Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

People

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

McKnight to chair group
Susan McKnight, vice president of Northbrook, Ill.-based Quality Flow Inc., was named chair of a new professional development group on “Water Quality and Safety” for the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP). The IAFP publishes two scientific journals and keeps members informed of the latest scientific, technical and practical developments in food safety and sanitation. Among issues the professional development group will address are water quality standards for food processors, quality of water monitoring and analysis and, in light of terrorist activities worldwide, security of public water systems. Quality Flow Inc. provides expertise to assure safe water and water treatment to companies in the food and beverage service industry. The company is a member of the WQA, National Restaurant Association, International Association of Food Protection and the American Water Works Association.

Calgon shakes up lineup
Calgon Carbon Corp., of Pittsburgh, announced that Leroy Ball was elected vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), effective in mid-November. He succeeds William Cann, who is leaving Calgon Carbon to become vice president and CFO of Cable Design Technologies. Cann will remain the com-pany’s CFO until all requirements for the third quarter are completed. Ball holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Florida International University and a master’s degree in business from Robert Morris University. In other news, Joseph Fischette—senior vice president, general counsel and secretary—retired on Nov. 1, following 23 years of service with the company and its predecessors. Meanwhile, Gail Gerono was elected vice president of investor relations and communications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in French from Mercyhurst College and a master’s degree in business from Duquesne University.

Healthy Trojan gains new VP
Martha Nelson was appointed vice president of marketing and corporate communications at Canada-based Trojan Technologies Inc. Nelson manages corporate marketing initiatives to broaden the acceptance of ultraviolet (UV) water treatment technology. She has more than 20 years marketing and corporate communications experience in Canada’s energy, telecommunications and public sectors. In other news, the company announced its operating and financial results for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2002. Revenues grew 26.5 percent to $92.7 million from $73.3 million in 2001. Revenues for the residential market increased to $5.5 million from $4.3 million in 2001, a jump of 28 percent.

Amjad brings home prize
Dr. Zahid Amjad, a senior research fellow with Noveon Inc., received the Ray Baum Memorial Water Technologist of the Year Award during the Association of Water Technologies’ 2002 Convention and Exposition in September. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurial spirit and contributions to the field of water treatment and particularly for service to the AWT and its members. Amjad has spent the past 20 years with Noveon in water soluble polymer research. Prior to that, he spent three years at Calgon Corp. in deposit control research. During his career, Amjad has written over 100 technical papers, edited five books and holds 29 U.S. patents. His research interests include application of water-soluble polymers, crystal growth and inhibition and solid/liquid separation.

Leiby bows out at ASDWA
After 14 years with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), and 10 years as executive director, Vanessa Leiby has decided to step down. She will take a position with The Cadmus Group, of Watertown, Mass., an international consulting firm. Leiby will be a principal on drinking water issues. The ASDWA board formed a search committee: Kevin Brown (president), Jay Rutherford (president-elect), Gregg Grunenfelder (past president), Leiby, and the incoming president, Jeff Stuck to name Leiby’s successor.

Aqua Dyne gets new manager
Aqua Dyne Inc., of Houston, has appointed John Garrard to manager of technical services. Garrard has over 28 years experience in the wastewater industry dealing with large wastewater treatment projects for government and industrial clients in many countries. He will be involved in the commercial roll-out of Aqua Dyne’s JetWater system—its new water purification unit. Prior to Aqua Dyne, he worked at Alfa Laval, where he was responsible for deployment, integration, compliance and commissioning of major wastewater plants.

D-19 member wins award
G. Douglas Glysson, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), of Reston, Va., is a 2002 recipient of the ASTM Award of Merit. The award is given to an ASTM member for participation in a committee. He was nominated by Committee D-19 on Water. With USGS since 1970, Glysson has concentrated on surface water data collection techniques, sediment data collection and analysis, sediment data interpretation and studies, and teaching sediment data collection and records computations. He graduated from Sacramento State College with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. In addition, Glysson received a master’s degree in engineering administration from George Washington University. Committee D-19 on Water is one of 130 ASTM technical standards writing committees.  

Caporella becomes president
In late September National Beverage Corp., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., elected Joseph Caporella to president at its annual shareholders meeting. National Beverage produces soft drinks, bottled waters, juices and juice products and a line of flavors through brands such as Shasta®, Faygo®, Ritz®, Everfresh®, Mr. Pure® and LaCROIX®.

Portola hires new GM
New Castle, Pa.-based Portola Packaging Inc. appointed Dan Meehling as general manager of its equipment division. He is responsible for the global business of design, manufacture and sales of the equipment lines of cappers, de-cappers, fillers, bottle washers, complete water bottling plants and fitment applicators. Most recently, Meehling was division materials manager for the company’s U.S. cap manufacturing operations. Portola designs, manufactures and markets a full line of tamper-evident plastic closures for the dairy, fruit juice, bottled water, sports drinks, institutional food products and other non-carbonated beverage products, as well as bottles, filling and capping equipment for bottling lines.

Ask the Expert

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

Determining proper chlorine levels

Editor’s note: The following request was received in Spanish and translated for “Ask the Expert” by Agua Latinoamérica editor Ingvi Kallen.

Question: Allow me to congratulate you for publishing Agua Latinoamérica, which is a very useful source of information.

Some time ago I had the opportunity of reading your magazine in a friend’s business, and took advantage of the free subscription offer, and later paid for a long-term subscription. I would like to know where I can find information about the limitations of drinking water disinfection with chlorine and its by-products (hypochlorites) specifically, if there is a table available that shows the effects of chlorine on virus, bacteria, parasites (protozoa), algae and fungi spores.

