Monday, October 21st, 2002
In an Aug. 1 press release, Charlotte, N.C.-based Celgard Inc. announced Membrana GmbH, of Wuppertal, Germany, was acquired by Polypore Inc. and merged with Daramic and Celgard. Membrana will align with the Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactor and Celgard Hollow Fiber business units of Celgard. 💧
Pall Corp., of East Hills, N.Y., said its new Septra CB (Crypto Barrier) membrane water filtration system is being used to provide 3.5 to 4 million more gallons of drinking water a day to drought-stricken Roanoke, Va. The city’s main water source, Carvin’s Cove Reservoir, is currently at 30 percent capacity, its lowest point in 55 years. 💧
Katherine Holt, of Williamsburg, Va., won the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize. She was awarded $5,000 and a crystal sculpture at a ceremony on Aug. 13 in Stockholm. Holt’s project included a scientific and business analysis of introducing Asian oysters to clean Chesapeake Bay. 💧
Austria’s BWT reported earnings for the first half of 2002 increased 7.8 percent over the same period last year. 💧
On July 29, GLI International (formerly known as Great Lakes Instruments) relocated from Milwaukee to Loveland, Colo., and integrated into the Hach Company—a subsidiary of the Danaher Corp. GLI’s toll-free number remains (800) 454-0263. 💧
Germany-based WEDECO AG Water Technology reported revenues rose 80.9 percent in the first six months of this year vs. the same period in 2001. 💧
Calgon Carbon Corp., of Pittsburgh, announced Engineered Solutions Group will provide UV disinfection equipment for the Mannheim Water Treatment Plant in Waterloo, Canada. In other news, Calgon Carbon reported second quarter sales at $67.5 million—a decrease of $7.4 million (10 percent) during the same period last year. 💧
France-based Danone, a supplier of mineral water, posted a first half net loss of $624 million in 2002, mainly due to charges reflecting a decline in the value of its assets in emerging market operations. The loss compares with a profit of $372 million in the first half of last year. 💧
Microbiologist Harry Ridgway, Ph.D., was named the ninth recipient of the National Water Research Institute’s Clarke Prize at a June 20 ceremony. Ridgway was the research director at the Orange County Water District in Fountain Valley, Calif. He has pioneered significant studies on membrane technology. Last year’s winner was Joan Rose of the University of South Florida. 💧
Aubryn International Inc., of Upland, Calif., is planning to expand its spring water distribution to the European market, and is currently seeking a European distributor. 💧
In late July, ITT Industries Inc., of White Plains, N.Y., acquired Svedala Robot B.V., a manufacturer of submersible pumps and pump systems used in wastewater applications. Robot is expected to generate annual revenues of about $10 million for ITT. 💧
Waterpik Technologies, of Fort Collins, Colo., reached an agreement with Glo Germ Co. Intl., of Moab, Utah, to sell Waterpik’s Aquia sanitizing system through commercial channels such as the food service, day care and healthcare industries. 💧
States fight back against legislation
A few states and the WQA were involved in fighting legislation that could potentially hinder the business practices of the POU/POE industry. Here is a quick overview, courtesy of the association.
In Idaho, legislation is set for next year that would require all new housing to be looped for water softeners. The proposal came from the state’s plumbing board chief. The plumbing code exempts home installers, but local agencies won’t issue them permits. Meanwhile, Kentucky’s health director withdrew a brine regulation so he could get the rest of his regulatory package passed before a joint Senate/House committee. Carlyn Meyer, WQA government affairs representative, and Steve Emery, representing Pewee Valley, appeared before the committee to protest proposed legislation that would have banned water softener discharge into septic systems. The regulation was picked up by WQA’s state tracking service two weeks before it was to be finalized. WQA has also been spending time assisting New Hampshire dealers with advice as they try to stop proposed regulations requiring installers to have plumbing licenses. The state’s first meeting was in May and no follow-up meeting had been scheduled by early August. The Texas WQA filed a petition with the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission to amend a regulation passed last year that would prohibit brine discharge into septic tanks. The amendment calls for installation of demand-initiated regeneration equipment and puts certain limits on water flows. West Virginia has taken preliminary steps toward recommending a regulation to ban water softener discharge into septic tanks. The WQA has sent the state’s health department technical reports and a letter opposing this latest proposal. The state has yet to respond.
In late August, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce formally approved a system for sizing POE water treatment devices such as softeners, iron filters, etc., that can be used as an alternative to current sizing requirements contained in the Wisconsin Uniform Plumbing Code. The approval is based on data taken from a study commissioned by the WQA, Analysis of Indoor Peak Demands in 60 Selected Single-Family Homes, and conducted by Aquacraft Inc., Water Engineering & Management and an alternate sizing system application filed by the Wisconsin WQA. The POE water treatment device alternate sizing method is valid through August 2007. The Wisconsin Plumbing Code Council may consider 2003-2004 amendments to the state’s plumbing code to permanently include the alternate sizing method.
