltd., Republic of China, showing push-in tube fittings; Eco-Tech, Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich., showing drain connections and air gaps; Eldon James Corp., Loveland, Colo., showing a wide selection of water fittings; Erie Water Treatment Controls, Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Evolutionary Concepts Inc., San Dimas, Calif., showing solenoid valves; G.A. Murdock, Madison, S.D.; G.C. Valves, Simi Valley, Calif., showing solinoid valves and manifolds; John Guest USA Inc., Pine Brook, N.J., showing plastic and brass push-in fittings, polypropylene shut-off valves and linear low-density polyethylene tubing; KIP Inc., Farmington, Conn., showing solenoid valves, lever controls, flow switches, check valves and manifolds; Opella Inc., Marietta, Ga., showing its ¼ turn ceramic cartridge faucets, including a new air-gap faucet; QMP Inc., Sun Valley, Calif., showing lead-free faucets, valves, housings; R&D Specialties, Midland, Texas, showing electronic water treatment controls; Sun Pacific Industries, City of Industry, Calif., showing water store supplies; Tomlinson Industries, Cleveland, showing Pro-Flo No-Drip POU faucets and fittings; Touch-Flo Manufacturing Co., Burbank, Calif., showing its broad line of ceramic disc valve POU faucets with designer finishes; Watts Regulator/Taras Valve Division, North Andover, Mass., showing bronzeand plastic bypass valves and accessories.

Getting tanked
Pressure vessel exhibitors seen in New Orleans included A&M Composites Corp., Big Spring, Texas, showing its line of fiberglass RO pressure vessels; Amtrol Inc., West Warwick, R.I., showing its line of recharged diaphragm tanks; K&M Plastics/Composites; Pentair/Structural, Chardon, Ohio, showing its broad line of composite pressure vessels for water storage, and Sta-Rite/Park International, Long Beach, Calif.

All pumped up
Pumps were represented by Aqua SRL; Aquatec Water Systems; Blue White Industries; CAT Pumps, Minneapolis, showing new reciprocating pumps up to 660 gpm; Dynaflow Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, showing its diaphragm pumps; Fluid-O-Tech International, Inc., Plantsville, Conn., showing its rotary vane pumps and oscillating pumps; General Pump, Mendota Heights, Minn., showing high pressure water pumps; Giant Industries, showing high pressure pumps and accessories; Goulds Pumps, Seneca Falls, N.Y.; Milton Roy, Conroe, Texas, showing metering pumps and controllers; Nelsen Corporation; Pentair/F.E. Myers/Well-Mate; Progressive Pumps Corp., Houston, showing metering pumps; ProMinent Fluid Controls Inc., Pittsburgh, showing chemical metering pumps, sensors and controllers; Pulsafeeder, Punta Gorda, Fla., showing chemical metering pumps and controls; STC Plastics; Stenner & Co. Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., showing chemical metering pumps; Sta-Rite, Delavan, Wis.; Water Resource Technology Inc., Freedom, Wis., showing groundwater pump and treatment for “free phasewell contaminants, and Weber Industries Inc., St. Louis, showing water pumps and booster pumps.

Iron, sulfur & sanitizers
    Sanitizers and iron and sulfur removal products included Action Manufacturing & Supply Inc., Cape Coral, Fla., showing well water aeration systems; Addie Water Systems, showing its Iron Ox iron removal systems that combines filtration with compressed air and manganese dioxide; Aquatechnics Manufacturing Inc., St. Augustine, Fla., showing its Odor Oxidizer aeration systems for chemical-free H2S removal; Better Water Industries, Tyler, Minn., showing its Sentry I chlorinator and BWI well sanitation packs; Hellenbrand Water Conditioners Inc., showing its commercial water softeners and iron filters; LWC Ltd., Maumee, Ohio, showing its patented forced air system for sulfur and iron; Pro Products/Iron Out Inc., Ft. Wayne, Ind., showing water treatment chemicals under the Pro-Line brand.

Among commercial and industrial market products represented were Axonn LLC, New Orleans, showing wireless sensors for remote monitoring of water pressure, pH, tank level and turbidity; Bauer Water Systems, showing its industrial logic controller for monitoring softening and iron removal efficiency for industrial and commercial high-volume water users; Claude Laval Corp., Fresno, Calif., showing its Lakos sand separators and filtration systems; Crane Environmental, Venice, Fla., showing C/I RO systems; Dolphin Capital Corp., Moberly, Miss., showing its applied disinfection technology for industry and water treatment plants; Dosatron International Inc., Clearwater, Fla., showing water-driven dispensers of water treatment chemicals; Econozone Inc., Quebec, Canada, showing Airblo brand industrial RO, ultrafiltration and nanofiltration for ultrapure water; H2O Innovation, Quebec, Canada, showing centrifugal membrane filtration for ultrapure water; Haliant Technologies, Sarasota, Fla., showing its double-pass industrial RO systems and new Ultra-EDI-7 electro-deionization (EDI) system for the production of deionized ultrapure water; Harmsco Filtration Products, North Palm Beach, Fla., showing its lines of C/I filters with stainless steel housings; Kavey Water Equipment Corp., and Kemtune Inc., Ft. Wayne, Ind., showing non-chemical equipment for lime scale and corrosion control.; Osmonics and Pentair.