This information is extremely important to me since, in these Latin American countries, chlorine is used with the belief that it eliminates any type of microbiological contamination. It would be very interesting to know the levels of residual chlorine that present a germicidal effect on each one of the microorganism groups previously mentioned.

Déborah Pellecer
provecom@itelgua.com

Answer: The following website (for the Wilkes University Center for Environmental Quality in Pennsylvania) has some information related to the data you’re seeking: http://wilkes.edu/~eqc/chlorinecontact.htm

A table can also be found at a webpage for a “Water Sanitation” course at Kansas State University: www.oznet.kus.edu/grsc_subi/Teaching/GRSC651_Courses_ Material/lecture_slides/GRSC651_lect_ 32_Water_ Sanitation.ppt
Additional information can be found directly at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website. See:

Unfortunately, all of these web-pages listed above are in English. But you might be able to request the information in Spanish, particularly from the USEPA as the agency increasingly has provided such data in both English and Spanish.

Global Spotlight

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.

International

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.

Letters

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

Bristly over brand names
Dear Editor,
In the “Viewpoint” section of WC&P’s October 2002 issue (see “Pentair Buys Plymouth Products, USFilter Sells Waterworks Division; and the 8×8-oz. Rule Under Fire,” Carlos David Mogollón, WC&P Executive Editor), you note that industry watchers wonder if and when component suppliers may begin to market their own brand of dealer-direct water treatment system. You then go on to cite that Osmonics has done so by stating, “Osmonics introduced a household softener line for independent dealers under the AvantaPure brand.” I would like to clarify that this statement is misleading. The AvantaPure program allows a number of proprietary OEMs to participate in a nationally marketed brand. These OEM participants only purchase the control valve as a component from Osmonics—and go on to procure the tanks and media and accessories from other component suppliers. This is exactly the same business model that Osmonics conducts with all of its OEM customers on a daily basis. We remain committed to our OEM distribution network today, as we have for the past 40 years.

Terry F. Teach,
Director of Sales and Marketing
Osmonics Valves and Controls

Editor’s note: Sorry for the confusion.

Reaching Andy
Dear Editor,
Reading your August issue of WC&P, on page 6, I found in your Viewpoint interesting news about Mr. Andrew Warners (“Back to School, Congratulations, on Being Right, and a Centennial of Sorts”). I have tried to contact him at the email indicated in your magazine “awarners@ mail.wqa.org” but it doesn’t work. Could you please let me know the right address, or how can I reach him in another way? I will appreciate your help. Thank you in advance.
Claudio Natalini, Export Manager
GEL Italy
Castelfidardo, Italy

Editor’s note: You’ve accidentally added an “r” to his name. Warnes is the new director of the WQA World Assembly Division. The email is “awarnes@mail.wqa.org”. You can also call (630) 505-0160 or fax: (630) 505-9637. Hope that helps.

Viewpoint

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

Water economics 101, GE SmartWater, California and Quebec January comes in with a more positive vibe economically for the coming year. Some folks might say, “Of course, there’s no place to go but up…,” which may be true considering November unemployment rose to 6 percent nationally (the highest in eight years), with 400,000 planned layoffs announced in the final quarter of 2002 and roughly 2 million job losses for the year (compared to 2.5 million for 2001). See the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov/schedule/archives/mmls_nr.htm) if you’re keeping track.

But the new Bush Administration economic team at least looks better than the prior one, which seemed capable only of an endless succession of gaffes (although I liked that former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill toured with U2’s Bono). And with interest rates at their lowest in decades, third quarter housing starts were up 7 percent over 2001, the fourth highest quarterly figure for this since 1987, and quarterly new single-family home sales were up 15 percent from 2001—the highest since tracking began in 1963. Existing home sales also were expected to break records in 2002. And refinancing averaged about 70 percent of all mortgage activity in 2002’s second half (see www.mbaa.org/news/weekly_app.html and www.huduser.org/periodicals/ushmc.html). To bring it home—pardon the pun—my parents were able to lower their mortgage rate to 5-¾ percent. I dropped a point and a half off mine.

What does that mean? Well, business. While most feedback WC&P has gotten from water treatment industry executives indicates commercial/industrial sales remain stagnant, residential sales seem to be booming. Both new homeowners and homeowners with more expendable cash from refinancing mean potential sales, acknowledges Russ Patterson, senior vice president of EcoWater Systems of St. Paul, Minn. “I think there’s plenty of upside in the water business,” Patterson said, highlighting softeners and refrigerator filters.

One of the ways EcoWater has leveraged its business is by contracting to produce private label equipment for Sears and General Electric. Patterson said it’s unclear what may happen to EcoWater’s GE softener deal, i.e., the GE SmartWater brand, now that the latter has acquired Osmonics Inc. GE/Osmonics chief financial officer Keith Robinson wasn’t sure if Osmonics would inherit the work. “We’d like to think so but, at this point, we really just don’t know. It’s too early in the integration process to make any informed guesses about opportunities available to us. We’ve barely even complied with the regulatory filings,” Robinson said.

In other news, one of our “Drinking Water Dollars” columnists, Neil Berlant, was  interviewed in November by The Wall Street Transcript (see www.twst.com) on the evolving water industry and prospects for dramatic growth in POU equipment that make him “dangerously ebullient.” You’ll find Steve Maxwell’s installment for the column in this issue.

