Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

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Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

WEF names new president
Lynn Orphan, a member of the Nevada Water Environment Association, has been elected president of the Water Environment Federation, an international technical, scientific and educational water quality organization. Elected at WEFTEC 2004 in New Orleans, Orphan is a senior engineer and regional manager of business development at Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, working on a broad range of water projects including wastewater treatment, potable and recycled water supply management and resource planning.

Eckols to lead B&H
B&H Labeling Systems, an international supplier of high speed roll-fed labeling systems, announces Roman M. Eckols is taking the helm as the company’s new president and CEO.  He brings to this position over 30 years of experience in the packaging industry with capital equipment companies serving the food, dairy, beverage and pharmaceutical industries.  His most recent experience was as president and CEO of SIG Combibloc Americas, Inc.

Weast heads H2O Bio-Tech
Pure H2O Bio-Technologies Inc., has appointed George Weast to serve in the capacity of chief financial officer. Weast, the former director of two national banks, has more than 30 years of accounting and financial business experience. Pure H2O is a publicly-held company specializing in the manufacturing, design and sale of residential, commercial and hospital POE water systems.

Waltron adds new sales director
Waltron LLC, a producer of industrial water on-line quality instrumentation, announces the addition of Philip Laut to the position of global director of sales and marketing. Laut, who brings marketing experience from Ingersoll-Rand, Phelps Dodge, Air Liquide, Dow Plastics and GE Plastics, will be charged with enhancing the company’s visibility in the water quality markets throughout the world.

New NSPF director
The National Swimming Pool Foundation has appointed Alex Antoniou as director of educational programs. Antoniou will coordinate and expand current education and certification programs, including the Certified Pool and Spa Operator program. As the former director of all aquatic programming and supervision for Rutgers University, Antoniou transformed the program into a profitable department, and helped make it one of the most comprehensive in the United States.

Logan receives Busch Award
The WERF Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research presented the Paul L. Busch Award to Bruce Logan, Ph.D., at its annual subscriber luncheon at WEFTEC 2004. Logan was selected for his research on microbial fuel cells and their application in the wastewater treatment process. The Paul L. Busch award carries with it a $100,000 research grant that will aid Logan in furthering this important work. Logan and his research team discovered that electricity can be produced from wastewater using bacteria in a microbial fuel cell, while at the same time accomplishing wastewater treatment without the use of additional chemicals.

Mapes named president of A.O. Smith
A.O. Smith Corporation has named Christopher L. Mapes as its new president of Electrical Products Company. Mapes will assume full profit and loss responsibility for EPC, headquartered in Tipp City, Ohio, with annual sales of about $824.6 million. He is the past president of motor sales and marketing for Regal-Beloit Corporation.

Ask the Expert

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

Question: Hello! Can you please assist me in finding universities or colleges that offer MSC or Certification exams in water and wastewater treatment, management and technologies?
I have been searching for schools that offer degree courses in these areas, but found only Cranfield University in the United Kingdom. Are there other schools in the U.K. and the U.S. that offer programs in these areas?
With sincere appreciation and thanks for whatever assistance you can render in this matter.

Olumfemi Opatunji
wittywaterways@yahoo.com

Answer: Happy to help. The water industry is growing by leaps and bounds and trained professionals are in demand across the U.S. and around the world. Glad you’re interested in learning more!

If you do a search on the Internet (try www.google.com or www.ask.com) for “College degree wastewater treatment” you’ll get listings of over 50 schools that offer such programs; vary your search by looking for degrees in water treatment, hydrology or environmental studies and you’ll get hundreds of responses.

We can tell you firsthand about such courses right here in Tucson, Ariz. The University of Arizona offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources (B.S.E.Hy) and several associated graduate degrees (Master of Science, for example). At this school, the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources is in the College of Engineering.

Quoting directly from the course guide available on the internet (www.arizona.edu):

The department offers the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources (B.S.E.Hy.) and the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees with a major in Hydrology. The department also participates in the College of Engineering Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program.

Hydrology and water resources include the origin, distribution, and properties of the waters of the Earth, as well as the development and management of water resource systems for multiple purposes. The faculty offers competence in hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry, environmental hydrology, ground-water and surface-water hydrology, hydrometeorology, hydroclimatology, water quality, mathematical and statistical methods in hydrology (including numerical modeling), and water resources engineering, planning, management and administration. The undergraduate major assumes substantial knowledge of mathematics.

The department participates in the honors program. Honors students complete an approved senior honors thesis in lieu of the senior capstone course.

For more information contact the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at The University of Arizona, Harshbarger Building, 122, P.O. Box 210011, Tucson, AZ 85721-0011; phone: (520) 621-3131; fax: (520) 621-1422; Email: programs@hwr.arizona.edu

Global Spotlight

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

Pure Water Components has upgraded its website, www.pwcomponents.com, with an on-line catalog and new technical information. For additional information, visit the site or call 1-866-326-PURE (7873). 💧

Dr. Vernon Snoeyink has received the 2004 Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for excellence in water research. Presented by the National Water Research Institute, the award included a commendation from President George W. Bush. 💧

October 21 marked the grand opening of the new B.C. Plumbing Supplies warehouse, a 25,000-square-foot facility at 7975 Enterprise Street in Burnaby, British Columbia. 💧

MIOX Corporation, an Albuquerque, N.M.-based firm selling water purification equipment for municipalities, celebrated its 10th anniversary last month. 💧

“Pump Systems Matter,” a new national education initiative has been launched by the Hydraulic Institute to facilitate outreach programs in the United States to highlight the energy savings and costs associated with the systems. 💧

The Water Environment Federation launched a new public education venture with the Global Tele-Community Education Initiative to develop water science curricula for K-12 students. 💧

The Washington D.C. Suburban Sanitary Commission has awarded a contract to Black & Veatch to study and design a 30,000 linear foot, 84 inch diameter supply main to meet consumption needs in Prince George and Montgomery Counties. 💧

SunBelt Coffee & Water, a provider of breakroom supplies and services, has received the 2004 Industry Appreciation Award by the Cornerstone division of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce. 💧

A.O. Smith Corporation is celebrating its 50th anniversary by awarding 240 employees at the Fabricantes de Componentes de Motrices in Juarez, Mexico with the President’s Safety Award. It is the longest running employee recognition in A.O. Smith history. 💧

Waterite Technologies Inc., has opened a full line warehouse and sales office in St. Laurent, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal. The distribution center will serve as a service point for Quebec and areas east throughout Canada. 💧


One billion drinking unsafe water, UN says
United Nations agencies (the World Health Organization and UNICEF) have issued a report showing that about one billion people are drinking unsafe water worldwide. Meeting the Millennium Development Goals outlines the risks to children in developing nations, brought on by dirty water and poor hygiene, and aims to serve as a measurement for the UN goal of halving the percentage of people around the world without safe water and sanitation by 2015.  

In other UN news, The World Health Organization has released new recommendations which will help pre-empt drinking water contamination and curb outbreaks of sickness before they become a health crisis. WHO advised national and local drinking water regulators and the enterprises and organizations which actually provide drinking water to five billion people around the world that the challenge of providing safe drinking water is growing. Traditionally, drinking water regulations have emphasized testing water samples for levels of chemical or biological contaminants. While the report recognizes the importance of this testing, it suggests municipalities focus on ensuring water reservoirs and local wells are not at risk of contamination from human or animal waste and regularly check filters.