Instrumentation, labs & testers
Water testing and instruments companies in New Orleans included Danaher/Hach Co., Loveland, Colo.; Fuller Engineering Inc., Anaheim, Calif., showing its water quality test kits for sales demonstrations; GLI Inc., Milwaukee; Good Water Warehouse, showing dealer testing equipment; Hanna Instruments, Temecula, Calif., showing analytical and testing equipment, including its new HI 98321 and 98322 portable RO meters with LCD display; Heemang Electronic Inc., Seoul, South Korea, showing its TDS meters and precipitators; Industrial Test Systems Inc., Rock Hill, S.C., showing its test strips; LaMotte Co., Chestertown, Md., showing water quality test kits and demonstration tools; National Testing Laboratories, Cleveland, showing dealer customer generation program; NSF International, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Spectrum Labs Inc., St. Paul, Minn., showing its expanded offering of demonstration/test kits and laboratory analytical services; Sprite Industries Inc., Corona, Calif., showing its conductivity meters and sales aids; Oakton Instruments, Vernon Hills, Ill., showing its line of electronic water testers, and Underwriters Laboratories Inc., Northbrook, Ill.

Dealer financing and leasing, computer software, and promotional programs at WQA 2002 included Advantage Route Systems, Turlock, Calif., showing its computerized dealer route software system; American Business Systems, Northbrook, Ill., showing its water dealer management software system; Aqua Finance Inc., Wausau, Wis.; Carmel Financial Corp., Carmel, Ind., showing its dealer finance programs; Chesapeake Funding Inc., Columbia, Md., showing its dealer finance programs; Commercial Business Systems Inc., Marion, Ind., showing dealer business management software; Dataman Group, Boca Raton, Fla., showing its telemarketing and mailing lists for dealers; Independent Savings Plan Company, Tampa, Fla., showing its primary and secondary dealer finance programs; Liquid Soap Products Inc., Grain Valley, Miss., showing its lead generation program built around a line of household cleaning and personal care products; Nevada Computer Center Corp., W. Des Moines, Iowa, showing its WaterFlex management system using handheld computers to assist with dealer calls; Pure & Gentle Soap Products Inc., Cibolo, Texas, showing its lead-generation program based on soaps and household cleaners, and UNCO Data Systems Inc., Minneapolis, showing account receivable/routing software.

Shower filters and other specialty products included AquaBrew Inc., Santa Ana, Calif., showing thermal coffee brewing equipment for RO systems; H2O International, with KDF shower filters; Canpro Water Treatment Inc., Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, displaying its self-cleaning KDF shower filter; Oxion Water Technologies, San Antonio, Texas, with its multiple technology approach for large swimming pools and well water treatment that involves combined titanium and brass flow cells with a flocking agent to oxidize, sanitize and condition water without chemicals, and Sprite Industries Inc., showing its expanded line of patented KFD shower filters.

About the author
David H. Martin is president of Lenzi Martin Marketing, of Oak Park, Ill., a firm specializing in water improvement and environmental marketing that integrates old and new media. He can be reached at (708) 848-8404, e-mail: newage@attbi.com or website: www.lenzimartin.com

A Dealer’s Perspective: Awarding Fun in the Workplace

Sunday, May 19th, 2002

By Christine P. Fletcher

Just because you’re from New Hampshire—as I am—doesn’t mean you have to be hard as granite, even though our dealership is located in the Granite State.

Without a doubt, many people nationwide at water treatment dealerships could leave their company and make more money in another line of work. But even in the exciting, heady days of 2000 when the labor market in New Hampshire was hot, we only lost one employee over money. In an industry where it may take a year to create an effective technician and perhaps two to make a technically competent water specialist, longevity of employees has great value. There are a lot of reasons that promote excellent employee loyalty and longevity. One of those is trying to find the fun in jobs.

The work of water treatment is hard. Direct sales are invigorating, but challenging and sometimes very frustrating. Installing water treatment equipment is heavy, hard and—in New Hampshire—sometimes cold and wet work. Servicing water treatment systems involves lugging and loading heavy bags of calcite or carbon, and can be frustrating when the answer to a malfunctioning system isn’t immediately apparent due to water chemistry rather than mechanical problems. The work grabs you though, especially if you work with people who are high energy and high quality, and who know how to laugh.

Laughter in the rain
High-energy people need to blow off steam. It can be beneficial to allow and perhaps encourage a culture that includes good, hard laughter and rapport-building among employees. These things cannot be legislated or otherwise mandated, but the managers of the company can set the stage and make the environment home for fun.
A few years ago, to avoid falling into the trap of just chasing the numbers, our company instituted some special recognition programs. Each month, a quick recognition meeting is held, and the banter among employees is worth as much as the awards themselves. A few of the awards we give out are described here.

Cowabunga, dude
For the water specialists, there are four awards. The Grand Monadnock, named for a mountain in New Hampshire, is awarded to a specialist who made their sales budget for the month. The award involves a plaque and a gift certificate to a local restaurant. The Boston Marathon is awarded to any specialist whose “average system value” is above a certain preset target, and the prize is a company-monogrammed garment, a shirt or jacket. This award encourages sales of multi-piece systems. The Cowabunga Award, which is usually a bottle of champagne or fine wine, is awarded to anyone selling $50,000 or more in one month. Our controller recently initiated a new award, called the Pea-Pod, which stands for the “Payment Part of the Deal.” He tracks how many of a specialist’s deals were paid according to the terms established (which are usually COD). Whoever has the best percentage of payments—according to these terms—receives this award, which is a beautifully carved statue of a pea-pod, which travels and sits in the office of the most recent winner.

Establishing this award encourages the specialists to be a little more careful explaining terms and getting financing forms filled out properly, and making sure the appropriate person will be home on the day of the job. It saves the controller valuable time in following up. Finally, a joke award exists for anyone who had a particularly bad month and might need a little cheering up. Amidst some good-natured ribbing, the person will be given a pack of bologna or hot dogs, along with the tease that the menus at home will be featuring those fine delicacies for the next month.