We also were instructed by California Department of Health Services to inform you we were premature in discussing a potential agreement to ease drinking water treatment unit (DWTU) testing requirements by allowing ANSI-accredited laboratory data for California certification in our November review of the WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference. For details on this, though, read the WQANewsFax for Dec. 2.

Lastly, to follow-up on my November Viewpoint, the Quebeçois remain mostly recalcitrant to modifying deadlines for DWTU compliance with ANSI/NSF standards. In a Dec. 10 letter responding to notification to dealers that Standards 53, 58 and 61 would have to be met by Jan. 1, 2003, and Standards 44, 55 and 62 by April 1, 2003, the province’s building inspectorate basically said: “Go away before we taunt you a second time…” Beyond the Monty Pythonesque reply, one has to wonder what they’re thinking, considering they basically acknowledge even if there were enough labs ANSI-accredited for such testing, they couldn’t come close to meeting the deadlines. That’s not to mention the fact Standard 61 doesn’t currently apply to DWTUs. Still, it might engender a bit more cooperation if the WQA, Canadian WQA and Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating offered an earlier alternative deadline than Jan. 1, 2005—granted that’s only two years difference.

Carlos David Mogollòn
WC&P Executive Editor

The Case for UV in Dechlorination Applications

Tuesday, January 14th, 2003

By Brad Shipe

Summary: To eliminate free chlorine from potable water, activated carbon or addition of neutralizing chemicals are the most common solutions. Still, ultraviolet (UV) irradiation treatment, once an afterthought, is gaining wider acceptance as various industries are finding it reduces some more common drawbacks associated with dechlorination.


For many years, chemical disinfection techniques have been used to provide microbiologically pure water for industrial and domestic uses. Free chlorine, typically introduced by municipal water treatment plants in the gaseous form, has been employed for many decades as a primary oxidizing agent for the control of microbiological growth. Free chlorine can also be introduced through injection of sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide and other chlorine compounds. When chlorine is injected into waters with naturally occurring humic acids, fulvic acids and other naturally occurring material (NOM), disinfection by-products (DBPs) such as trihalomethane (THM) compounds are formed. About 90 percent of the total trihalomethanes (TTHM) formed is chloroform and the remaining 10 percent are bromodichloromethane (CHCl2Br), dibromochloromethane (CHBr2Cl) and bromoform (CHBr3). Since THMs have demonstrated to be cancer causing to laboratory animals in relatively low concentrations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) set its maximum contaminant level (MCL) in primary drinking water at 100 parts per billion (ppb) in 1979.

Although widely used, many industrial processes cannot tolerate chlorine because of contamination and unwanted chemical reactions. It can accelerate corrosion of vessels, valves and piping, and also cause damage to delicate process equipment such as reverse osmosis (RO) membranes and deionization (DI) resin units. It can also affect the taste, flavor and smell of drinks and liquids. Therefore, it often must be removed once it has performed its disinfection function.

To date, the two most commonly used methods of chlorine removal have been granular activated carbon (GAC) filters or the addition of neutralizing chemicals such as sodium bisulfite. Both of these methods have their advantages, but they also have a number of significant drawbacks.

Granular activated carbon
Activated carbon is frequently used in industrial applications such as beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturing and in point-of-use (POU) units for residential and commercial applications; however, GAC filters—which are usually located upstream of the RO membranes—can also serve as an incubator of bacteria because of their porous structure and nutrient-rich environment. Additional problems encountered with use of GAC filters are increased head loss, regeneration costs and unpredictable chlorine breakthrough.

Sodium metabisulfite or bisulfite
This is either purchased in solution or bought as a dry powder and then mixed on site. It’s commonly injected in front of RO membranes used in the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries. One common problem with this approach is the solution itself becomes an incubator of bacteria, causing biofouling of the membranes. It’s also another chemical that has to be documented in use, handling and storage for regulators such as the USEPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Additional problems encountered with the use of sodium metabisulfite are:

  1. Maintenance of dosing equipment,
  2. Hazardous materials to handle,
  3. Sodium metabisulfite scales RO membranes, and
  4. Sodium sulfate can be formed, acting as a stimulant to sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRBs); odor and taste implications also arise.

High-intensity UV systems
An increasingly popular dechlorination technology, with none of the above drawbacks, is ultraviolet (UV) treatment. High-intensity, broad spectrum UV systems (also known as medium-pressure UV) reduce both free chlorine and combined chlorine compounds (chloramines) into easily removed by-products.

Between the wavelengths 180 nanometers (nm) to 400 nm UV light produces photochemical reactions that dissociate free chlorine to form hydrochloric acid. The peak wavelengths for dissociation of free chlorine range from 180 to 200 nm, while the peak wavelengths for dissociation of combined chlorine (mono-, di-, and tri-chloramine) range from 245 to 365 nm. Figure 1 shows the UV output of one high intensity, medium pressure UV lamp. Up to 5 parts per million (ppm) of chloramines can be successfully destroyed in a single pass through a UV reactor and up to 15 ppm of free chlorine can be removed.

Many water treatment systems include RO units, which commonly use thin-film composite membranes because of their greater efficiency. These membranes cannot tolerate much chlorine, however, so locating the UV unit upstream of the RO can effectively dechlorinate the water, eliminating or greatly reducing the need for chemical feed or carbon.