Bacteria found in bottled water
Forty percent of commercial mineral waters are contaminated with bacteria and fungi, according to a presentation at the American Society for Microbiology in November. Dr. Rocus Klont of the University Medical Center at Nijmegen reported the findings after testing 68 commercial mineral waters, one tap water sample and one sample taken from a natural well. Bacteria could be grown in lab cultures from 21 of the samples. While Klont noted that the risk of disease to healthy individuals may be limited, immunocompromised patients, who typically receive bottled water during their care at hospitals because of its perceived safety, may be at greater risk of infection.

Engineers association offers water program
The American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, a subsidiary of the American Society of Civil Engineers, has introduced a specialty certification program for water resources engineers. The certification is a voluntary, post-license credential that provides recognition of advanced expertise in a technical speciality, experience and strong professional ethics in the field. For more information, www.aawre.org

Disinfection market to skyrocket by 2010
Markets for water disinfection, water purification and securing water quality with other methods are growing worldwide between 8 and 25 percent, depending on the sector, and will increase dramatically before the turn of the decade, according to a new report from Helmut Kaiser Consultancy. The report attributes the growth, which it estimates will increase the market from $3.5 billion in 2004 to about $6 billion by 2010, to the result of declining water quality worldwide and the growing potential for molecular nanotechnology in the disinfection process. A copy of the report can be obtained at www.hkc22.com/water disinfection.html

IBWA announces 2005 officers
The International Bottled Water Association announced its 2005 officers, board members and executive committee members during the their annual convention and trade show at BevExpo 04 in Tampa, Fla. Steve Raupe, owner of Eureka Water Company Inc., was elected chairman of the board of directors while Phil Susterick, of Culligan of Brooklyn Park, Minn. was elected vice chairman.

Caribbean

Trinidad develops water master plan
MWH Soft Inc., a provider of water resources applications software, has been chosen by the Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago to provide software support for the nation’s development of a comprehensive water facilities master plan. The modeling software will become the key to an overarching water resources management plan to better serve 1.1 million people in the Caribbean’s largest public utility.

Europe

PFAS found in Nordic organisms
A recently completed Nordic survey on environmental chemicals indicates high concentrations of perfluoridated alkylated substances (PFAS) in some mammals. The highest concentrations were measured in seals at the Danish and Swedish coast of the Baltic, in whales at Faroe Islands and in pikes at the Finnish coast near Helsinki. The chemicals were, until recently, regarded as harmless to the environment; however, in the late 1990s it was proven that PFAS chemicals had accumulated in organisms and have an adverse impact on mammal liver tissues.

United States

Congress passes, postpones water bills
Before members of Congress wrap-ped their session in November, they passed several key water-related bills while others died without resolution. Among the salient bills sent to the White House were measures to reauthorize the CALFED program for restoring California’s critical waterways and a reauthorization of the 20-year-old Water Resources Research Act, funding the program at $38 million over five years. Nine of 13 spending bills were delayed, including those that fund the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and other Department of Agriculture water programs.

WateReuse draws hundreds
The WateReuse Association held its 2004 WateReuse Symposium in September, bringing together more than 400 technical water professionals to discuss direct and indirect potable water reuse. Included in the symposium were more than 80 technical presentations, exhibits from the latest in technologies and services and several specialty sessions including the 5th annual “To Drink Or Not To Drink” panel discussion on promoting reuse technologies in the United States.

CoolerClean coming to North America
Ducth cooler cleaning products manufacturer Hygienic Solutions and Good Water Warehouse Inc., of Fullerton, Calif., have signed an exclusive distributorship agreement to sell water cooler cleaning product CoolerClean in North America. Hygienic Solutions has successfully sold these EBWA/FDA approved products in Europe for several years (throughout EU and non-EU countries). Both companies are confident that the strength and uniqueness of the Cooler Clean product line combined with Good Water Warehouse’s distribution network will lead to a strong position in the North American market.

RainSoft announces national spokesperson
The RainSoft Division of Aquion Water Treatment Products, LLC, has tapped Florence Henderson to serve as their national spokesperson. Henderson, best known for her role as Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch, will represent the company in a series of national print ads and regional radio commercials. She will also be “front and center” in the creation of new dealer sales materials, the company reported and in public relations programs in the coming months. “Florence’s broad-based appeal will not only help us to solidify our reputation…but clearly reaches beyond to other consumer segments that we have identified through extensive market research and consumer focus groups,” said Richard Verson, the company’s marketing director.

WQA responds to lead exposé
Responding to an October 5th story in the Washington Post that documented lead contamination reporting issues in major U.S. cities, the Water Quality Association called upon consumers to consider adding a final barrier for the drinking water at the tap. While the association noted that most municipal systems meet Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, “consumers should be aware that the use of a (POU/POE) water treatment system can safeguard their drinking water to levels even more stringent than the compromise levels allowed by the USEPA.” The association recommends products certified by NSF, UL or the WQA to ensure quality purification, as well as installation by a Certified Water Specialist.

Bacteria put D.C. water in breach, EPA said
Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and the city of Washington D.C. are reporting that bacteria levels in the city’s tap water exceed federal health standards for the first time since 1996. The sudden rise in bacteria, detected during a series of routine tests in September, likely resulted from the use of new water treatment chemicals intended to reduce the lead levels in water systems. The chemical, orthophosphate, may have shaken off a layer of rust and bacteria inside the city water pipes. At-risk consumers, including those with weak immune systems, the elderly and some infants, are advised to contact their doctors to determine if boiling water prior to drinking is necessary.

California water fluoridation
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation designed to remove the threat of legal action against San Diego and pave the way for fluoridation in that city. San Diego has long resisted water fluoridation, one of only a handful of cities in California that does not fluoridate its drinking water, citing concerns over the cost and the risk of legal action against the city if the project were to harm water users. The measure removes the threat of legal action and supporting interest groups, such as the California Dental Association, have offered grants to fund the $8 million project.

Using soil to filter river water
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that soil alongside a river can remove dangerous microbes and organic material as water flows through it, working as a natural filter for drinking water drawn directly from a river. The technique, known as riverbank filtration, has been used indirectly in Europe for more than 50 years to improve the taste and smell of drinking water and would be beneficial to providing cleaner drinking water from rivers in the Midwestern United States, the researchers said.

EPA developing wastewater handbook
The Environmental Protection Agency is working with a variety of external groups to develop a handbook for water and wastewater operations. The Environmental Management System handbook, along with information from a steering committee of wastewater industry representatives and other experts, provides management processes and procedures that allow a utility to remain, control and reduce the environmental impacts of its facility operations.

Desal in San Francisco Bay
The Marin Municipal Water District approved a $1.2 million test plant to determine if desalting water from the San Francisco Bay is feasible for use as drinking water in Marin County homes. The plan includes a variety of water quality testing reviews to determine the usability of the desalinated water, as well as a comprehensive study of the environmental impact of the process on the bay and cost-benefit analysis to determine if long-term, expanded desalination programs would be beneficial.