IBWA joins 2003 Food Expo as sponsor of joint conference
The International Bottled Water Association is the newest co-sponsor of the Worldwide Food Expo on Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2003, in Chicago. The expo is the premier showcase of processing, packaging, equipment, ingredients and services for the global food and beverage industry. More than 30,000 industry leaders from 150 countries as well as 1,200 exhibitors are expected to be part of the largest North American display of food industry suppliers in one location. In addition, nearly 50 educational workshops will emphasize new technologies in the food and beverage industries. This year, the IBWA will feature its exhibits in the show’s new bottled water pavilion.
County finds use for sewage
Following the lead of Singapore (see Newsreel in September 2002 issue) and Los Angeles, the Orange County Water District is collaborating with the Orange County Sanitation District to build a $600 million sewage-purification system, reported The Wall Street Journal in its Aug. 15 issue. When completed over the next 20 years, the system is expected to be the largest of its kind in the world. The new system will bring the wastewater up to drinking water standards. After treatment, the sewage water will be pumped into an immense groundwater basin that serves the drinking and household needs of about two-thirds of the county’s three million residents. Orange County officials say the treated water is likely to be enough to fulfill the thirst of the 600,000 new residents projected for the area over the next two decades. Reverse osmosis (RO) is the main technology being utilized in the recycling process. This is how it works—first, the sewage water runs through a microfilter to remove suspended particles. Next, it’s squeezed through an RO membrane to ferret out any remaining microscopic contaminants such as virus and bacteria. Finally, it’s exposed to ultraviolet light to destroy any other microorganisms that might have escaped before being piped back into the ground. Still, the cost is too high, the plan’s critics complain.
AWWA, hospital launch guide
The American Water Works Association, of Denver, and the Arnot Ogden Medical Center, of Elmira, N.Y., launched in August an online resource to provide medical professionals with critical information to assist physicians in better diagnosing symptoms of waterborne diseases in patients. The online reference guide, “Recognizing Waterborne Disease and the Health Effects of Water Pollution,” provides a source of educational materials and preparedness resources to help physicians recognize and treat waterborne disease and the health effects of acute and chronic exposure to water pollution. Some of the guide’s benefits include the ability to diagnose and treat waterborne disease with a higher level of accuracy; access to educational tools providing treatment and prevention options; easy-to-access information in a user-friendly format, and seamless, integrated material in a centralized location.
Survey: 2 in 5 store water
Only 42 percent of Americans store water for drinking and personal hygiene as a precaution for possible emergencies such as hurricanes, floods, fires, storms or natural or man-made incidents, according to a survey of 1,018 adults by Wirthlin Worldwide. The survey was conducted for the International Bottled Water Association. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration hasn’t established a shelf life for bottled water. IBWA recommends that consumers should store bottled water in sealed containers at room temperature or cooler, out of direct sunlight, and away from solvents and chemicals.
Studies ask: How much water is too much?
Drinking lots of water can significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Loma Linda (Calif.) University. A team, led by Jacqueline Chan, Ph.D., found that healthy people who drink five glasses of water a day have only half the risk (or less) of fatal coronary heart disease, compared with those who drink less than two glasses per day. Furthermore, water from carbonated, coffee-based or alcoholic beverages don’t count toward intake levels. Neither total fluid intake nor intake of other fluids combined showed reduced risk. Instead, heavy consumption of coffee, tea, juice, milk and alcohol was associated with a 46 percent increase in heart attack risk. The investigation involved more than 20,000 participants. The results were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Meanwhile, Dr. Heinz Valtin, of Dartmouth Medical School, has researched the topic and maintains that 64 ounces a day (eight, 8-ounce glasses per day—a longstanding recommendation from the National Research Council’s Food and Nutrition Board) may cause some people to suffer from “water intoxication” by overloading their kidneys. This phenomenon has been seen in athletes, Ecstasy users and even healthy people. Furthermore, Valtin’s research says most of the 64 ounces can be obtained in prepared foods that are rich in fluids. Items like juice, milk, soda and coffee are almost entirely water and may be reasonable substitutes for glasses of water, he claims. The Food and Nutrition Board is currently reviewing daily water consumption. Its recommendations should be released in March. The board will also look at how, if at all, water intake affects certain health outcomes from kidney stones to heart ailments, and whether the fluid in foods such as fruits and vegetables is an adequate source of water.
STS picks up InfraTech
Severn Trent Services (STS), of Fort Washington, Pa., acquired InfraTech International, of Camp Hill, Pa.—a provider of specialty wastewater system rehabilitation and assessment services—from ADS Corp. InfraTech has 40 employees and annual revenues of $4 million. In other news, STS was awarded a contract to supply its polymer feed equipment to the City of Chattanooga, Tenn., and the Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant. It currently treats the wastewater of more than 220,000 residents. Meanwhile, Bayoxide E33, an adsorption media developed by Bayer AG for use in Severn Trent Services’ SORB 33 arsenic removal system, received NSF Standard 61 certification in late July. Additionally, the company was awarded contracts with the City of Flagstaff, Ariz., to supply ultraviolet disinfection and chlorine disinfection equipment for the Lake Mary Water Treatment Plant Filter and Disinfection Improvements Project.