The UV dosage required for dechlorination depends on adsorption of UV in the water, total chlorine level, ratio of free vs. combined chlorine, background level of organics, and target reduction concentrations. The usual dose for removal of free chlorine is 15 to 30 times higher than the normal disinfection dose of 30,000 microWatt-seconds per square centimeter (µW-s/cm2). Membranes, therefore, stay cleaner much longer because the dose for dechlorination is so much higher than the normal dose used if dechlorination wasn’t the goal.

Additional important benefits of using UV dechlorination are:

  • High levels of UV disinfection,
  • Total organic compound (TOC) destruction,
  • Eliminate safety hazard associated with mixing bisulfite,
  • Eliminate risk of introducing microorganisms into RO (via GAC or sodium bisulfite injection), and
  • Overall improved water quality at point-of-use.

As with other dechlorination technologies, the UV dosage required at a given flow rate is dependent on several process parameters including process water transmittance level, background organics level, and influent chlorine and target effluent chlorine concentration levels.

UV applications
Successful applications of UV dechlorination range from pharmaceutical, food and beverage processing to semiconductor fabrication and power generation. In these industries, dissatisfaction with conventional dechlorination methods has encouraged alternative methods. The following are examples of some applications in which high intensity, broad-spectrum output (medium pressure) UV has been successfully used for dechlorination.

Pharmaceutical industry
A UV dechlorination unit was recently installed at Procter & Gamble’s Greensboro, N.C., manufacturing plant of pharmaceutical drugs. The unit was installed before two banks of RO membranes; prior to this, dechlorination was achieved using sodium bisulfite. Trials ran soon after the UV system’s installation showed a dramatic reduction in the RO membrane wash frequency—down from an average of eight cleanings per month to only two per month—amounting to an annual savings of $70,000. The number of shutdowns for RO membrane maintenance has also been significantly reduced.

“We are very pleased with the UV system,” said Kurt Loughlin, utilities process engineer. “Not only have we saved money since the UV system was installed, but the disruption caused by plant shutdowns as a result of RO membrane fouling has also been significantly reduced. UV provides a high standard of dechlorination without any of the drawbacks of using chemicals or GAC filters.”

Semiconductor industry
A large West Coast semiconductor manufacturer used RO-treated water through an air scrubber to wash isopropyl alcohol (IPA) out of the exhaust air. After being saturated with IPA, the water was run through a RO system to remove the alcohol. The water is then sent back to the scrubber for reuse. Prior to this a powerful biocide was used but, due to hazardous conditions with application and handling and extremely high costs, injection of sodium hypochlorite (free chlorine) was substituted and UV was used to dechlorinate prior to the RO. The target was to reduce free chlorine levels of 1.0 ppm to less than 0.01 ppm with 500 ppm of IPA present. The flow rate was 80 gallons per minute (gpm). The actual concentration was 1.1 ppm free chlorine and 1,300 ppm of IPA with actual reduction down to 0.02 ppm.

Brewing industry
A mid-sized brewer on the West Coast used well water from a municipal source for plant makeup water. The municipality was forced to begin chlorinating this water due to federal regulation. Unfortunately, the chlorination altered the taste of the product.

The brewery chose to use carbon to remove the free chlorine, but was discouraged because of high capital costs, increased maintenance expenses, and difficulty sanitizing and cleaning the carbon. The chlorine levels were up to 1.0 ppm but, after a trial period using UV for dechlorination, the brewery reported results of 0.04 to 0.01 ppm levels. The company thus elected to eliminate its carbon entirely and use UV dechlorination instead.

Conclusion
As can be seen from the above examples, the potential applications for high intensity, medium pressure UV for dechlorination and the benefits it brings cover a wide variety of industries and processes. UV dechlorination offers real opportunities for those willing to invest in this innovative technology.

About the author
With over 10 years UV experience, Brad Shipe is manager for the High Purity Water Department of Aquionics Inc., of Erlanger, Ky., near Cincinnati. A market leader in UV technology for disinfection, deozonation, dechlorination and TOC removal, it’s part of Halma Plc., with affiliates in the United Kingdom and Holland. Shipe can be reached at (859) 341-0710, (859) 341-0350 (fax), email: sales@aquionics.com or website: http://www.aquionics.com.

ComputerWare: Protect Your Business—The Importance of a Daily Software Backup

Tuesday, January 14th, 2003

By Dick McHose & Fred Bussone

A daily and verified backup of your business software is an easy, inexpensive way to protect your water treatment/bottled water dealership from a catastrophic hardware failure. Perhaps most critical to your business is your customer database. A computer systems’ reliability is often taken for granted. Such a high comfort level with our computers and software can make us complacent and forget to do daily data backups. Frequently, we even neglect to do them at all. This is a very poor gamble, as the following real-life incidents illustrate.

Truth and consequences
At 4 a.m. on a Monday morning, a Culligan water dealership in the Midwest figuratively burned to the ground. Its computer melted. There were no records left; however, a copy of the previous Friday’s backup was secured off site and, with its software vendor’s help, it was up and running with a new computer on Tuesday.

A California bottled water company’s last backup was done in February. In September, lightning struck the building and fried anything with circuit boards including its phones, fax machine and computer. It had no choice but to rebuild the last six months of data from scratch.

One Texas EcoWater company religiously made a backup every day but had never taken the time to check and verify that the backup was good. Staffers ignored error messages. The tape they were using had gone bad; it would no longer hold data. One day, a power outage occurred while running the month-end procedure. When they tried to restore from the backup, they discovered the tape was garbage. It couldn’t be read. It was useless.