Asia

Japan thirsty for Hawaiian water
Desalinated deep-sea water from Kona, Hawaii is the state’s fastest growing export with demand soaring in Japan.  The $6-a-bottle water is sucked up from thousands of feet below the Pacific Ocean and has gained enormous popularity in Japan after being marketed as a healthy, mineral-rich drinking water. Koyo USA Corp., which is already producing 200,000 bottles a day, says it can’t keep up with demand and other Japanese, Hawaiian and mainland U.S. companies are planning to sell the product in Japan and the United States.

Bangladeshi arsenic-free drinking water
The Barind Multipurpose Development Authority is implementing a plan to provide arsenic-free drinking water to villagers facing water shortages during the dry season. Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia inaugurated the water supply program at Chanduria Village in October. According to officials, the supply of potable drinking water is expected to improve the health of rural people by preventing common diseases being caused by the shortage. Through the project, infrastructures are being installed in 250 villages in three districts. Seventy installations have already been completed.

Africa

Uganda competes for water facility
Uganda is competing for a €250 million water facility from the European Union and its member states. The African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) and the EU countries agreed upon the competitive facility earlier this year, arising from the EU and its member states’ decision in March 2004 to increase efforts to assist in achieving the millennium development goals in water and sanitation through the establishment of a special water facility. Speaking during the opening of the fourth Joint Government of Uganda and Donor review of the water sector at the International Conference Centre, the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, Erik Aberg, said a call for proposals would be launched shortly.

Viewpoint

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

By Karen R. Smith, WC&P Executive Editor

I enjoyed getting to know the members of the Pacific Water Quality Association at their annual conference last month, particularly learning about the legislative history of the salinity issue in California; the success of the WQA’s contest of the water softening ban in Texas and listening to many as they made plans to speak out at the public hearing in Santa Fe, N.M. the first week of this month where similar legislation is being considered.

If you are reading this in some other part of the United States where no such rulings are currently in place, take heed. Folks in the Santa Clarita Valley felt that way once, too.

Take a moment here to read an excerpt from the Los Angeles County Sanitary District’s website. I do encourage you to go to http://www.lacsd.org/chloride/default.asp?cid=1 to see all the information they offer the public. Despite having banned water softeners, the campaign to cast them in a negative light continues on all fronts (including their well-designed website).

“Automatic softeners are now illegal to install in Santa Clarita Valley, but 7,000 homes continue to use them. If these softeners are not removed, the Sanitation Districts may have to install very expensive new treatment units at their Santa Clarita Valley wastewater treatment plants to remove the chloride. This would mean that the annual sewer bill for Santa Clarita Valley residents could triple to $400 per household.

Spread the message to your neighbors: Unplug your automatic water softener today!” the website warns.

There are cities in the Valley now considering adding a ‘softener charge’ to homeowners’ sewer bills which can only be removed after a full home inspection proving there is no water softener on the premises. Other municipalities that do not yet have a softener ban in place are apparently considering the same; as some regions find themselves in the position of needing new wastewater treatment plants, or making homeowners pay for the privilege of discharging their softeners, we can probably expect to see more punitive lawmaking ahead.

Further, there has been an aggressive public relations campaign telling consumers to disconnect their softeners and take them back to the point-of-purchase for a refund. As those devices were sold when it was legal to do so and worked as warranted, this appears to be yet another tactic to get the private sector—water treatment professionals—to pay for an ill-reasoned government action. Big box stores were asked to discontinue salt sales, and some have done so in response to municipal requests. With 36 sewage agencies in L.A. County there are more battles brewing.

California today may be your state tomorrow. Can you produce the scientific data to get a municipality to revise its mistaken impressions about water softeners? Do you have a lobbyist with the experience and the skills to sit down with state legislators and explain our side of the issue? Do you have the ability to raise consumer awareness on the true value of our products for a healthy, active lifestyle?

Of course not! No one individual can honestly answer all those questions with a yes. But your regional and national WQA can. Now more than ever, join the trade associations that are waging the fight for your future. As you are making your tax-deductible contributions this holiday season, be sure to include one to the PAC of your choice, or the legal defense fund.

And having sounded the call to arms, I would now like to wish each and every reader a wonderful holiday season, filled with the love of family, the company of friends and the camaraderie of associates. Here’s to a New Year of peace and prosperity for all.

Wishing you health and happiness in 2005.

 

The Soldier Salesman—Field Instrumentation

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

By Rob Samborn

“The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined for defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.”
— Sun Tzu, The Art of War

These words may apply to warfare, and though they were written over two thousand years ago by a Chinese general, they could not be more accurate than when applied to today’s sales techniques.

So how does today’s water industry sales rep assure victory? With two very valuable weapons: Information and instruments.

Information
We all know that water filtration and bottling is a growing industry. Sales these days are considerably easier than when “bottled water” meant a Boy Scout’s canteen. But let’s face it—unless she’s in the water industry, even the sweet elderly lady shouting answers at Alex Trebek has never heard of TDS. And for the majority of consumers, conductivity is just a blip in the memory of 10th grade chemistry. By arming himself with information, the soldier salesman can win a sale simply through explanation and transference of knowledge.

People hear things. They’re susceptible to advertising. They buy bottled water. They believe their tap water isn’t good, but they don’t know why. How bad is a home’s tap water? Does it warrant getting a filtration system, or is bottled water more conducive to their lifestyle? Can an office save money by installing a filtration system instead of continuously purchasing cooler bottles? How pure is the water? These are just a handful of the questions consumers are faced with when considering an improvement in their water supply.

The primary question is obvious: Is the current water supply bad enough to warrant a change?

The choices available all hinge upon the answer to the above question being a resolute “yes.” The soldier salesman may be armed to the teeth with instruments that test everything from chlorine to pH, but the current weapon of choice for most sales reps is a handheld TDS meter. Due to it’s ease of use and ability to present a clear difference between unfiltered and filtered water (excluding ultraviolet), with a pen-sized meter, the rep can simply dip, measure and display—certainly enough to pique any water drinker’s interest and almost enough to close a sale right then and there.

Of course, simply displaying a number on a screen may not be enough for the educated consumer. An explanation of TDS should always be offered. However, it’s probably not necessary to explain that “Total Dissolved Solids” is actually a misnomer. As we know, TDS is a sales term based on conductivity. Readings can vary greatly depending upon the type of calibration solution used for the meter. And in addition to low-conductivity dissolved solids, there may also be undissolved solids in the water that a TDS meter does not record. More accurate terminology would be “Total Charged Ions,” for that’s what TDS and conductivity meters really test. But as previously mentioned, it’s typically not necessary to explain that. Why? Because a difference of 1 or 10 ppm means nothing to the vast majority of consumers. What’s important is an explanation of ranges.

Informing a water drinker that the EPA’s maximum contamination level is 500 ppm and ideal drinking water should be under 50 ppm works wonders when the tap water reads 402. A TDS meter is the quickest, easiest and most effective way to achieve that level of understanding.

Instruments
Okay, so you want a TDS meter. But a quick web search yields over ten different varieties made by at least five different companies. Some meters are pocket-sized and can be dipped in a water sample; others are larger but include a built-in cup. Then there are styles that have probes at the end of cables. Add to that a difference in ranges, accuracy, batteries, durability, warranty and price and it’ll make your head spin—something a soldier simply can’t have before heading to the battlefield.