ADI provides group training
ADI International Inc., of Frederic-ton, New Brunswick, Canada, hosted a delegation from Bangladesh to provide training on specialized water treatment techniques. Global Village, of Dhaka, Bangladesh, sent four of its directors to tour ADI’s facilities and train on new technology. Arsenic contamination of drinking water in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India, is severe. Global Village asked for ADI’s help in training several of their key people in detecting arsenic in water and methods to remove it. The latter company has conducted research and development into arsenic detection and treatment since 1984. In March 2001, ADI was granted a patent for its removal technology, and received verification of its process by Environment Canada, under the Environmental Technology Verification Program.
Cities use UV from Trojan
Trojan Technologies Inc., of Canada, received a purchase order to supply ultraviolet equipment to the largest municipal UV drinking water installation in the world. The facility, to be built by the City of Seattle, will treat up to 180 million gallons of water a day. It will serve nearly one million people when it becomes operational in 2004. In other company news, Trojan was selected as the UV equipment supplier for the drinking water treatment facility of the City of Lethbridge, Ontario. The project calls for the delivery of five UV units, and has a value of approximately $1.1 million. When it becomes operational in September 2003, the plant will treat up to 40 million gallons of drinking water a day and serve a population of 75,000.
Cambodia gets Swiss water
Blue Industries Inc., of Geneva, Switzerland, started shipping drinking water purification systems to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The initial shipment included 15 of the company’s P6 Drinking Water Treatment Plants, which are able to process 1,500 gallons per day, and two P60 Drinking Water Treatment Plants, which are able to process 15,000 gallons per day. A second shipment is scheduled for mid-September. The company currently serves customers in China, Thailand, Cambodia and the Middle East, and is conducting on-site demonstrations in Africa. In other related news, the company announced it has opened a special manufacturing facility in Bangkok, Thailand. The facility will supply water filtration systems based on the company’s technologies to Thai shrimp producers. The Thai facility shipped its first products in late June. Blue Industries also offers drinking water processing facilities to end users. Meanwhile, the company also entered into a distribution and representation agreement with General Regulation, an electrical and communications equipment distributor based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Africa. General Regulation will be the exclusive distributor for Blue’s drinking water purification and treatment products in Ivory Coast, a country with a population of 19 million.
Water from nuclear plants?
Chinese scientists have developed atomic reactors to provide heating and desalinate seawater by burning used fuel from nuclear power stations under normal pressure. The only industrial-scale nuclear reactor that serves to desalinate and provide electricity was built in 1973 by the former Soviet Union and is located in Kazakhstan. It operates at 520 megawatts to generate electricity and at 80 megawatts to produce 80,000 cubic meters per day of potable water. In Japan, 10 desalination plants are linked to pressurized water reactors and also operate for electricity generation. In trials, they have produced between 1,000 cubic meters and 3,000 cubic meters a day of potable water. Other countries like India, Pakistan, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt and Algeria are planning or considering nuclear desalination plants.
Chlorine blocks E. coli?
Three years of research in Alberta, Canada, has uncovered a new potential option to keep E. coli 0157:H7 pathogen away from cattle and reduce public food safety concerns, according to the Canadian Water Quality Association. The study, supported by the Canada/Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund, found adding chlorine to drinking water for cattle may reduce exposure to the pathogen, cutting it off before it can enter the food chain. The study was done in conjunction with the Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization and Washington State University.
Makers of water look abroad
With the growing demand for bottled water overseas, San Diego-based Bio-Hydration Research Lab Inc.—makers of Penta bottled water—is developing plans for its international plant and distribution that may include licensing of the company’s water purification process. The water is presently sold in more than 2,500 natural health food stores in the United States.
USFilter receives go-ahead
Vivendi Water Systems/USFilter will supply the ultrapure water system at Singapore’s Pasir Ris Wafer Fab Park. Meanwhile, USFilter’s John Meunier Products received a $2.1 million project with Halton, Ontario, for treating water and wastewater at the Burlington Water Purification Plant. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas also approved the acquisition of EarthLiquids by USFilter Recovery Services Inc. EarthLiquids specializes in the collection and management of used oil and oily wastewaters. Its parent company, The EarthCare Company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year. In addition, USFilter acquired Hydrotech AB, of Vellinge, Sweden, a leading international manufacturer of water purification technology that specializes in drum and disc filtration systems. As part of the acquisition, the Hydrotech business will be integrated into USFilter’s Kruger Products, of Cary, N.C. In other news, Houston-based USFilter Operating Services Inc. was awarded a 10-year contract worth $7 million from Five Star Water Supply District, which serves central Alabama. The district supplies water to approximately 40,000 residents in the towns of Plattsville, Holtville, Tri-Community, Wetumpka and Millbrooke. Also, Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission, of Ontario, Canada, awarded USFilter a $1.7 million contract to provide the first microfiltration plant to treat water from Lake Erie. The system will provide 6 million gallons of water per day to over 10,000 residents in the Ontario area. In addition, USFilter Operating Services Inc. acquired MCS Technologies, a manufacturer in the refinery waste separation and treatment services market based in Corpus Christi, Texas.