Wednesday, January 15th, 2003
Pro Products LLC, of Fort Wayne, Ind., purchased several product lines of Spectrum Labs Inc., of New Brighton, Minn. These include all water treatment chemicals, demonstration and test kits, and soap products such as Lanosoft and Fresh Wave. Spectrum announced three weeks later it would close as of Dec. 31 (see Breaking News at www. wcponline.com for details). 💧
Sokoflok s.r.o., of Sokolov, Czech Republic, entered into an agreement in late November with Reston, Va.-based LightStream Technologies Inc., to serve as the exclusive technology provider of the latter’s LS series of advanced pulsed UV water disinfection machines in the Czech and Slovak Republics. 💧
Effective Jan. 15, Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co. increased the price of DOWEX ion exchange resins by an average of 6 percent across the entire range of products. 💧
Amtrol Inc., of West Warwick, R.I., announced third quarter 2002 net sales of $47.4 million, an increase of $2 million or 4.3 percent vs. 2001’s third quarter. It’s an international producer and marketer of flow and expansion control products, water heaters, and cylinders for a variety of gases. 💧
Sterlitech Corp., of Kent, Wash., acquired the high-pressure stirred cell product line from Osmonics Inc., of Minnetonka, Minn., in late October. 💧
In November, Vivendi Universal sold half its 40 percent stake in Vivendi Environnement. The deal raised Vivendi’s 2002 asset sale target to 7 billion euros from 5 billion euros and provides crucial cash as the company pulls together a 4 billion euro bid to prevent Vodafone from taking over its French phone assets. Vivendi will divest of all of VE by 2004. 💧
LifeSource Engineering Inc., of Seminole, Fla., was awarded a contract to install a 66,000-gallon per day double-pass, reverse osmosis seawater desalination system for the Island Government of Sint Eustasius, Netherlands Antilles. 💧
Pall Corp., of East Hills, N.Y., reported fourth quarter sales grew 29.5 percent to $428.9 million compared to $331.5 million last year. Also, it and Aqua-Aerobic Systems Inc., of Rockford, Ill., joined forces to supply solutions to water/wastewater management concerns. 💧
The largest water vending machine company, Glacier Water Services Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., said its sales in 2002’s second quarter rose 19.2 percent to $18.4 million from the same period last year. Its net loss decreased to $614,000 from $990,000. 💧
Denver’s American Water Works Association launched a new section at its website (www.awwa.org)—the Consumer Water Center. Divided into “General Information,” “Security” and “Youth Education” categories, it’s designed to give consumers information and resources on drinking water issues. 💧
Demand for consumer water and air purification systems is forecast to increase 5.6 percent a year to $1.5 billion in 2006, comprising almost 13 million units. Including replacement filters and membranes, total sales are expected to reach $2.8 billion, reported Cleveland market research firm The Freedonia Group Inc. 💧
Aquasure Technologies Inc., of Ontario, Canada, was granted a U.S. patent (No. 6,465,242) for its unique portable microbial incubators. It’s a single-test, precision, incubator providing lab performance for testing of microbials where quick access to accurate result analysis is an issue. 💧
Watertown, Mass.-based Ionics Inc. said revenues for the first half of this year were $159.7 million vs. $236.6 million for the same period in 2001. 💧
Calgon awarded big contract
Pittsburgh-based Calgon Carbon Corp. was awarded a two-year, $7million contract from an undisclosed major U.S. water treatment facility for perchlorate removal from contaminated groundwater. It also received a $575,000 contract to supply an integrated odor control system to the Massillon, Ohio, municipal wastewater treatment plant. And the company reported third quarter sales were $64.8 million, slightly above the $64.7 million reported for the same period in 2001. Nine month sales ending Sept. 30, 2002, were $195.5 million vs. $206.6 million in 2001.
Mickey drinks only Coke
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. said in late September its Dasani brand would become the exclusive bottled water sold at Walt Disney Co.’s U.S. parks and resorts, expanding a multi-year marketing partnership. The world’s No. 1 soft drink company, which is under pressure to boost beverage sales in North America, noted Dasani would also be served on the Disney Cruise Line. Under the agreement, Coca-Cola will expand Dasani advertising on ABC-TV, ESPN, Lifetime and other Disney media. The brand also will become an associate sponsor of the Walt Disney World Marathon.