When selecting the TDS meter that is best for you, the following characteristics should be taken into account:
Size—Does size matter to you? If so, for the soldier salesman, smaller and lighter is better. The lightest TDS meter on the market weighs in at just 1.13 oz (32 grams). It can easily fit in your pocket, even if you prefer skin-tight camouflage pants. But size has its limitations too. Many smaller meters also have smaller screens and buttons. If you prefer to carry all your tools in a case, a larger meter may be the choice for you.

Range—The majority of TDS meters on the market measure from 0-1,999 parts per million. Others go all the way up to 10,000 or beyond. Then there are higher-end units that measure to the tenth of a ppm or in parts per thousand (ppt). Some companies manufacture a variety of meters, each with its own specific range. Which is right for you? It depends on what you’re measuring. The average home in the United States has tap water that won’t exceed 1,000 ppm. What’s essential for any meter, regardless of the range, is that it must be calibrated as closely to the water being measured as you can estimate.

Accuracy—Accuracy speaks for itself. The soldier salesman demands perfection, but TDS is not an exact science. Therefore, the question becomes: What level of inaccuracy is acceptable? Is it worth spending $200 more on a meter for one more percent of accuracy? Again, it depends on what you’re testing. If it’s water in a semiconductor lab, then yes. If it’s water from a faucet, probably not. Typically, an accuracy of ± 2 percent of each scale is acceptable.

Batteries—It doesn’t take a four-star general to figure out that power consumption could quickly equal the cost of the meter itself. What to look for? Fewer batteries with a more efficient microprocessor. This will save you not only money, but also countless headaches as nothing is more embarrassing to a salesperson than an instrument that won’t even turn on.

Ease-Of-Use—The majority of handheld meters have a single on/off switch, which couldn’t be easier to use. But how big is the screen? Does the meter have a ‘hold’ button that saves the reading, allowing you to take it out of the glass and display it to your customer? Or do you need to hold the button while she cranes her neck to read the screen. These are important things to consider.

Calibration—Though calibration can fall into the ease-of-use category, the importance of it demands special attention. Many meters require calibration, which makes it more accurate, but is a time-consuming process, especially if it needs to be re-calibrated often. Many other meters come factory-calibrated and are considerably easier to use, but can be inaccurate if testing water that is far off from what the meter was originally calibrated to (a further explanation of this would require an entire article). Ideally, you want a meter that comes factory-calibrated, but can be easily re-calibrated.

Durability—High-density plastic. Solid parts and workmanship. Shock-proof. Waterproof? Only if you have butterfingers and don’t mind forking over the extra cash.

Warranty—Something not to be overlooked. The warranty speaks to the durability of the product, as typically the longer the warranty, the more a company stands by its product lasting through years in the field.

Cost—Ah, the bottom line. With price ranges almost as great as TDS ranges, the question of cost looms large. The answer once again depends on usage and application. If accuracy down to a tenth of a ppm is necessary, then it’s probably worth spending a few hundred dollars. If measuring tap water and comparing TDS levels within ranges, a reasonable cost for a reliable meter should be under fifty dollars.

In the modern age of sales warfare, information and instruments could not be more important to the water industry professional. So when seeking victory on the battlefield of sales, the great strategist knows he will close a deal when armed with the right knowledge and weapons. Surely Sun Tzu would agree.

About the author
Rob Samborn is director of sales & marketing for HM Digital, Inc., located in Los Angeles. He is a seasoned salesman and avid water drinker. He can be reached at rob@tdsmeter.com.

Groundwater Vulnerability to Microbial Contamination

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

By Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, Ph.D.

Currently, more than 100 million Americans rely on groundwater as their source for drinking. Historically, groundwater supplies were thought to be free of pathogenic microbes due to the natural filtering ability of the subsurface environment and the distance a microbe would have to travel in order to reach the groundwater source. However, increased surveillance using newly developed and sensitive detection methods has found some evidence of human enteric viruses and other potentially harmful microbes in groundwater. Although the majority of groundwater is still thought to be free of disease-causing microbes, many systems are unprotected and contamination events could occur, primarily because public systems utilizing a groundwater source are not required to disinfect. In addition, private groundwater wells may be rarely, if ever, monitored.

Contaminant sources
In the United States, about 34 percent of those served by a public water system utilize a groundwater source. Although originally thought to be pristine, groundwater may be subject to a variety of chemical and microbiological contaminants. Contaminants that find their way into groundwater may originate due to lack of treatment, improper management of wastewater disposal, septic tank contamination, underground storage tank or landfill leaks, mismanagement of animal waste disposal or many other reasons.

There are approximately 25 million domestic septic tanks (20-25 percent of all households) in the U.S. (U.S. Census Bureau, 1995) with about 400,000 new ones installed each year. Septic tanks have been previously associated with groundwater contamination events in the U.S.1, 2, 3 and continue to be a concern with regard to groundwater protection. Furthermore, there are approximately 250,000 solid waste disposal facilities in the U.S. Subsurface leaching of chemical and biological contaminants could be a source of groundwater pollution from municipal waste sites. Similarly there are approximately 33,000 abandoned hazardous waste sites with similar risks and about 42 percent are estimated to have a known impact on local groundwater supplies. Finally, agricultural activities can produce both chemical and biological waste products. Of the 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides produced each year, 77 percent are applied to agricultural land. Chemical and animal wastes may infiltrate into groundwater, particularly during severe rainfall.

A drinking water outbreak in Albany, New York where 921 people were sickened following attendance at the state fair, was worsened by several unfortunate factors. Non-chlorinated groundwater was contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and Campylobacter from manure at a nearby dairy barn after a rainstorm (CDC, MMWR, 1999). The outbreak resulted in 65 hospitalizations and two deaths. Outbreaks such as these, although rare, exemplify the potentially serious outcome of drinking from contaminated water supplies.

Monitoring data
Because of their small size and ease of transport in the subsurface, viruses were traditionally thought to be the most likely pathogen to be found in groundwater. Methods for the detection of pathogenic viruses in water have been developed but they are time-consuming, costly and require specialized training to perform. Since viruses have a low infectious dose, where only one to 10 viruses can cause infection, highly sensitive methods of detection are necessary. A recent nationwide survey of 448 utility wells in 35 states found evidence of enteric viruses in approximately 32 percent of groundwater supplies4. Monitoring studies are frequently designed to target supplies that are suspected to be adversely impacted and thus provide a worse case scenario. In addition, as in the previously mentioned study, detection methods often do not determine if the viruses are currently infectious. Evidence of virus presence in groundwater, however, is still a concern since many groundwater sources in our nation are not treated with disinfectants.

Additional research surveys of 29 U.S. utility wells and 48 midwest utility wells found viruses in 16 percent and 50 percent of samples, respectively5,6. In the latter study, three samples were found positive for culturable hepatitis A virus. Private drinking water wells are also at risk. Another study of 50 private homeowner wells found enteric viruses in eight percent of the samples collected7 (Table 1).

In addition to human viruses, protozoan parasites have been documented in groundwater. Recently of 199 groundwater samples surveyed, five percent of vertical wells, 20 percent of springs, 50 percent of infiltration galleries and 45 percent of horizontal wells tested positive for Cryptosporidium oocysts, calling for a reevaluation of the notion that groundwater is inherently free of protozoan parasites8.