Three to get ready
Without any argument, the most fun and most coveted award among the water specialists is the Hattrick Award, named for the “hat trick” or three-goals-in-one-game performance in hockey. When a water specialist has three appointments on the same day and all say “yes”—on that same day—he or she receives the Hattrick. The award is a really funny hat, one that would probably never be worn but hangs in the office as a testament to the achievement.
For the technicians, we wanted to come up with a positive way to try and reduce warranty call-backs. We started tracking workmanship call-backs, as separate from manufacturing defect call-backs, and instituted the Maytag Award. Any technician who comes in with zero, or the lowest number of call-backs, receives a gift certificate to a local restaurant. The issues involved in the call-backs are discussed in a technician meeting in a positive way. The supervisor of the group receives a gift certificate himself anytime the group total is below a preset goal.

Putting it on paper
In the verbal bouquet department, a feedback process was initiated to acknowledge the company’s size, which doesn’t allow for daily contact. A small, simple pad of customer feedback sheets was designed to be filled out by anyone taking a phone call. The feedback can be a problem that needs to be addressed, but encouraged is use of sheets to formally acknowledge positive statements by customers. When a customer praises the work or attitude of a technician or water specialist, the person who took the call fills out a sheet and routes it to the employee and their supervisor. Even something as simple as, “Great job fitting all that equipment in such a tiny space,” written by a water specialist to the technician goes a long way in making the employee feel appreciated.

The final set of incentives established involve some bonuses paid to encourage teamwork in a few key areas of the business. For example, a special bonus is paid to those able to affect the volume of service work, whenever service exceeds budget. This work requires special cooperation between the three individuals who handle marketing, business management and scheduling. As the month proceeds, the three gather around charts and strategize over how to gain more volume. The company owner enjoys seeing them work together toward a common goal.

Properly motivated and managed employees will work hard whether or not they receive special awards and bonuses. You can add an element of human interest, however, by calling out the special behaviors or results that make your company a winner in the marketplace. The whole idea is to personalize this program to your particular company and have fun with how you do it in order to make your and your staff’s work experience more pleasant and profitable. After all, you spend 40 or more hours a week together—you might as well enjoy it. And when an employee is happy, generally, that feeling is contagious to the customers he or she comes in contact with, often resulting in better service and happier customers.

About the author
Christine P. Fletcher is president of Secondwind Water Systems Inc. (formerly Secondwind Environmental), of Manchester, N.H. Fletcher, one of the founders of the company, is a Certified Water Specialist, Level 6, and a New Hampshire-licensed Water Treatment Operator. Secondwind, a Kinetico dealer, handles system design, installation and service for residential, industrial and small public water systems. For more information, contact (800) 287-5767, (603) 641-5767 (fax) or website: www.secondwindnh.com

Planning to Succeed in Commercial Reverse Osmosis

Sunday, May 19th, 2002

By Walt Crandall

Summary: More and more, traditional residential water treatment dealers are exploring the idea of entering the commercial RO market. Many are discouraged by the amount of resources and work involved. The following provides reasons for how they can make the experience well worth it.

The concept of penetrating the commercial reverse osmosis (RO) market has intrigued water treatment dealers for years. The reality in the form of results has been less than encouraging. The key, non-existent factors are fairly straightforward—knowledgeable personnel and planning.

On the personnel issue, a dedicated individual is needed to run that segment of the business. This person can be groomed from inside or hired through industry sources. Owners/operators aren’t good choices even though they may have the knowledge. They have too many other responsibilities with the day-to-day operation of the business to give a commercial RO division the time and effort it requires to be successful.

Know your audience
Planning is where an astute water treatment dealer can excel. Focusing on target markets is the first step. Key opportunities include the printing industry, water jet cutting, machine tool shops, spot-free rinse for car washes, spot-free rinse for automobile dealers and vehicle fleet operators, and auto detailing shops. These all need low total dissolved solids (TDS) water for fountain solutions, cooler solutions and spot-free cars—both on the lot and leaving the wash. The most immediate step is to devise a direct mail campaign to the above listed businesses, with a follow-up phone campaign to assure receipt of the mailing, explanation of capabilities, and questioning the client as to their current water treatment equipment and needs. Also, make certain you are under the commercial listing segments under “Water treatment” in the municipal yellow pages. One or two transactions per annual quarter will more than pay for a brief listing.

When devising a plan, give serious thought to the economic potential. There will be three main areas of income: 1) the initial sale of the equipment; 2) the preventative maintenance contract, and 3) the out-of-warranty service on your systems or others in your geographic market.

When quoting new systems, margin issues must be addressed. My experience has shown that for commercial RO jobs, a good business rule is to expect a net margin of 25-to-35 percent. These margin numbers will be strictly on the equipment costs. Installation and parts should be addressed separately as discussed later in the article. This means that at a cost of goods of $10,000, a 35 percent margin yields a selling price of $15,385. At a 25 percent margin, the selling price would be $13,333. Should you try and exceed these margins, the results are usually predictable—lots of quotes with no successful conclusions. In an industry where compensation is highly oriented to results and production, this will drive away talented sales people who are difficult to replace.

Determine the workload
When pricing these jobs, the other key is to evaluate in terms of materials and man-days of labor for the installation costs. In the above examples, let us assume a selling price of $15,385. In evaluating the job site, determine that the installation will require two men for 1.5 days. This, of course, equals three man-days. Bill it accordingly using your normal rate as an addition to the quotation. Also, add the cost of materials.

Another key source of revenue is preventative maintenance (PM) programs. These contracts aren’t only profitable, but desirable for customer satisfaction. Typical PM contracts should be oriented from monthly to quarterly as a general rule. Frequency of service is a function of unit size, volume of water used per shift or day, etc. Most clients maintain their commercial RO systems in the “fix on failure” mode, which means that the client requests or performs no maintenance until the system fails. Failure is either due to a determination of poor water quality or a lack of water. This often isn’t confided at the time of sale. Average service rates, depending upon geographical locations, are $75 for trip time plus parts and hourly rates of $65 to $95. These costs are incurred by the customer out of warranty.