A reverse osmosis filtration company in Florida followed precisely all the rules for backing up its “industry specific business software;” however, it also had “lead management” software as well as years of business correspondence created in Microsoft Word and Excel on the hard drive of a PC workstation, which was never backed up. You can guess what happened next—the hard drive went bad. This story has another good news/bad news element. The company was able to find another company that specialized in recovering data from fried hard drives. That’s the good news. They sent the damaged drive to the data recovery company. Four weeks later they received a CD back with about 80 percent of their recovered data—and an invoice for $2,000.

A disgruntled employee fired for theft broke into his former employer’s business, stole its computer and destroyed it. He knew his former employer didn’t have a backup and would be severely hurt by the loss of its customer and routing information. He was caught, but the damage was done.

In today’s computer environment, it’s more important than ever to create a daily data backup of your business software. Besides catastrophic events like fire, flood and lighting—which happen much more frequently than you would think—we also have problems with bad media, power surges, operation system error, lock-up and computer viruses. All present a very real threat to your business software. If you have a good backup, these problems are manageable.

Six simple steps
To protect your business software, follow these simple rules:

  1. Purchase a backup system and use it daily: Whether it’s floppy disk, tape, zip drives or CD-ROMs, find the format right for your business and use it.
  2. Set up a procedure for your daily backup: Determine a time of day for running your backup and make it an unalterable routine, whether first thing in the morning, during lunch hour or the last 20 minutes before closing the office. Some companies have backup software that runs automatically at night. Establish your backup procedure and stick to it. If, during your daily backup, you have a problem or error message, it’s critical to identify the cause and fix it ASAP. Don’t let a small problem grow into a big one.
  3. Do a verified backup at least once a week: This will vary a little depending on the type of backup software you use. In short, data is backed up to your media (disk, tape, zip drive) and then the backup system will compare what was backed up to what’s on your hard drive to see if they’re the same. If so, you know the backup is good.
  4. Use different media every day: Have backup media for each day of your workweek. As a result, if your most recent backup ever goes bad, chances are you’ll have only lost one day of data.
  5. At least once every week take your backup off site: Take it home or leave it in your car, but get it out of the building. In event of fire, flood, robbery, ex-employee sabotage, etc., you can get back to business right away. Remember to replace your media at least every two years.
  6. Backup before your “period end” and “month end” processing: If hit by a power surge, lock-up, etc., halfway through processing, you won’t have to go back and re-enter the data since your most recent backup.

Conclusion
Don’t take unnecessary risks with critical business data. Follow these simple rules for system backup. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to protect your business software and therefore your business. We can assure you the unnamed companies mentioned above that experienced these “catastrophes,” always backup every day now without fail.

About the authors
Dick McHose and Fred Bussone are regional sales directors for Nevada Computer Systems, developers of the WaterFlex Management System. Nevada Computer, of West Des Moines, Iowa, has been providing software designed specifically for the water industry for over 30 years. They can be reached at (800) 294-6222, (515) 225-1889 (fax), email: sales@nevadacomputer.com or website: http://www.nevadacomputer.com.

Learning the Hard Way Near the Big Apple—Long Island Water Services of East Islip, N.Y.

Tuesday, January 14th, 2003

By Ronald Y. Pérez, WC&P Managing Editor

In the eight years Long Island Water Services (LIWS) has been in business, it has committed every mistake in the book. This statement comes from Barry DeLong, vice president of sales at East Islip, N.Y.-based LIWS. He says it with a smile, knowing full well that the business has overcome some early growing pains and is now primed to mine the water treatment market in Long Island and neighboring communities. For instance, DeLong recalls his initiation as a salesperson while using one doomed marketing technique.

“Doing business in the Midwest is a whole lot different than doing business out here,” DeLong says. “Over here, you knock on (customers’) doors and they could be going for their shotgun. In the Midwest, they’re waiting for you to talk about their water. After attending one sales seminar, I tried cold calling here. I never saw such a negative reception. I had people telling me they would call the police. After three days, I stopped. There’s not as much competition here as you would think because it’s such a hard sell.”

Turning it around
As the old cigarette ad used to say, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” Today, LIWS is expected to reach $500,000 in annual revenues for 2002—up from $350,000 in 1999-2000—and just scored a major coup with a medical outpatient/drug rehabilitation facility to install 40 point-of-use (POU) water coolers. The operator of the facility is also closely connected to 15 other buildings so the job may lead to bigger things down the road. The bottleless water coolers use reverse osmosis (RO), ultraviolet (UV) and microfiltration all in one system.

Nevertheless, DeLong says LIWS has taken a “methodical and conservative approach” to growth and expansion with 75 percent of its business in residential applications and the remainder in commercial/industrial.

Power in numbers?
“We have three million people on the island. You would think with that many people, we would be going gangbusters,” DeLong says. “Our primary problem is that 90 percent of the people on Long Island are on public water. While there may be chlorine problems, the hardness can be anywhere between 5 to 8 grains. So when you start talking water softeners, it’s not such a big item here. Not to mention that the place has been literally pulverized with telemarketing and in-home sales.”

LIWS is the brainchild of Donna Volpe, owner and president, and James Savarese, CWS-III, vice president of service/installation. Previously, an EcoWater dealership existed in Long Island but the owner was forced to fold and LIWS took over about 200 service accounts. Savarese has 30 years of experience and is credited with convincing DeLong that there was a bright future in water treatment.