Bacteria are also not exempt from groundwater. In recent years, Helicobacter pylori was recognized as the primary cause of duodenal (90 percent) and gastric (80 percent) ulcers (CDC, 2001). It is considered a class A carcinogen, meaning that infections can lead to gastric cancer, the second most common cause of cancer worldwide, H. pylori has been found in biofilms of water distribution systems9 and individual groundwater wells. Epidemiological studies in Germany have linked infection in children with drinking untreated well water serving individual homes10. In addition, a study in West Virginia linked contaminated homeowner wells with H. pylori infection11.

Groundwater disease outbreaks
The vulnerability of groundwater supplies is further exemplified by drinking water outbreak data where the majority of documented outbreaks were traced to a groundwater source. In particular, untreated groundwater caused the majority of outbreaks in private water supplies (53 percent). Surveillance summaries by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide waterborne disease outbreak data. Such data documents the known health impact of contaminated groundwater supplies. Of the 751 drinking water waterborne outbreaks that occurred in the United States from 1971-2000, 62 percent were linked to groundwater systems12. Of these groundwater outbreaks, 58 percent were from non-community systems, 28 percent from community systems and 14 percent from individual systems. In total, 94,747 cases of illness were documented (Table 2).

Currently systems strictly utilizing a groundwater source are not required to treat their water supply. Only half of communities disinfect water prior to distribution. In rural and non-incorporated areas, almost none of the water is treated and private wells are rarely, if ever, monitored for microbial contaminants. Over the last 30 years, untreated groundwater was listed as the second most common deficiency in drinking water waterborne outbreaks, responsible for 30 percent of the overall causes combined (Table 3).

Groundwater disinfection rule
In response to the recognized problem with some untreated groundwater sources, the U.S. EPA has proposed the Ground Water Rule, specifying the appropriate use of disinfection in ground water and encouraging the use of alternative approaches, including best management practices and control of contamination at the source by establishing multiple barriers against microbes in groundwater systems. According the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA is required to develop regulations for groundwater systems “as necessary”. The Ground Water Rule was originally scheduled to be issued as a final regulation in Spring 2003 and is expected to be finalized by the end of this month. The regulations apply to public groundwater systems but not to private wells. EPA does, however, recommend that private well owners perform yearly coliform bacteria tests to monitor their source water quality.

Conclusion
Given the pending EPA regulations, waterborne outbreaks due to contaminated groundwater are expected to decrease over subsequent survey periods. Approximately 15 percent of Americans, however, rely on their own private drinking water supplies that would not be subject to EPA standards. Although testing services are available, private water systems are rarely monitored. For those who obtain their water from designated public groundwater supplies, the added disinfection barrier designed to prevent infectious disease transmission may leave an undesirable chlorine taste not previously experienced. Consumers continue to have the option of POU treatment at the tap (or POE treatment). Many POU/POE systems are available on the market that address the issues of microbial contaminants and/or aesthetic qualities of the water.

References

  1. Yates, M.V. 1986. Septic Tank Density and Groundwater Contamination. Groundwater. Vol. 23, No. 5, p. 586-591.
  2. Cogger, C. 1988. On-Site Septic Systems: The Risk of Groundwater Contamination. Journal of Environmental Health. Vol. 51, No. 1, p. 12-16.
  3. Scandura, J.E. and M.D. Sobsey. 1997. Viral and Bacterial Contamination of Groundwater from On-Site Sewage Treatment Systems. Water Science Technology. Vol. 35, No. 11-12, p. 141- 146.
  4. Abbaszadegan, M., M. LeChevallier, C. Gerba. 2003. Occurrence of viruses in U.S. groundwaters. J. AWWA. 95:107.
  5. Fout, G.S., B.C. Martinson, M.W. Moyer, D.R. Dahling. 2003. A multiplex reverse transcription-PCR method for detection of human enteric viruses in groundwater. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69:3158-3164.
  6. Borchardt, M.A., N.L. Haas, R.J. Hunt. 2004. Vulnerability of drinking-water wells in La Crosse, Wisconsin, to enteric-virus contamination from surface water contributions. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70: 5937-5946.
  7. Borchardt, M.A., P.D. Bertz, S.K. Spencer, D.A. Battigelli. 2003. Incidence of enteric viruses in groundwater from household wells in Wisconsin. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69: 1172-1180.
  8. Hancock, C.M., J.B. Rose, and M. Callahan. “Crypto and Giardia in U.S. groundwater,” Journal AWWA, 90:3:58-61, 1998.
  9. Park S.R., W.G. Mackay, D.C. Reid. 2001. Helicobacter sp recovered from drinking water biofilm sampled from a water distribution system. Water Research. 35: 1624-1626.
  10. Herbarth, O., P. Krumbiegel, G.J. Fritz et al. 2001. Helicobacter pylori prevalences and risk factors among school beginners in a German urban center and its rural county. Environ. Health Perspect. 109:573-577.
  11. Elitsur, Y., J.P. Short, C. Neace. 1998. Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in children from urban and rural West Virginia. Dig. Dis. Sci. 43:773-778.
  12. Calderon, R.L. Measuring benefits of drinking water technology: “ten” years of drinking water epidemiology. NEWWA Water Quality Symposium, May 20, 2004. Boxborough, MA.

About the author
Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds is a research scientist at the University of Arizona with a focus on development of rapid methods for detecting human pathogenic viruses in drinking water. She holds a master of science degree in public health (MSPH) from the University of South Florida and doctorate in microbiology from the University of Arizona. Reynolds has also been a member of the WC&P Technical Review Committee since 1997.

A New Standard for Shower Filters

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

By Rick Andrew

In 2001, shower filter manufacturers were seeking to level the playing field in the market place. They were concerned that there was no criteria for ensuring that shower filtration products were safe and that there was no common basis for making claims of product performance and treatment capability. This situation made it difficult for consumers to arrive at educated purchase decisions.

Their search for fair play in the marketing of these systems and increasing consumer confidence in their safety and effectiveness led them to NSF. Specifically, the Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units (DWTUs) agreed to develop a national consensus standard on shower filters. A task group consisting of shower filter manufacturers, regulatory representatives and product certification specialists was formed to begin fleshing out the requirements for the new standard.

After three years of development and the efforts of many dedicated volunteers, NSF/ANSI 177 Shower filtration systems—Aesthetic effects was officially adopted in September of this year.

Requirements of the standard
NSF/ANSI 177 was developed using the NSF/ANSI DWTU standards as a template. This approach made sense because shower filters and drinking water filters have many common elements, and therefore many common concerns with respect to standards. As a result, the requirements and format of NSF/ANSI 177 are quite similar to the DWTU standards (See Figures 1 and 2).

Specifically, NSF/ANSI 177 has sections specifying requirements for:

  • Material safety. Materials in contact with shower water must not contain lead as an intentional ingredient, except for lead-free brass. Materials in contact with shower water must not be solvent bonded.

A formulation disclosure and review for each material in contact with water is required to verify that the materials do not contain lead. A review of manufacturing processes is required to establish that there is no solvent bonding of shower water contact materials. In a departure from the DWTU standards, no extraction test is required. Because shower water is not considered drinking water, it is sufficient to base material safety conformance on the formulation review and prohibition of solvent bonding.