You also need to access one or more vendors. Some of these specialize in the printing industry, for instance, and can be quite helpful. Others will be most helpful in spot-free rinse, machine tooling solutions, etc. Make certain that a vendor guarantees you they will not quote a job “direct” once they can identify a prospective client. When you’re bringing added value to the table—via support, installation, ongoing service, warranty work, night calls, etc.—you don’t need your vendor to quote the client a comparable net price before factoring the above referenced costs.

Prevent big problems
By far, the most challenging prospect for water treatment dealers desiring to enter the commercial RO market is that bigger jobs pose the potential for bigger problems. There are three keys to making this a non-factor. One is the addition of a sales and technically competent individual to run the commercial group, as previously mentioned. Second, you must have a segment of your installation or service staff comfortable with working on two-inch plumbing, larger RO systems and 220 volt (V) power—both single and three phase. The third and most important aspect of entering this segment of the industry is realizing the venture’s scope.

The most common problems are based upon shortfalls in pre-treatment or volume of water available. Pre-treatment problems are typically chlorine breakthrough or insufficient feed water volume during pump/motor start up. Typically, of course, the chlorine breakthrough will ruin the membranes in as little as 30 days. The insufficient feed water volume and pressure will cause the pump to “short cycle,” turning on and off until failure. Prefiltration is a combination of original design parameters and periodic maintenance. Neglect of either of these will normally cause maintenance problems.

How much water?
Perhaps the biggest problem is a lack of understanding on the part of dealers and clients of the volume of water they need and when. If someone calls and says they want 1,000 gallons of RO water in a day, this should pose multiple questions. For instance, how many hours per day? How many dispensing sites? Is it uniform or all done at once? Uniform would mean 1,000 gallons of RO water across 24 hours. This would technically mean slightly less than 42 gallons per hour or approximately 0.7 gallons per minute; however, in most applications, this is never the case. Water demand is normally at a much higher flow rate, such as 50 gallons or more in a 15 to 20 minute period. The most feasible solution is storage; these are provided for and referred to as demand spikes.

Additional suggestions would be to solicit high-quality consultants within the industry. Their depth of experience can only prove beneficial to you. Also, make sure to cultivate specifying architects and engineers. This is long-term work but once you’re there, the results will be positive.

A sample form is included with this article (see Figure 1). It should be filled out completely for all your commercial RO business. Using the aforementioned tips, you’ll move into a profitable and stimulating dimension of the industry.

To summarize, you need to plan. Plan your markets, hire or train a key individual to head up the group, focus on key markets, gather installation and technical support for your jobs, use realistic margins, and get all the information about the job before you tackle it. The experience can be educational and profitable.

About the author
Walt Crandall has been in the water improvement industry since 1972. His experience includes retail sales as well as several national sales and marketing positions. He is currently the president of Bright Waters, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a consulting company founded in 1986, and president of the Commercial Reverse Osmosis Group for Commers, The Water Company, of Blaine, Minn. He has contributed his time and energy to training water treatment professionals. He can be reached at (614) 759-1150 or email: wcrandall@insight.rr.com

DBPs: Optimizing and Applying Activated Carbon for Trihalomethane Removal

Sunday, May 19th, 2002

By Kimberly Thompson

Summary: Drinking water supplies have been made safer over the years by chlorination. With this method, however, come other residuals, most significantly harmful disinfection by-products such as trihalomethanes. One solution to the problem is using activated carbon as discussed here.

Chlorination of drinking water has all but eliminated waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera and dysentery over large areas of the globe. Proper chlorination kills the majority of bacteria, viruses and parasites responsible for these illnesses. Unfortunately, there are several disinfection by-products (DBPs) from the chlorination of drinking water that pose a possible health risk. Some of these by-products include trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs), bromate and chlorite.

Chloroform, bromoform, dibromo-chloromethane and dichlorobromo-methane are THMs. These are created when the disinfectant (chlorine) used in water treatment reacts with bromide, natural organic matter (decaying vegetation) or man-made organics present in the source water. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) survey discovered that THMs are present in virtually all chlorinated water supplies.1 For many years, the USEPA required large water systems to reduce total trihalomethane (TTHM) levels in potable water. Now, the USEPA is requiring smaller water systems to reduce TTHM levels as well. While it’s true acute health risks associated with TTHMs are small compared to those for waterborne pathogens, the chronic risks associated with extended exposure are among the most important water quality issues to be addressed among U.S. water suppliers.2

Links to danger
The TTHM health issues are far-reaching with possible links to heart, lung, kidney, liver, central nervous system damage and bladder/colorectal cancer. A 1998 California study3 found a miscarriage rate of 15.7 percent for women who drank five or more glasses of cold water containing more than 75 parts per billion (ppb) TTHMs, compared to a miscarriage rate of 9.5 percent for women with low TTHM exposure.1 For these reasons, TTHM levels in public water supplies are limited to 0.08 parts per million (ppm) or 80 parts per billion (ppb). This figure was lowered from 100 ppb in 1999 (see www.epa.gov/safewater/mdbp/mdbp.html).

0.08 ppm = 0.08 mg/L = 80 ppb = 80 µg/L

Where:    mg/L = milligrams per liter
    µg/L = micrograms per liter

There are many options—including chloramine disinfection, reduction of chlorine at the treatment plant, and alternate disinfectants (ozone and UV light)—to reduce TTHMs. Chloramine disinfection does reduce TTHM levels because chloramines do not react with and consume the natural organics in the water. This can result in color problems in drinking water since color comes from tannins and humics derived from decaying plant matter present in water; and chloraminated water is not recommended for aquariums and kidney dialysis. Activated carbon cannot only be used to remove the color and residual chloramines from the water, it can also be used to remove the TTHMs from chlorinated drinking water in the first place.