Court sides with Crane
Venice, Fla.-based Crane Environmental Inc. sued founder Edward Closuit, Myriam Murphy and Andalite Industries/Haliant Technologies to enforce restrictive employment and business covenants involved in the sale of Environmental Products USA—now Crane Environmental—to Crane Co. in May 1998. On Sept. 27, 2002, in the Twelfth Federal Circuit Court in Sarasota County, Fla., Judge Nancy Donnellan entered a temporary injunction against the defendants ordering them to comply with the covenants. The court ordered the defendants to “cease and desist all business operations pertaining to reverse osmosis and membrane based water purification business, whether through Haliant or a third party; cease and desist from soliciting directly or indirectly Crane Environmental employees; cease and desist from using Crane Environmental proprietary information including computer files, and cease and desist use of marketing materials containing images of Crane RO equipment.” On Oct. 1, the defendants filed a notice of appeal to the Second District Court of Appeals in Lakeland, Fla. In addition, they asked the appellate court to stay the injunction while the case is on appeal.
FDA eases up on wording
U.S. food companies may seek federal approval to avoid using the word “irradiation” on labels of foods treated with the disease-killing process, and instead use language such as “cold pasteurization,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in October. Irradiation, which is endorsed by the World Health Organization and also used to describe exposure to ultraviolet light, exposes food to low doses of electrons or gamma rays to destroy deadly microorganisms such as E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. U.S. regulators approved its use with raw chicken and beef as well as spices and dried seasonings. American foodmakers have been slow to adopt the treatment for raw meat and poultry because of the cost of the equipment and worries about consumer acceptance.
FreshCheck bought by NSF
NSF International, of Ann Arbor, Mich., acquired FreshCheck, of St. Paul, Minn. FreshCheck provides food safety, sanitation and quality assurance services to supermarkets to improve product quality, shelf life of perishables and overall sanitation practices. In other news, Atlantic Ultraviolet Corp., of Hauppauge, N.Y., received a new verification report and statement for the ETV Drinking Water Systems Center from NSF. The study indicated the system achieved a 1.7 to 2.1 log inactivation of the MS2 virus—a challenge surrogate that’s more resistant to UV light than Cryptosporidium and Giardia. The full report for the Megatron Unit, Model M250, is on the NSF and USEPA ETV web pages.
MIOX system boards plane
MIOX Corp., of Albuquerque, has manufactured the first on-board water purification system to be used on the Airbus A380. The technology is similar to the company’s on-site generators that various municipalities use for potable water treatment. In early November, The Wall Street Journal ran a feature on the system.
Chemical endangers wells
High-level discussions between federal, state environmental and Defense Department officials have produced no solutions about how to treat a Harford County (Md.) town’s contaminated drinking water. Military training exercises at Aberdeen Proving Ground, a key center for Army testing and research, left most of Aberdeen’s wells tainted by perchlorate. The chemical, which is used as a rocket propellant, impairs thyroid function and is suspected of contributing to developmental problems in fetuses, infants and young children. As it negotiates cleanup of Aberdeen’s wells, Maryland is being drawn into a national dispute over perchlorate, a salt-like compound detected in groundwater in over 21 states. The major question facing states is—How much perchlorate can people safely ingest? Officials haven’t reached a consensus on the standard to be allowed. A final risk assessment is expected by the middle of this year, and the USEPA admits a standard is probably two to three years off.
U.S. cities decide on STS
Severn Trent Services (STS), of Fort Washington, Pa., was awarded a $970,000 contract by Baltimore to perform a comprehensive analysis of the city’s water production, distribution and metering system by early 2004. The company also delivered up to 60 water quality monitors to be installed within the Welsh Water area (U.K.). The first 15 have been in operation since June. Meanwhile, the state of Louisiana purchased 12 units of STS rapid response water testing systems. In addition, Alamogordo, N.M., gave an eight-year contract to STS for the city’s water and wastewater treatment facilities. The city has 35,000 residents, and the contract is worth $1.42 million for the first year. Finally, Southeast, N.Y., renewed STS’ contract for operations and management of the town’s water and wastewater treatment facilities. The three-year contract is valued at $244,000 for the first year and includes a three-year renewal option.
Russia gets water plant
A 2,500 m3/h (16 million gallons per day) water treatment plant for the city of Kogalym, Russia, was put in operation in October. CUEKS Ltd., an Estonian “design-build” construction firm, was awarded the development project including the treatment plant, storage reservoirs and distribution system. The water source is groundwater from 16 different wells. All wells have low pH and contain high levels of iron, manganese, TOC and methane. A two-year pilot study to optimize oxidant type and filtration regime determined that a process from Phoenix-based GDT Corp. would be used for gas-liquid mass transfer to oxidize iron and manganese, among other functions. GDT Corp. also supplies ozone and aeration systems for aquaculture, agricultural wastewater, bottled water, pool, industrial and food processing applications.