  • Structural integrity. Two tests of structural integrity are required: 15 minute hydrostatic testing and cyclic testing. The cyclic test is 10,000 cycles for open discharge systems and 100,000 cycles for non-open discharge systems. The test pressures vary depending on whether the system is open discharge or not. This is similar to the DWTU standards.

The significant difference from the DWTU standards is that the structural integrity testing is conducted at elevated temperatures representative of shower temperatures, as opposed to room temperature. The hydrostatic test is conducted at 49° C, representative of the hottest hot water settings; while the cyclic test is conducted at 40° C, which is reflective of typical hot water temperatures.

  • Minimum performance. Among other various requirements, shower filter systems must be designed to operate at a maximum temperature of at least 49° C and maintain a minimum service flow of at least 1.0 gallon per minute (gpm).
  • Free available chlorine reduction. Shower filter systems must reduce an influent challenge of 2.0 mg/L free available chlorine by at least 50 percent throughout their rated service life, consistent with the chlorine reduction requirements of NSF/ANSI 42—Drinking water treatment units—Aesthetic effects. Like the DWTU standards, two units are tested. At least five passing sample points are required to establish the rated service life. Like structural integrity, this test is also conducted at an elevated temperature of 40° C. The influent challenge is cycled on and off at 15 minute intervals, to simulate shower usage. A dynamic influent pressure of 80 psig is used, and flow is controlled to the manufacturer’s rated service flow. If the flow rate drops below 1.0 gpm, the test is terminated.

Test water must have a total chloramines concentration of < 0.1 mg/L, as studies conducted during the standard development process indicated that chloramines can interfere with the ability of certain media used in many shower filter systems to reduce free available chlorine.

Because chlorine is volatile and reactive, samples of the influent and effluent collected for analysis of free available chlorine must be analyzed within one minute of collection. Influent samples must be collected from the pressurized manifold immediately upstream of the test units, and samples of the effluent must be collected at a distance not exceeding one foot from the showerhead.

  • Product literature. The following pieces of product literature are required, with specific information stipulated for each:
  1. Installation, operation, and maintenance instructions
  2. Data plate
  3. Replacement elements
  4. Performance data sheets

Information requirements for each of these pieces of product literature are similar to those of the DWTU standards. The underlying philosophy is that information provided should allow consumers to understand the product, find replacement elements and contact the manufacturer if they need additional information.
There is a specific statement required in the performance data sheet to help convey to consumers the capabilities of the product:

“This system has been tested according to NSF/ANSI 177 for reduction of free available chlorine. The concentration of free available chlorine in water entering the system was reduced to a concentration less than or equal to the permissible limit for water leaving the system, as specified in NSF/ANSI 177. This system has not been evaluated for free available chlorine reduction performance in the presence of chloramines. Free available chlorine reduction performance may be impacted by the presence of chloramines in the water supply. Please contact your local water utility to determine if chloramines are used in treating your water.”

NSF/ANSI 177 helps level the playing field
In the early 1970s, the DWTU market was largely unregulated. Legitimate manufacturers had concerns that consumers were not able to distinguish their quality products from poor quality products that made outlandish claims of performance. With the adoption of NSF/ANSI Standard 42 in 1973, and NSF/ANSI Standard 53—Drinking water treatment unitsHealth effects in 1980, these manufacturers had the tools necessary to demonstrate the quality and performance of their systems.

Now, in 2004, with the adoption of NSF/ANSI 177—Shower filtration systemsAesthetic effects, the shower filter industry has a similar tool available to them to demonstrate quality and the ability of their systems to reduce free available chlorine. With a very specific test method for demonstration of free available chlorine reduction, the replacement element capacities for various systems will be comparable. This will help eliminate consumer confusion and help potential purchasers sort through the marketplace to make wise purchase decisions.

About the author
Rick Andrew has been with NSF International for over five years, working with certification of residential drinking water products. He has been the Technical Manager of the Drinking Water Treatment Units Program for over two years. His previous experience was in the area of analytical and environmental chemistry consulting. Andrew has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He can be reached at 1-800-NSF-MARK or email: Andrew@nsf.org

Effective Business Prospecting In a Cluttered Business Environment

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

By Karen R. Smith

A Day at the EWQA with Adrian Miller

For the first time in its history, the Eastern Water Quality Association offered a pre-conference seminar day for the benefit of its membership. Investigation revealed that help with business prospecting was a desire of many as the marketplace grows more competitive. So they brought in Adrian Miller, who engaged participants in role playing, market analysis, and free-form debate to reshape their thinking about how to increase their customer base by prospecting more successfully.

Re-think your approach
Miller surprised many when she began by stating that the fastest return on investment will come from existing customers. Noting that every company constantly works the top five to ten percent of their business, she challenged them to look at it in reverse: from the bottom end. “Have the bottom 90 percent of your customers been tapped for their true potential? Do they even know all the products and services you offer?”

Participants were challenged to name 15 reasons why a potential customer should do business with them—and not their competition. Mark Williams of EcoWater Systems, York Springs, Penn said, “Customer service and staff.”
While recording that on a wall chart, Miller explained that unless you are an individual retailer offering one truly unique and specific product, that will, in fact, be the top reason customers choose you, pure and simple. She noted that several recent surveys attribute trust and respect for an individual sales person as 87 percent of the buyer’s decision process.

Try the exercise yourself. Can you list 15 reasons for doing business with your company? If not, why not? The EWQA members at this seminar had no trouble coming up with a solid selection. Miller found it interesting that no one mentioned competitive pricing, which is the top answer in most of the groups she speaks with. The dealers, distributors and manufacturers who made up the audience all responded in the same way to her discovery, agreeing that they do not vaunt pricing. “We sell the right product,” said Jon Davis of Commonwealth H2O Blue Ridge (Charlottesville, Va.) to the agreement of all.

If you have a good product, you have to give somebody a reason to go elsewhere. Bad service is that reason, according to Miller. Your customer service reps usually speak to more clients in a week than anyone else on staff. Realize that they have a great deal of impact and power on the business relationships that form between your company and its customers.

Many smaller dealers and distributors many not have a customer service department, per se. However, designating that responsibility to specific individuals and training them accordingly can have a huge positive impact.

Miller noted that in some companies, successful sales people are literally not allowed to maintain their proficiency. Instead, they must spend their time ‘managing’ their existing accounts—becoming glorified order takers. Let your successful sales people continue to prospect and they will continue to grow your business, Miller instructed.

How to’s with prospects
The discussion that ensued here was fascinating. Miller’s knowledge of the ins and outs of the Do Not Call Legislation made that a hot topic. Tacit approval for a call, she explained, can be obtained by getting a party’s signature and telephone number, which makes handing out cards for free water testing an even more valuable practice. Existing customers may be called up to 18 months after their last order—meaning database management is a top priority so as to keep marketing and prospecting efforts within the parameters of the law. Some of the seminar participants were unaware that the legislation only applies to residential calling and does not hamper B2B efforts.