The following study shows that in chlorinated drinking water, activated carbon can be used to remove TTHMs. The characteristics for optimum carbon performance for TTHM removal are also presented.

Iodine number
Traditionally, the parameter used when selecting a carbon is the iodine number, which is not very effective at gauging a carbon’s performance at adsorbing trace levels of contaminants. As shown in the data (see Figure 1), no correlation exists between the iodine number and chloroform capacity for a representative sampling of numerous activated carbons.

Given the limitations of the iodine number in trace removal applications, carbon manufacturers are beginning to use new measures to better characterize an activated carbon’s trace adsorption capacity. One new measure, called the trace capacity number, measures a carbon’s capacity to adsorb acetoxime—a more realistic surrogate for low-level contaminant concentrations than iodine. Comparing trace capacity number with chloroform capacity yields a much better correlation than the iodine number (see Figure 2).

Column tests
To demonstrate the comparison of the iodine number and trace capacity number with respect to TTHM removal, two activated carbons were selected and tested side-by-side in a 1-inch column study. The purpose is to obtain the breakthrough curve under dynamic conditions, which shows how the concentration of the contaminants in the effluent varies with the volume of liquid treated. The rate at which the contaminants are adsorbed by the carbon can only be determined by dynamic column tests. Understanding these kinetics of adsorption allows for proper system design.

The first activated carbon selected was a commercially available bituminous coal-based carbon that had not been optimized for trace capacity. The second carbon selected, also commercially available, was optimized for trace capacity number. Table 1 lists the properties of each carbon tested. Both carbons have similar iodine numbers, but vary with regard to trace capacity number. The water utilized in the column study was tap water containing influent levels of chloroform that averaged 6 ppb, and TTHM levels that averaged 92.8 ppb.

In this study, the activated carbon optimized for trace removal outperformed the standard bituminous carbon in the dynamic test. The trace removal carbon has only breakthrough for chloroform, whereas the bituminous shows chloroform and bromodichloromethane breakthrough. Choosing a carbon with a higher trace capacity number yields improved “real world” performance for TTHM removal, and leads to lower operating costs for the customer resulting from less frequent carbon change-outs (see Table 2).

Other points to consider
As with all applications, other factors also come into play besides adsorption capacity when applying activated carbon for TTHM removal. Kinetic factors, such as surface diffusion, are also important and need to be taken into account when designing a carbon system. For most point-of-entry applications, a 12-×-40-mesh size is most commonly used; contact times in the range of five to seven minutes per bed volume are standard when this particle size is applied. Typically, two beds operating in series are recommended to optimize the utilization of the carbon and ensure that breakthrough is contained. In cases where space limitations exist and pressure drop is not a factor, a 20-×-50-mesh size carbon can be applied using a shorter contact time of two to three minutes, allowing for smaller beds to be used.

Other water characteristics that can impact the life of the activated carbon must also be considered when applying carbon for TTHM removal. Background organics (often measured as total organic carbon or TOC) can competitively adsorb and shorten the bed life of the carbon, and inorganics such as iron can precipitate onto carbon beds and impact carbon performance. Proper monitoring and backwashing of carbon beds is recommended to ensure that the carbon is working effectively and the system is maintained.

While chlorination of drinking water has its benefits, it also has its drawbacks through the formation of disinfection by-products such as TTHMs. Fortunately, water treatment professionals have tools at their disposal to deal with TTHM problems in their water supply. Activated carbon, when properly selected and applied, is one of those tools.


1. Caprece, John, “Trihalomethanes and Our Water Supply,” Southern Data Stream website: www.southerndatastream.com/thm/index.html
2. “Consider the Source: Farm runoff, chlorination byproducts, and human health,” Environmental Working Group, website: www.ewg.org/reports/considerthesource/abstracts.html
3. Waller, K., et al., “Trihalomethanes in drinking water and spontaneous abortion,” Epidemiology, 9(2): 134-40, 1998.
4. Deithorn, R.T., and A.F. Mazzoni, “Activated Carbon: What it Is, How it Works,” Calgon Carbon website: http://www.calgon carbon.com/articles/index.php

About the author
Kimberly Thompson is an R&D chemist with Calgon Carbon Corp., of Pittsburgh. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Seton Hill College. She can be reached at (800) 422-7266, (412) 787-6700 or info@calgoncarbon.com

TTHMs, TCE & PCE: Drinking Water Contaminants & Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

Sunday, May 19th, 2002

By Frank Bove

Summary: The following article is a summary of one the author wrote on this topic that will appear in the journal, “Environmental Health Perspectives.” Eight studies are evaluated with few conclusions that can be drawn because of variables. Suggestions for models for future research are made.

Considerable public concern exists regarding the effects of exposure to drinking water contaminants on the health of infants and children. Yet, research on the potential causal relationships between adverse birth outcomes and maternal exposures to chemical contaminants in drinking water is at a very early stage. Nevertheless, studies are feasible since most of the United States maintains databases of tap water samples conducted by water utilities in compliance with federal and state drinking water regulations. In addition, every state maintains birth and fetal death certificate databases containing information on such things as gestational age, birth weight, and parental and infant risk factors. From the data, adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weight, pre-term birth, small for gestational age (SGA), and fetal death can be evaluated. Studies of birth defects require the review of medical records or the availability of data from a population-based birth defects registry. Verification of spontaneous abortions also requires the review of medical records.