Bottler names distributor
Clearly Canadian Beverage Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, announced in late November the expansion of its distribution agreement with All-American Bottling Corp., the third largest independent soft drink bottler in the United States. Also, Clearly Canadian has appointed All-American as the exclusive distributor of Clearly Canadian sparkling flavored water and Tre Limone in the Colorado consumer market.
Christ reserves order
Switzerland-based Christ Water Technology Group (CWT), a BWT Group company, received a large order from one of the world’s largest general contractors in the semi-conductor industry. CWT will deliver an ultrapure water system to China with a value of $2 million. The unit will produce 270 cubic meters per hour of ultrapure water for semi-conductor production. This marks the first order for the company in the semi-conductor industry sector in China.
Guyana’s water gets sold
Birmingham, U.K.-based Severn Trent won a four-year, $20 million grant to manage most of Guyana’s ailing water sector, the government said. The company beat out British-based BI Water for the contract. Severn Trent officials will take over most top positions at the state-owned Guyana Water Inc., which the government has criticized as poorly managed. Broken wells and ruptured waterlines have become common throughout the country, and consumers often complain about poor water quality. The grant is being funded by Britain’s Department for International Development, and begins this year. Severn Trent has worked three years in neighboring Trinidad and Tobago. Guyana is a country of about 700,000.
Danone acquires bottler
French consumer products company Groupe Danone said in November that it has agreed to buy Canada’s Sparkling Spring Water Holdings Ltd. Financial details weren’t disclosed but, based on deals for similar companies, the price was placed between $300 million to $400 million. Sparkling Spring, of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is a producer and distributor of bottled water for home and office delivery. It has annual revenue of $100 million, and owns 210,000 water coolers. Danone already owns McKesson, the third-largest processor and marketer of water delivered to homes and offices. McKesson operates in 30 states, primarily in the western United States.
ZENON launches into homes
Canada-based ZENON’s new product, the Homespring UF100, became available through Enbridge Home Services in the greater Toronto area, Ottawa and the Muskoka region in October. Starting in January, the house water treatment product will be launched in other Enbridge Home Services outlets throughout Ontario. The product has received certification from NSF International.
Ozone system lands in China
WEDECO AG Water Technology, of Düsseldorf, Germany, announced the successful conclusion of a major drinking water project in China through its German subsidiary WEDECO Umwelt-technologie GmbH. WEDECO will supply and install an ozone system for Shenzhen, a city of 3 million in the south of China near Hong Kong. The system will have an output of 108 kilograms per hour of ozone and will commence operation in 2004.
Coke battles Pepsi in India
Coca-Cola’s Indian unit entered the $1.12 billion ready-made tea and coffee market in November. The world’s biggest soft drinks company, which holds the upper hand over rival PepsiCo Inc. in the battle for India’s $1.2 billion carbonated beverages market, said its new Georgia tea and coffee line would start selling in mid-November. In other news, Coca-Cola has launched four new vitamin-enhanced, flavored versions of its Dasani bottled water brand. It will be available in mandarin orange, lemon tangerine, wild berry and pear cucumber, and initially sold in New York City, Cincinnati, and Charleston, S.C. Coca-Cola hopes to compete against other vitamin-enhanced flavored waters such as PepsiCo.’s Aquafina Essentials, which was introduced last summer.
ADI makes inroads in Japan
ADI Group Inc., of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, signed a licensing agreement with SANIX Inc., of Hakata-ku, Japan. The licensing is for the former’s MEDIA G2 and Sulfa-Bind and applies to all of Japan. MEDIA G2 is a medium used in the removal of arsenic from drinking water. Sulfa-Bind is used for the removal of hydrogen sulfide from gas. Currently, ADI has four arsenic removal systems in Japan with several pilot tests under way. SANIX is in the process of merging with Aqua Plant, of Tokyo, a licensee of MEDIA G2. ADI provides consulting, design, and water and wastewater treatment solutions to industries and governments worldwide.
Ontario pushes licensing
Ontario, Canada’s conservative government, hurt by a tainted-water scandal that killed seven people two years ago in Walkerton, introduced legislation in late October that hopes to prevent a similar incident from recurring. The Safe Water Drinking Act comes in response to recommendations from the Walkerton Inquiry, a probe by Ontario Justice Dennis O’Connor, into how the town’s water became infected in 2000. The water bill requires that all water-testing laboratories be licensed, a first in Canada. Among other reforms, the bill would create a new position of chief drinking water inspector and new standards for water testing, treatment, distribution and quality.