“Donna and Jim have been friends of the family for quite awhile. Jim came over for dinner one night after I had bought my house and started showing me stuff at the sink. He almost did a pitch,” DeLong, 51, recalls. “I saw what he did and I bought the (water treatment) system right on the spot. I was getting tired of the mortgage business. In this area, it’s very competitive and a dog-eat-dog world.” Prior to LIWS, he was in that line of work for 23 years. Aside from a two-year, civil technology degree from Hudson Valley (N.Y.) Community College, DeLong was sent out in an unfamiliar profession to sell equipment that he knew little about, i.e., POU/POE water treatment devices.

Home to the sale
One thing that helped LIWS’ reputation in the local water treatment industry and DeLong’s understanding of selling as well was home shows. In an average year, Long Island plays host to six home shows, which isn’t a great number, DeLong says. “We like home shows,” he says. “We can’t afford not to be there. Otherwise, we would be closing our doors.” Add to that the fact only a couple of local water treatment dealers attend the shows. March and September are big months for home shows in Suffolk County and Farmingdale, N.Y., among other locales. The largest takes place in Nassau Coliseum, where LIWS’ booth is seen by 200,000 visitors.

DeLong asserts, “You need to have your lead sources coming from three or four different methods.” Aside from home shows, LIWS advertises in the yellow pages along with bottle drops, mass mailings and new homeowner leads. In addition, LIWS is in the process of formulating a new website for the business. The site will be mainly informative and not necessarily used for ordering or purchasing, he says.

“If anyone wants to come in here (Long Island market), you need a lot of money and a lot of patience,” he explains. “At one time, people would walk right by us during a home show at Nassau Coliseum. They didn’t even know who we were. Only years later did they start looking at our RO system. So it’s been a long, plodding ordeal. Plus, people are becoming more aware of their water, especially after Sept. 11. Now we’re seeing some results.”

From the ground up
So what treatment technologies are the most popular with LIWS’ 1,600 customer accounts? According to DeLong, Long Island is heavily supplied with groundwater—170 trillion gallons from three different aquifers to be exact. EcoWater supplies all of LIWS’ residential water treatment equipment, which includes its whole-house, RO system. The company doesn’t sell individual RO systems as per its strategy. For private wells, acid neutralizers are utilized to combat low pH problems. With such a reliance on groundwater, “breast and prostate cancer incidence rates are a big issue here, but we don’t sell that pitch,” he says. Also, Suffolk County was a popular destination in the 1970s for hazardous waste.

“The (municipal) water is not that hard,” DeLong says. Nitrates are located in the North Shore and, further east, more wells are used. In more rural areas, potato farms, fertilizers and pesticides affect the water’s quality. Great amounts of iron are found on Fire Island, and LIWS is looking to explore that market with added sales emphasis. The business has accumulated many commercial accounts including the North Shore University Hospital’s dialysis center. DeLong says that LIWS is looking to enter more multi-family units.

Long Island is home to a few independent water treatment dealers, several well drillers, and Hague and Culligan franchises. All should do well if DeLong is correct when he says, “There are more people with disposable income. When the rest of the country is down (economically), it takes awhile for New York and Long Island to get aboard that train. But then it takes awhile for us to disembark.”

Conclusion
LIWS became a WQA member in 1997, and DeLong says the Gold Seal program is very important. “Everybody here—especially Jimmy, Donna and I—believe in this and love what we do. I only wish I knew about this when I was 21 and starting out. We also want to take two more tests with WQA and get to CWS-V.” Yet, he adds, “In sales, you don’t want to become too educated (technically speaking).” He believes there’s a risk in talking over customer’s heads.

The sky is the limit for LIWS as most of the pitfalls that would sink a fledgling company haven’t dampened anyone’s spirit. “We’re psyched. We’ve served our time in hell,” he says. “It’s been trial by error and we’ve used all different types of marketing techniques. We’re veterans now; we’re creative. We’re very comfortable with the outlook of this company. Our name is out there and it’s starting to pay off.”

An Update on Industry Consolidation

Tuesday, January 14th, 2003

By Steve Maxwell

Since we last examined the merger and acquisition scenario in the water industry in these pages last year, the rapid pace of transactions has continued—between companies already in the business as well as firms seeking to enter the business. Widespread consolidation, at all levels of the business, remains one of the dominant trends in the overall water and wastewater treatment industry, and continues to reshape the business.

Looking first at larger-scale deals that have occurred this past year, the BetzDearborn business of Hercules was sold to the Specialty Materials unit of General Electric early in 2002. Betz-Dearborn, historically known as Betz Labs, has for decades been one of the top providers of water treatment chemicals to the world’s manufacturing and process industries. A longtime independent public company, BetzDearborn was only acquired by Hercules in 1998 but as Hercules’ financial problems mounted during the last few years, the water unit was sold off to help pay down debt, according to Hercules officials. The businesses purchased by GE were valued at $1.8 billion (or close to two times annual sales), and include some 3,600 employees. More recently GE acquired Osmonics Inc. for $253 million. The deals provide some insights into the future intent of GE in this industry, which already owns Glegg Water Conditioning (renamed GE Water Technologies) and is rumored to be looking for other water deals.

The French giant Vivendi, and particularly its subsidiary Vivendi Environnement (the parent organization of USFilter), has also been very active on the deal front in quite a number of areas. Earlier this year, the USFilter unit announced that it was selling its Filtration and Separations Group to Pall Corp. This transaction was valued at $360 million, about 1.4 times annual sales, and some 16 times trailing EBITDA—earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The unit is a major manufacturer of treatment products for the filtration and separation of liquids and gases, and serves the food and beverage, industrial, biotech and pharmaceutical industries, among others. This will push Pall’s level of international sales over the $1.5 billion mark, and establish it as a major player in the burgeoning water purification and reuse marketplace.