The major difficulty in conducting a study of drinking water and adverse birth outcomes is the exposure assessment. Available data usually consist of a small number of tap water samples per year taken at a few points in a town’s distribution system. Therefore, space-time extrapolations are necessary to link tap sample data to maternal residence during pregnancy and the time period of the pregnancy. Some studies have conducted space-time extrapolations by modeling water system characteristics and tap water sample data.1-3 One state has linked data from tap water samples with maps of the public water distribution systems to improve the accuracy of exposure estimates at each residence.4

Many studies don’t conduct interviews to determine maternal residence and water usage (e.g., glasses of tap water consumed and frequency and duration of showering) during pregnancy. These studies use the maternal address at delivery from the birth or fetal death certificate and assume that mothers don’t change their residency during pregnancy; however, it’s estimated that 20-25 percent of mothers change their residence during pregnancy.5,6 Case-control studies usually conduct interviews to determine maternal residential history and water usage during pregnancy. Still, recall errors are possible because these interviews are conducted several months or even years after the child’s birth or miscarriage. So far, only one prospective cohort study has been conducted that obtained maternal water consumption habits in real time during the first trimester.7 Difficulties and errors in exposure assessment likely result in substantial underestimates of risks as well as distorted or attenuated exposure-response trends.

Chlorination DBPs
When chlorine is added to disinfect drinking water, it reacts with residual organic matter in the water to form unwanted disinfection by-products (DBPs). Chief among these DBPs are trihalo-methanes (TTHMs), e.g., chloroform, and haloacetic acids that are teratogenic in animal studies. In 1979, a U.S. maximum contaminant level (MCL) for total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) was set at an annual average of 100 parts per billion (ppb). In 1999, the MCL for TTHM was reduced to 80 ppb.

Eight studies of adverse birth outcomes have used THM monitoring data to estimate exposures. The median TTHM levels in these studies tended to be in the 30-50 ppb range, and were similar to levels found in many U.S. surface water systems.8 Table 1 summarizes the characteristics of these studies, four of which conducted interviews to determine maternal residential history and water usage during pregnancy.

In the Iowa9, northern New Jersey10, and Denver1 studies, THMs were associated with increased risks of SGA, narrowly defined as either the 5th percentile weight by gestational week or as low birth weight among term births (see Table 2). The strongest association for SGA (odds ratio = 5.9) was observed in the Denver area study, which modeled the distribution system and presumably had the best exposure assessment.1 Maternal risk factors (e.g., maternal smoking, race/ethnicity, education level, and prenatal care) didn’t confound these associations. The Nova Scotia study11 found only a slight increased risk of SGA, more broadly as the 10th percentile weight by gestational week (odds ratio = 1.08). In general, the studies found very weak effects for low birth weight among all births and no effects for pre-term birth.

Four studies evaluated THM levels and specific birth defects (see Table 1). There was some consistency in the findings for neural tube defects (NTDs) and oral cleft defects (i.e., cleft lip and palate), but not for cardiac defects (see Table 2). The northern New Jersey, statewide New Jersey12 and Nova Scotia11,13 studies evaluated NTDs and found an association with THM levels. In the northern New Jersey study, NTDs were associated with TTHMs. In the statewide New Jersey study, NTDs were associated with TTHMs, chloroform and bromodichloromethane (BDCM). In the Nova Scotia study, NTDs were associated primarily with BDCM. Of the two studies that evaluated oral cleft defects, the northern New Jersey study found an association with TTHMs and the Nova Scotia study found an association with chloroform but not TTHMs. Although the northern New Jersey study found an association between cardiac defects and TTHMs, the Nova Scotia and Santa Clara County, Calif.,14 studies didn’t confirm this finding.

Two studies evaluated spontaneous abortions and THMs7,15 and two studies evaluated fetal deaths (>20 weeks gestation) or stillbirths.10,11,16 The California prospective cohort study that obtained maternal water usage in real time during the first trimester found an association between THMs and increased risk of spontaneous abortion, especially for BDCM.7 The central North Carolina study15 also found an excess of spontaneous abortion when TTHM levels were evaluated, but the excess disappeared when water consumption habits were taken into account; however, this study suffered from exclusions and low participation rates, as well as recall errors because maternal interviews were conducted some time after the spontaneous abortion occurred.

The two studies that evaluated fetal deaths and THM levels had conflicting results. The Nova Scotia study11,16 found an association especially with BDCM levels, which was strengthened when cause of death (asphyxia) was evaluated. On the other hand, the northern New Jersey study found no association between TTHMs and fetal death possibly because it didn’t evaluate individual THM levels or cause of death information.

Table 3 summarizes the five studies of adverse birth outcomes and Trichloroethylene (TCE) and/or Tetrachloroethylene (PCE). TCE was associated with increased risks of SGA ranging from 1.5 to 1.9 in the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base17 and Woburn, Mass.,3 studies. No association between TCE and SGA was found in the northern New Jersey study, possibly because TCE levels were much lower. When male and female births were evaluated separately in the Camp Lejeune study, the increased risk of SGA was found only among male births exposed to TCE. Increased risk of very low birth weight was associated with TCE levels in the Tucson, Ariz., birthweight study2 but not in the northern New Jersey or Woburn studies. TCE wasn’t associated with pre-term delivery in any of the studies. An association with fetal death was found in the Woburn study but not in the northern New Jersey study—again, possibly due to the lower levels of contamination in the latter study.

Increased risk of cardiac defects was associated with TCE levels in the Tucson cardiac defect study18 but not in the Woburn or northern New Jersey studies; however, in the Woburn study, TCE was associated with a cluster of choanal atresia, a nasal defect related to conotruncal heart defects. Both the Woburn and northern New Jersey studies found associations between TCE and increased risks of NTDs and cleft lip. In addition, the Woburn study found an association with eye defects.