Those who’ve been in the industry for decades—Bill Butler (Wm. Butler & Associates, Perkiomenville, PA) probably the veteran in the room that afternoon—talked about their personal ways of prospecting. Butler still goes to each business directly, in person, because he has found over the years that it works best for him. “ I ask who I can see. Better results that way, and fewer turndowns since I’m already there,” he explained.

Miller gave participants an overview of such practices based on her experiences with clients across the country. It seems in the majority of states, knocking on doors has gone the way of the buggy whip. And many people in a variety of locales do not take calls from unknown numbers (thank Caller I.D. for that).

Having a contact management system can be a valuable tool for efficient prospecting, she explained. Don’t leave it to memory or rely on sticky notes. Even if your company’s client database contains 6,000 names, the goal is to contact each of them at least once a year.

Now you’re talking
Whether you’ve gotten the opportunity to speak with a prospect via telephone or a booth at the local fair, the manner in which you conduct the conversation is critical to your success.

Ideally, the conversation should screen, qualify, probe  and close by getting an appointment. Close-ended questions (those that require only a yes or no answer from the prospect) can kill the conversation completely. ‘The reason for your call is?’ may be the most powerful way to chat with a prospect.

The audience worked on identifying adjectives that signal potential benefit to the prospect—‘improve and enhance’, for example—as well as phrases that speak to the quality of the business. “We are a leading water treatment dealer,” is one approach; “We are a local purification specialist,” another.

Miller believes that it is vital to ask if the prospect is talking to anyone else. It tells you how serious they are about solving their water problem and who your competition is for the sale. “Sales people are traditionally uncomfortable with asking this question, but it can be the most important information you receive.”

Wayne White (Clean Water Systems, State College Penn.) noted that you’ll find out the answer without asking that question just by inquiring whether the prospect has had their water tested recently. “It’s the fastest way to determine if they are already shopping around,” he said.

Prospecting existing clients
Carl and Renee Jolley, a father and daughter team based in New Jersey (Aqua-Soft, Inc., of Englishtown) noted the value of annual check-ups for existing customers. The opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell is there and can benefit from a structured outreach.

In reviewing service call records, White found that people were regularly low on salt. “If it’s in the truck, you can fill and charge for it. Customers will pay for the convenience of having that taken care of when your service tech is already there. Now all of our trucks carry salt, and it’s the service people selling those and other upgrades, not our sales people.”

Miller advised that if the service staff is uncomfortable at the idea of selling, they can be given a flyer they can give to customers, which will effectively limit how much they need to talk. The audience agreed that while many had not considered the option before, the service person is in a prime spot to tell the customer about the option to upgrade, or to add additional services and to do the deed right then and there.

Conclusion
There was much more to the day’s presentation and a continuing exchange of information, ideas and insights. At the Board meeting later that evening, the EWQA agreed that the program had been well received and spoke of doing another at next year’s gathering. Make your reservations early!

About the speaker
Adrian Miller is the president and founder of Adrian Miller Direct Marketing, a results-driven sales training and new business development consultancy. She is a frequent speaker at business conferences and a regular contributor to many business publications. She can be reached at Adrian Miller Direct Marketing, 43 Park Avenue, Port Washington NY 11050; telephone 516/767-9288; fax 516 767-0702 or via her website, www.adrianmiller.com

First-Of-Its-Kind Water Treatment Plant Opens in the Netherlands

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

By Diana Cunningham

PWN’s water treatment plant in Andijk uses UV oxidation to disinfect and to act as a barrier to micropollutants

The PWN Water Supply Company North Holland (PWN) has announced the opening of its state-of-the-art water treatment facility in Andijk, the Netherlands. The plant is the first of its kind in the world, designed to combine UV disinfection with UV oxidation to combat microorganisms and micropollutants potentially present in the source water. The UV oxidation process is based on the generation of hydroxyl radicals via the UV photolysis of hydrogen peroxide.

“Our testing has demonstrated unequivocally that UV oxidation technology is highly effective in destroying micropollutants such as pesticides, herbicides, endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals and algal toxins and at the same time eliminating many pathogens including E. Coli, bacteria, viruses, Cryptosporidium and Giardia,” said Peer Kamp, Director of Research and Development for PWN.

Under an agreement announced in April 2001, PWN and Trojan Technologies have been working together piloting and testing the technology. The first two phases, consisting of prototype development and the optimization and testing of a UV treatment system to destroy micropollutants found in contaminated drinking water supplies, were completed successfully. That facilitated the completion of the third phase, full scale equipment delivery. The first two phases enabled the project partners to determine the sizing and design of the UV equipment required to achieve the target levels of contaminant reduction.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of our collaboration,” said Joop Kruithof, Chief Scientist at PWN. “The system provides an extremely effective barrier to many types of contaminants, and we believe it represents the future of water treatment in Europe and in other parts of the world.”

The installation will ultimately treat more than 95,000 cubic meters (25 million gallons) of water per day, providing drinking water to approximately 500,000 people. This would require large contact basins in which to perform treatment using ozone. However, the UV system fits into a very compact footprint (approximately seven meters by seven meters inclusive). That means significantly reduced building capital costs and more efficient use of land area—important considerations for any locale.

The system employed at the facility uses a process known as UV oxidation, where hydrogen peroxide is added to the water. The water is then treated with UV light. In addition to the direct breakdown of some compounds by UV light, UV oxidation produces hydroxyl radicals, powerful oxidizers that break down and eliminate contaminants.

A significant advantage of the process used at PWN is that it does not form bromate. Bromate is a regulated disinfection by-product formed from the reaction of bromide with ozone. It is a suspected human carcinogen. Although the current regulatory limit of bromate in drinking water is 10 parts per billion (ppb), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database gives a one-in-a-million cancer risk concentration (the level on which most regulations are based) of 0.05 ppb. Bromide is present in many water sources worldwide and the formation of bromate from bromide presents a significant challenge for users of ozone in water treatment. Throughout North America and Europe, researchers have detected trace amounts of potentially carcinogenic substances in water supplies. These substances include N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), 1,4-dioxane, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and potential endocrine-disruptor compounds.

“There is an increasing recognition that many water sources contain trace contaminants that cannot be removed by conventional technologies,” said Marvin DeVries, President and CEO of Trojan Technologies, noting that today, “The need for municipalities to provide multiple barriers to microorganisms and chemical pollutants is becoming more acute.”

In Europe, the European Environment Agency (EEA) reports that source water supplies in many European countries regularly exceed the maximum pesticide concentration of 0.1 ppb. The fact that it can take years for pesticides to seep into water supplies, combined with heavy historical use of pesticides, suggests that the problem is only just beginning to manifest itself. More and more, pesticide contamination is forcing water providers to find new water supplies or perform treatment in order to provide safe drinking water.