Following Culligan’s parent
Later this year, USFilter sold off its waterworks distribution business (to Thomas H. Lee Partners and J.P. Morgan Partners for $650 million) and its $80 million Plymouth Products consumer group (to Pentair). Explaining this string of divestitures, USFilter CEO Andy Seidel commented that “this will enable us to focus on the growth and development of our expanding core water-wastewater equipment and services businesses, as well as our consumer and commercial businesses.” (As a side note, this and other acquisitions bring Pentair’s total revenues in the water business to over $1 billion a year).

Elsewhere in the broader Vivendi empire, the company announced the intent to sell its 17 percent interest in the publicly held U.S. water utility Philadelphia Suburban Corp., although USFilter indicated that it would continue its various operating relationships with the utility. At about the same time, Vivendi announced its intent to purchase the assets of Southern Water in the United Kingdom, one of the major privatized UK water providers. Now, Vivendi Universal has indicated it will divest itself of Vivendi Environment by 2004.

Deals closer to home
Many of the other major water players have also been active on the “deal front.” United Water Resources, the U.S. arm of the Suez Group’s ONDEO water subsidiary, acquired U.S. Water from Bechtel and United Utilities of the UK for a reported $40 million. The acquisition added about 50 contracts serving more than a million people in the eastern United States, and approximately $30 million in revenue. Suez is, in total, the second largest water related company in the world after Vivendi.

Continuing its acquisition campaign, Philadelphia Suburban also made several acquisitions of smaller private water utilities during the year. The largest deal was the acquisition of most of the primary water operations of AquaSource Inc.—the short-lived and largely unsuccessful experiment of Duquesne Power in the water industry. The deal was priced at about $200 million, and brought approximately 170,000 new customers to Philadelphia Suburban. Most of the acquired business was located in the east and southeastern United States. The rest of the Aqua-Source business, mostly wastewater contract operations, was acquired by Southwest Water Company of West Covina, Calif. This part of the Aqua-Source business had revenues of about $16 million, and Southwest paid roughly $10 million for the business.

ITT Industries, another major diversified industrial conglomerate with substantial and growing interests in the water business, continued to make various acquisitions in the water market. ITT’s Fluid Technologies unit announced early in the year that its Sanitaire Division (a manufacturer of wastewater treatment systems and products) had acquired Royce Instruments of New Orleans, a maker of water and wastewater monitoring and control products. In May, ITT closed the purchase of the Pure Water Division of Waterlink Inc. and followed that with several other acquisitions.

On the smaller end, Crane Environmental—a unit of the broadly diversified Crane Corp.—acquired Kavey Water of Venice, Fla., a manufacturer of pre-treatment equipment for water purification. This brings Crane’s water business to approximately 120 people, located primarily in Florida and Pennsylvania. Numerous other transactions continue to occur at the smaller size level.

Table 1 shows our regular listing of publicly-traded water companies with various measures of relative valuation.

Conclusion
Typical water companies continue to be valued in the range of seven to eight times EBITDA—well above typical valuations in other parts of the environmental services industry. Most observers of the industry believe, given the huge developing need for additional infrastructure and more efficient water treatment, that many of these companies—and probably many new and emerging companies as well—will be attractive investment opportunities in the future. The reader will notice that a couple of companies that we have followed in the past are no longer here. Both Waterlink and Aqua Care have experienced continued revenue shrinkage and substantial devaluation in terms of their stock prices, to the point where their market values are almost negligible relative to revenues—hence, we will no longer follow them.

About the author
Steve Maxwell is managing director of TechKNOWLEDGEy Strategic Group, a Boulder, Colo.-based management consul-tancy specializing in mergers and acquisitions and strategic planning services to the water and environmental services business. Maxwell is also the editor and publisher of The Environmental Benchmarker and Strategist, an industry newsletter covering competitive and financial developments in the broader environmental services industry. He consults frequently to water companies on strategic planning and merger and acquisition issues, and can be reached at (303) 442-4800 or email: maxwell@tech-strategy.com.

Fixture Flow Rates: Wisconsin’s POE Water Treatment Device Sizing Requirements

Tuesday, January 14th, 2003

By Jeff Hellenbrand & Loretta Trapp

Summary: In an attempt to assist water treatment dealers and buoyed by a study from the WQA among others, the state of Wisconsin’s Department of Commerce has permitted an alternative method for the sizing of point-of-entry devices. Before, the state’s universal plumbing code was the law. The following discusses what this means for affected dealers.


The Wisconsin Department of Commerce has formally approved a system for sizing point-of-entry (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 Water Quality Association (WQA), “Analysis of Indoor Peak Demands in 60 Selected Single-Family Homes,” and conducted by Aquacraft Inc., Water Engineering & Management and the Wisconsin WQA, using an alternate sizing system application filed by the Wisconsin WQA. The funding for the study was a joint effort of the WQA and the Wisconsin WQA. The POE water treatment device alternate sizing method is valid through August 2007. In 2003-2004, the Wisconsin Plumbing Code Council may consider amendments to the Wisconsin Plumbing Code to permanently include the alternate sizing method.