Two studies evaluated PCE levels and SGA. In the northern New Jersey study, PCE wasn’t associated with SGA. In the Camp Lejeune study19, a slightly increased risk of SGA was associated with PCE exposure (odds ratio = 1.2), with virtually all of the effect occurring among mothers 35 years old or older (odds ratio = 2.1) and among mothers with 2 or more prior fetal losses (odds ratio = 2.5). The northern New Jersey study also evaluated PCE exposure and birth defects and fetal deaths. An association was found for oral clefts (odds ratio = 3.54) but not for other birth defects or fetal deaths.

The studies of THMs and adverse birth outcomes provide moderate evidence for associations with small-for-gestational-age infants, neural tube defects and spontaneous abortions. Because fewer studies were conducted for TCE and PCE, evidence for associations is weaker. Nevertheless, the findings of excess NTDs and clefts in the northern New Jersey and Woburn studies should be followed up in future studies. The findings of excess choanal atresia in the Woburn study and excess cardiac defects in the Tucson study warrant follow up as well, because some cardiac defects are etiologically related to choanal atresia. States with population-based birth defects registries should be encouraged to conduct studies of public drinking water contamination. Exposure assessments can be improved by modeling the distribution systems following the examples of the Denver area study, the Tucson birth weight study and the Woburn study.


  1. Gallagher, M.D., et al., “Exposure to trihalomethanes and adverse pregnancy outcomes,” Epidemiology, 9:484-9, 1998.
  2. Rodenbeck, S.E., L.M. Sanderson and A. Rene, “Maternal exposure to trichloroethylene in drinking water and birth-weight outcomes,” Archives of Environmental Health, 55:188-194, 2000.
  3. Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Health Research Institute, “Final Report of the Woburn Environmental and Birth Study,” state report, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 1996.
  4. Cohn, P., J. Savrin and J. Fagliano, “Mapping of volatile organic chemicals in New Jersey water systems,” Journal of Exposure Analysis & Environmental Epidemiology, 9(3):171-80, 1999.
  5. Khoury, M.J., et al., “Residential mobility during pregnancy: Implications for environmental teratogenesis,” Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 41:15-20, 1988.
  6. Shaw, G.M., and L.H. Malcoe, “Residential mobility during pregnancy for mothers of infants with or without congenital cardiac anomalies: A reprint,” Archives of Environmental Health, 47:236-238, 1992.
  7. Waller, K., et al., “Trihalomethanes in drinking water and spontaneous abortion,” Epidemiology, 9:134-40, 1998.
  8. Environmental Working Group, The State PIRGs, “Consider the Source: Farm runoff, chlorination byproducts, and human health,” Washington, D.C., 2001.
  9. Kramer, M.D., et al., “The association of waterborne chloroform with intrauterine growth retardation,” Epidemiology; 3:407-13, 1992.
  10. Bove, F.J., et al., “Public drinking water contamination and birth outcomes,” American Journal of Epidemiology, 141:850-62, 1995.
  11. Dodds, L., et al., “Trihalomethanes in public water supplies and adverse birth outcomes,” Epidemiology, 10:233-37, 1999.
  12. Klotz, J.B., and L.A. Pyrch, “Neural tube defects and drinking water disinfection by-products,” Epidemiology, 10:383-390, 1999.
  13. Dodds, L., and W. King, “Relation between trihalomethane compounds and birth defects,” Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 58:443-446, 2001.
  14. Shaw, G.M., et al., “Letter to the Editor: Chlorinated water exposures and congenital cardiac anomalies,” Epidemiology, 2:459-60, 1991.
  15. Savitz, D.A., K.W. Andrews and L.M. Pastore, “Drinking water and pregnancy outcome in central North Carolina: Source, amount, and trihalomethane levels,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 103:592-6, 1995.
  16. King, W.D., L. Dodds and A.C. Allen, “Relation between stillbirth and specific chlorination byproducts in public water supplies,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 108(9):883-886, 2000.
  17. Sonnenfeld, N., “Volatile organic compounds in drinking water and adverse pregnancy outcomes,” interim report, U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune, N.C.; CDC Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1998.
  18. Goldberg, S.J., et al., “An association of human congenital cardiac malformations and drinking water contaminants,” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 16:155-64, 1990.
  19. Sonnenfeld, N., I. Hertz-Picciotto and W.E. Kaye, “Tetrachloroethylene in drinking water and birth outcomes at the U.S. Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, N.C.,” American Journal of Epidemiology, 154:902-8, 2001.

About the author
Frank Bove is senior epidemiologist for the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. He can be reached at (404) 498-0557, (404) 498-0079 (fax) or email: fbove@cdc.gov

Respiratory Protection in Drinking Water Plants

Sunday, May 19th, 2002

By Henry G. Nowicki, Ph.D., and Barbara Sherman

Summary: OSHA’s most cited health and safety violation in water utilities is poor respiratory protection. This article discusses how the issue applies to drinking water applications and precautions that can be taken.

Airborne hazards are a fact of life in many drinking water plants and chemical manufacturing facilities. Various chemicals used for treating water can emit noxious and sometimes dangerous vapors and dust particles that can harm or even kill operators.

Since 1972, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has inspected more than 5,100 public drinking water systems. Between October 1998 and September 1999, inspectors issued 506 citations for health and safety violations. Of those, the most cited violation was for poor respiratory protection practices at the water utilities.

OSHA law for respiratory protection
The law requires employers to provide respiratory protection to employees exposed to concentrations of potentially harmful substances exceeding established Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs). PELs are vapor concentrations that have no adverse effects on exposure to young healthy adult males. Sub-groups of unhealthy, older and pregnant women should limit their exposure to toxic gases and vapors below the PELs. Don’t rely on the employee’s ability to sense the odor of a substance. Some chemicals have odors only detectable above their established exposure limits, meaning the employees will smell the chemical only after they’ve already been exposed to unsafe levels of the contaminant. Many vapors, such as the rotten egg smell of hydrogen sulfide, inhibit the olfactory response; thus, exposed employees lose the sensory ability to smell it after inhaling the vapor. The point of the law isn’t to simply force more regulations on utilities, but to prevent deaths and illnesses among employees by protecting them from exposure to acute and chronic health hazards.