About Trojan Technologies
Trojan Technologies designs, manufactures and sells UV systems for municipal wastewater and drinking water facilities, as well as for the industrial, commercial and residential markets. The company also provides UV treatment for the removal of certain chemicals from water. With approximately 3800 municipal facilities in more than 50 countries using its technology, Trojan has the largest installed base of UV systems in the world. Trojan has won over CDN $40 million (Euro 26 million) in contracts since it entered this market four years ago. Headquartered in London, Ontario, Canada, the company also has offices in the U.K., Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the U.S. For complete background information on Trojan Technologies, please visit the media center in the company web-site at www.trojanuv.com or call Diana Cunningham, Manager of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, Trojan Technologies, Inc., at (519) 457-3400

Ozone for Residential Swimming Pools and Spas

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

By Deborah Kon

Today, swimming pool and spa professionals are faced with a multitude of water treatment options such as ozone, chlorine, bromine, algaecides, clarifiers, filter aids and shock treatments. How can a dealer, distributor or builder recommend a particular treatment to a residential swimming pool and spa owner? Professionals in the swimming pool and spa industry begin by becoming well informed so as to recommend the best option to suit their customers’ needs. The first step in this process is to determine what customers are looking for in swimming pool and spa water treatment.   

In general, owners of residential pools and spas tend to desire and appreciate water treatments that provide excellent water quality, use fewer chemicals and involve less work at a lower cost. The second step in this process is to understand the requirements of proper water sanitation. Fulfilling these requirements effectively forms the basis of the water treatment system.

Proper water sanitation
Water sanitation consists of three parts: disinfection, oxidation and a safety residual. Disinfection is the killing of viruses, bacteria and algae on contact. Oxidation is the breakdown of nonliving components such as organics and nitrogen-containing compounds. These nonliving components are introduced into the water by the bathers and include body oils, sun tan lotions, cosmetics, urine and perspiration. Residual is the amount of free available disinfectant in the water to ensure that disinfection is occurring continuously. Proper water sanitation can be most effectively achieved by using a combination of chlorine and ozone.

Chlorine and oxidation
The traditional approach to treating swimming pool and spa water has been to use chlorine. Chlorine is an excellent disinfectant and it provides a safety residual in the water. However, chlorine is not efficient in oxidizing nonliving bather waste. In an outdoor pool, approximately 70 percent of the chlorine is used up for the breakdown of nonliving bather waste. In a spa, approximately 85 percent of chlorine is used for the same purpose. When such a large proportion of chlorine is used for oxidation, complications can arise. At pool and spa residual levels, when chlorine encounters body oils, sun tan lotions and cosmetics, chlorine does not break them down. Instead, chlorine combines with them to form new chlorinated organic compounds. These chlorinated compounds cannot be broken down, but rather consume a significant amount of chlorine, form scum lines, greases that clog filters and contribute to the formation of soft-scale. At operating residual levels, chlorine also combines with nitrogen-containing compounds from urine and perspiration to form compounds called chloramines. Chloramines cause the obnoxious “chlorine” odor often noticed around swimming pools and spas. They also cause skin irritation and red, itchy eyes. These reactions also tie up a lot of chlorine, preventing it from acting as a disinfectant and a residual in the water. The formation of chlorinated organic compounds and chloramines requires constant chlorine addition and super chlorination (shock).

Ozone and oxidation
Ozone is more efficient than chlorine at oxidizing nonliving bather waste. Ozone does not combine with organic or nitrogen compounds to form chlorinated organic compounds and chloramines. Instead, ozone completely breaks them apart, resulting in smaller molecules that are more readily soluble. They cannot combine with chlorine to form chlorinated organic compounds and chloramines and some can gas-off. This reduces formation of scum lines, clogging of filters and soft-scale formation and most importantly to the bathers, obnoxious odor and skin and eye irritations are reduced or eliminated.

Combination of chlorine and ozone
Chlorine’s disinfection and residual properties are excellent and in pool and spa water, chlorine can be used as the primary disinfectant and the free available residual; ozone is the primary oxidizer. By breaking down nonliving bather waste, ozone increases chlorine’s effectiveness as both a disinfectant and a residual. As ozone prevents the formation of chlorinated organic compounds and chloramines, the need to superchlo-rinate is reduced. Since the formation of chlorinated organic compounds is minimized, the use of shock treatments, scum line cleaners, filter degreasers, clarifiers, scale inhibitors, scents and filter aids can be greatly reduced.

Ozone safetyIf the ozone generator is installed and operated properly, ozone does not pose any health hazards to bathers. Because ozone is very reactive and does not have a lasting residual in the water, the bather will not be exposed to any significant amount of ozone. Once introduced into the water, ozone quickly reacts with nonliving contaminants to produce oxygen, heat and carbon dioxide, which are not hazardous and simply gas-off. The safety limit for exposure to ozone is 0.1 parts per million (ppm) over an eight-hour time period. The typical allowed indoor off-gassing from an ozone generator is set at 0.1 ppm. Ozone generators for residential swimming pools and spas are certified by Underwriters Laboratories under Standard UL 1563 and by National Sanitation Foundation under Standard 50.

Tips for ozone use in swimming pools and spas

  • Ozone can also be used with bromine. Bromine acts as disinfectant and provides a safety residual.
  • Ozone is compatible with mineral products and with copper and silver ionization systems.
  • Ozone can and should be used with chlorine generators. Chlorine generators produce chlorine by splitting salt molecules. Ozone is required to fulfill the oxidation function rather than the generated chlorine. Without ozone, chlorinated organic compounds and chloramines will form.
  • Ozone increases the capacity of a chlorine generator, prolongs its cell life and stabilizes pool water chemistry.
  • The free chlorine/bromine residual in pool and spa water is required and should be maintained at all times.
  • In a swimming pool or a spa, if ozone is used with chlorine, the minimum amount of free chlorine in the water should be 2.0 ppm, or with bromine, the minimum amount should be 4.0 ppm bromine.
  • If ozone is performing its oxidation function in the water, the difference between total chlorine and free available chlorine should be 0.5 ppm or less. This means that most of the chlorine is being used for disinfection and a residual rather than being present as chlorinated organic compounds and chloramines.

Installation basics: swimming pools
Ozone generators can be easily installed on both new and existing swimming pools. Most ozone generators for residential pools are installed on the suction side of the pool pump. When the pump is on, ozone is drawn into the pump, passes through the pump impeller and is pressurized into the water as it enters the filter. The filter’s bleed tube sends the ozone into the pool water as a fine bubble mist. For system-specific instructions and parts required for installation, the manufacturer of the ozone generator should be consulted.

Installation basics: spas
Most new spas have factory provisions in place that allow for an easy installation of the ozone generator. These consist of the ozone injector, which is a mini jet in the foot well, a venturi with a return in the spa wall, the air flow/draw capability and plugged tubing in the equipment bay under the spa skirt. As is the case with swimming pool installation, the ozone generator is connected to the spa’s recirculation pump. The ozone generator can either be on only while the pump is on the low speed cycle or be on continuously. For system-specific instructions and parts required for installation, the manufacturer of the ozone generator should be consulted.

Conclusion
The use of chlorine and ozone for swimming pool and spa water treatment most effectively addresses the three water sanitation requirements and provides the pool and spa owner with a water treatment system that gives excellent water quality, is easy to maintain and is cost effective.

About the author
Deborah Kon is the Laboratory Manager at UltraPure Water Quality Inc., a manufacturer of ozone generators for residential swimming pools and spas. She has been with the company since 2001. Kon holds a B.Sc. degree majoring in chemistry from University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario. Contact her at UltraPure Water Quality Inc., 1175 Appleby Line, Unit B2, Burlington, ON, L7L 5H9; phone 905-335-4085, x238 or toll free 877-281-7603, x238 or visit the company’s website www.waterquality.net

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