Language in the current Wisconsin Uniform Plumbing Code requires plumbers and installers to size POE water treatment devices using traditional fixture unit value flow rate calculations. The code assigns a fixture unit value to plumbing fixtures such as baths, toilets, dishwashers, clothes washers, faucets, etc., and then converts the sum of the fixture unit values to a code design flow rate. That code design flow rate is then used to make sure that all fixtures will still operate after determining the difference between the incoming pressure and the pressure loss through plumbing pipes, and devices such as water heaters, water meters and water treatment devices. Many plumbing system designers design the plumbing system first and calculate the remaining pressure at the critical fixture without figuring in the pressure loss from any water treatment device(s) that may need to be installed. This often leads to designers asking for a water treatment device with a very high flow rate at a very low pressure loss. For example, if a code design, flow rate requires 16 gallons per minute (gpm) and the remaining pressure loss available through the water treatment system is only 3 pounds per square inch (psi), then the water treatment system must be able to produce 16 gpm at a 3 psi loss or less. When code designed flow rates are too high, oversized POE water treatment devices would be required by code. Yet, oversized POE water treatment devices operate inefficiently and are more expensive for the consumer to purchase.

The study’s specifics
The WQA/Aquacraft study analyzed indoor flow rates in 60 representative homes chosen from 1,188 homes by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. The flows analyzed were from a two-week period in the summer and a two-week period in the winter between May 1996 and March 1998. For the 60 homes, the 90th percentile trendline flow rate was 5 gpm or less and the 99th percentile trendline flow rate was 7.1 gpm or less. Peter Boyer, an Aquacraft project director, explains: “Based on the results of this study, it appears that indoor flows will almost never exceed 10 gpm. On the rare occasions they do exceed 10 gpm, these flow rates are typically sustained for only a few seconds.” The home water treatment industry has demonstrated that many POE units operate efficiently between 7-10 gpm for sustained periods of time and can accommodate higher flows without sacrificing the quality of treated water.

The Wisconsin Department of Commerce alternate approval applies statewide to sizing POE water treatment devices installed in single-family homes or individual dwelling units in multi-family dwellings. The Wisconsin Uniform Plumbing Code allows POE water treatment devices to be installed in parallel to meet the demand. Parallel installation of POE water treatment devices is sometimes used on private well applications where the well pump has a flow rate capacity lower than what’s needed to appropriately backwash a single large POE water treatment device such as an iron removal system. If the POE water treatment device is installed to serve only interior fixtures, the resulting decreased flow rate sizing is   dramatic (see Figure 1). For a single-family home with a count of 30 fixture unit values, the required code design flow rate for the POE water treatment device would be 20 gpm. Under the alternate sizing method the flow rate for the POE water treatment device would be 7.5 gpm. The pressure loss through the example POE water treatment device (see Figure 2) at 20 gpm is 20 psi. The pressure loss at 7.5 gpm is only 1.7 psi. The lower flow rate sizing method allows installers to use the POE water treatment device pressure loss at the lower flow rate sizing method in their sizing calculations for the water distribution system.

The data in the WQA/Aquacraft study analyzed interior flow rate water usage. As a result, if the water treatment device provides treated water for exterior wall hydrants, flow rates for exterior wall hydrants are calculated using existing code criteria and then added to the alternate sizing method flow rate to size the POE water treatment device. If the WQA desires to include the exterior flow rate data at some future date, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce will consider additional data. An example of the reduced design flow rates—showing both interior fixture uses only or interior fixture use plus exterior hose bibs—is shown in Table 1.

What to look for
The data in the study demonstrate that, as the number of bathrooms increases in single-family homes, simultaneous use doesn’t increase at the rate predicted by the current code. In addition, the analysis of the data show no appreciable difference between homes with whirlpools and homes without whirlpools. Water treatment professionals recommending a size of a particular device, however, must still take into consideration situations including (but not limited to) the following:

  1. The water analysis results and treatment technologies required to meet the water quality expectations for each application are unique.
  2. Homeowners often want to quickly fill whirlpool baths. Some water treatment devices are installed with flow restrictors to allow proper contact time for the contaminant to be adequately reduced in the treated water. The restricted flow rate may meet minimum design flow rates but may not be acceptable to the homeowner.
  3. High flow rate use fixtures such as multiple showerhead stalls may require higher flow rates for proper operation.
  4. Pressure balancing valves serving fixtures, which have a potential for a scalding hazard.

Situations such as these may prompt the water treatment professional to specify a larger size POE water treatment device than what the code would require as a minimum. The goal is to meet the homeowner’s expectations at a cost the homeowner can afford.

Conclusion
The Water Quality Association (see http://www.wqa.org) will present flow rate data to national plumbing code councils and interested states for guidance to plumbers and inspectors and inclusion in their respective codes. It also is seeking support of water treatment professionals with significant plumbing code experience to help promote similar revisions in other states, where relevant and applicable.

About the authors
Jeff Hellenbrand is president of Hellenbrand Inc., of Waunakee, Wis., and is currently serving as a WQA board of director. Hellenbrand provides residential and commercial water treatment systems including water softeners, reverse osmosis and the patented Iron Curtain System and supports these products with a wide range of dealer training seminars. Hellenbrand Inc. was established in 1967. He can be reached at jeffh@hellenbrand.com.

Loretta Trapp is the project manager for Clack Corp., of Windsor, Wis. Previously, she’s been affiliated with NSF International’s Drinking Water Treatment Unit Program and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. She also was a member of WC&P’s Technical Review Committee in 2001-2002. Trapp can be contacted at (608) 846-3010, (608) 846-2586 (fax) or email: http://trapp@clackcorp.com.

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