The workplace is always monitored to ensure maximum exposure limits aren’t exceeded if the presence of a harmful substance cannot definitely be excluded.

Essentially these maximum exposure limits are given for approximately 400 substances such as:

  • Long-Term Exposure Limit expressed as an 8-hour Time Weighted Average, or
  • Short-Term Exposure Limit expressed as a special fixed concentration

From country to country, there are different definitions of the short-term exposure limit values. They may normally occur in a limited duration and frequency per shift. The magnitude of the maximum exposure limits results from the respective legislation of the individual countries. They are consulted as a clear evaluation standard for the evaluation of a workplace. Definitions for occupational exposure are presented in the enclosed Table—“Definitions for Industrial Hygiene Exposure.”

Dusts, fumes, gasses or vapors, and temperature extremes can penetrate and damage the respiratory system. Dust and fumes can irritate the nose and throat and, in some cases, the lungs. Gasses and vapors can be absorbed from the lungs into the bloodstream, where they have the potential to damage the brain and internal organs. Very hot or cold air can damage the fine tissues in your mouth and airway, and interfere with normal breathing.

Getting the right respiratory protection and proper use
There are several ways to protect against exposure to airborne contaminants. Usually, engineering and administrative controls provide sufficient protection. Engineering controls include such things as increasing ventilation or installing a fume hood; administrative controls involve changes in work procedures that lessen or eliminate exposure, or substitute non-hazardous materials for the materials that pose respiratory hazards. The law requires that managers consider these controls before issuing employees respirators. If engineering and administrative controls aren’t feasible or won’t provide adequate protection, respirators can then be assigned.
According to OSHA, respirators should only be used as part of a complete written respirator program run by a “respirator program administrator.” A respirator program includes:

  • Evaluating exposures in the workplace to determine their nature and concentration (an industrial hygienist usually performs this);
  • Conducting a medical evaluation of employees who must use respirators;
  • Selecting the appropriate respirator based on air measurements and exposure limits for each contaminant;
  • Training employees to use the respirator properly;
  • Fit testing the equipment. It’s important respirators fit the user’s face without excessive leakage around the face seal. Each user needs to use an adequately fitting respirator and make sure the best possible face seal is achieved each time it’s worn. Men must be clean-shaven to wear a respirator correctly. Most respirators won’t provide the necessary tight seal over a beard;
  • Requiring that one never uses another person’s respirator. If used according to the manufacturer recommendations, each respirator should be specifically fitted to the person designated to wear it;
  • Providing guidance for properly maintaining, cleaning and storing respirators.

Engineering and administrative controls are always preferable to using a respirator. Respirators should only be considered if no other solutions are viable, since the possibility for human error makes the respirator less reliable than the other controls.

Respirator types & practices
There are two major respirator types—air-purifying and atmosphere-supplying.

Air-purifying respirators—These remove contaminants from the air. They work by screening out or trapping contaminants in filter cartridges. They may be disposable or have a reusable face piece that allows filters or cartridges to be replaced. Some are catalytic and convert a toxic to a non-toxic.
Atmosphere-supplying respirators—These provide clean air from an uncontaminated source. They may be either a self-contained unit, such as a portable air tank that’s carried, or they may use an air line attached to a user’s hood or mask and an outside air tank.

Don’t buy or use a respirator without making sure it’s made to protect the user against the contaminants likely faced in the work environment. Respirators are designed to protect against different hazards for specified periods of concentration and time. A filter cartridge has a defined capacity and must be refreshed with a new filter to prevent breakthrough and employee exposure. Never assume a respirator can handle all contaminants. Precautions against over-reliance on respirators should be covered by the employer-training program.

Don’t wear a respirator into a situation that hasn’t been designated for the cartridge you’re using. Different environmental hazards may require a change in assigned cartridges or respirators. No single cartridge respirator is good for all situations.

Special precautions need to be taken when entering vessels containing moist activated carbon. Carbon can remove oxygen in a closed air space resulting in death of the operators. Having an oxygen monitor and buddy outside the vessel with an atmosphere-supplying respirator would help provide the needed safety for operators in closed spaces.

Respirator responsibilities
Both the employee and the employee’s supervisor have legal responsibilities to ensure that respirators are used properly.

The employee must:

  • Return for annual fitting,
  • Use the respirator only for the assigned hazard and clean and maintain the respirator as trained, and
  • Notify the supervisor of any new or changed workplace hazard.
  • The employee’s supervisor must:
  • Identify employees who may need respiratory protection,
  • Ensure the employee is in the Respiratory Protection Program and is properly using, storing, cleaning and maintaining their respirator, and
  • Periodically discuss proper respirator use during safety briefings.

Before the employer assigns an employee a respirator, several things must be done, including trying to solve the problem through engineering and administrative controls first; determining exposure hazards; getting the correct respirator; screening staff with medical tests; fit testing equipment; providing ongoing maintenance and training in operation of the respirators, and conducting annual re-fitting tests.

There’s no required replacement schedule for respirators in general; however, damaged respirators cannot properly protect employees. Respirators need to be replaced or repaired when one or more of their components is missing, damaged or visibly deteriorated.

About the authors
Dr. Henry Nowicki directs PACS Inc., of Pittsburgh, a laboratory testing and consulting service. He is a member of WC&P’s Technical Review Committee.

Barbara Sherman directs the PACS courses and conference services. Available PACS courses related to this article are toxicology and OSHA laboratory standard. Both authors can be reached at (724) 457-6576 or email: HNpacs@aol.com

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