Saturday, April 24th, 2004
Teledyne Technologies Inc., of Los Angeles, said that Teledyne Tekmar Co., of Hudson, N.H., has acquired assets of Leeman Labs Inc., for $8 million. Leeman Labs had sales of $8.6 million for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2003. It will be operated as Teledyne Leeman Labs. 💧
An AWWA technical handbook for drinking water professionals earned two awards from the Society for Technical Communication’s Lone Star Chapter. “Filter Evaluation Procedures for Granular Media,” written by Daniel Nix and John Scott Taylor, is used primarily by drinking water engineers and operators. 💧
Clean Water Technologies Inc., of Tarpon Springs, Fla., has signed a letter of intent to merge with a Chinese pharmaceutical company in an attempt to enhance shareholder value. The name of the company was undisclosed at press time. 💧
Randolph, Vt.-based Vermont Pure Holdings acquired the home and office distribution assets of the Saratoga Spring Water Co., of Saratoga, N.Y. The transaction will add 1,500 residential and business customers to Vermont Pure’s customer base in the Saratoga area. 💧
CUNO Inc., of Meriden, Conn., reported record first quarter results for the period ended Jan. 31. Sales were $75.4 million, up 14 percent vs. the same period in 2003. Net income for the first quarter increased by 30 percent to $7 million from $5.4 million reported in the same period last year. 💧
USFilter Operating Services Inc. is now Veolia Water North America Operating Services Inc., adopting the name of its parent company. The name change results from a September announcement by USFilter’s parent company, Veolia Environnement, of its intention to sell select USFilter equipment and consumer businesses. 💧
ASCE Press, a book publishing branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers, announced the release of Water Resources Engineering: Handbook of Essential Methods and Design. The volume presents practical methods to solve problems commonly encountered by practicing water resources engineers. 💧
The ion exchange resin business unit of Dow Liquid Separations, of Midland, Mich., has successfully obtained global ISO 9001:2000 certification. It is also raising prices worldwide for DOWEX ion exchange resins by 5 percent by April 15. 💧
Underground Solutions Inc., of Pittsburgh, said its three newly introduced piping products are now listed by NSF International under ANSI/NSF Standard 61—Drinking Water System Components. Fusible C900, Fusible C905 and Fusible PVC allow PVC piping systems to be connected using the company’s butt-fusion techniques. 💧
West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Jacuzzi Brands Inc.’s net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2004 increased 14.3 percent to $303.8 million from $265.9 million in the same period last year. The company is a manufacturer and distributor of branded bath and plumbing products for the residential, commercial and institutional markets. 💧
Layne Christensen Co., of Mission Woods, Kan., announced its water treatment division has entered into a technology licensing agreement with Rohm and Haas Co., of Philadelphia. The licensing agreement grants Layne certain exclusive U.S. marketing and manufacturing rights to Rohm and Haas’ municipal technology. 💧
President Bush’s 2005 budget calls for $21 million in “Water 2025” funds to help western communities develop conservation, efficiency and water-marketing projects, and avoid future water supply crises, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Interior. 💧
Water bank makes its debut
Water industry investment advisor Steve Hoffmann announced formation of WaterTech Capital, a merchant bank focused exclusively on the water industry. The Dallas-based firm provides traditional investment banking activities such as raising capital and direct investment as well as merchant banking activities that include strategic alliances, new business development and the identification of distribution, product or manufacturing strategies. The company is in the process of identifying investment opportunities and is seeking a limited number of merchant banking clients for introduction to the investment community. For more details, contact Hoffmann at firstname.lastname@example.org or website: www.watertechcapital.com
Purolite sues law firm
Purolite, a Bala Cynwyd, Pa., water purification specialty resin manufacturer, filed a $40 million civil legal malpractice and gross misconduct lawsuit in mid-February against its former law firm—Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP—in state court in Pennsylvania. Purolite alleges the firm was grossly negligent in rendering legal advice to the company; violated its ethical and professional obligations to the company by permitting a conflict of interest, and acted in bad faith by surreptitiously attempting to obtain a release of liability from Purolite. The company argues that as a result of the law firm’s irresponsible counsel, Purolite and its two principals were criminally indicted and, in May 2002, convicted by a jury regarding violations of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. Purolite alleges that—after seeking advice from the law firm on legality of contracts by the company’s foreign subsidiaries with entities affiliated with Cuba—Morgan Lewis improperly advised Purolite not only that such trade was legal, but also counseled it and its executives they were prohibited under applicable foreign laws from acting to stop such trade.
Ohio reviews water rules
In a recent news posting on the Ohio Water Quality Association (OWQA) website, www.owqa.org, Rebecca Petty of the Ohio Department of Health reports that the agency has begun its mandatory five-year review of the Private Water System Rules. Petty will be present at David Martin’s seminar—”Integrated Marketing: Building and Capturing Leads on a Budget”—at the next OWQA meeting on April 23, and will provide an update during the lunch break.
Watts enjoys healthy jump
Watts Water Technologies Inc., of North Andover, Mass., announced results for the year and quarter period ended Dec. 31, 2003. For the quarter, sales were $190.94 million, a 19 percent jump from the prior quarter. Sales for the year were up 15 percent to $705.65 million. On Jan. 5, Watts acquired Flowmatic Systems Inc., of Dunnellon, Fla., for approximately $16.5 million. Flowmatic designs and distributes high quality reverse osmosis (RO) components and filtration equipment. Its product line includes stainless steel and plastic housings, filter cartridges, storage tanks, control valves as well as complete RO systems for residential and commercial applications. Watts designs, manufactures, and sells an extensive line of valves and other products to the water quality and water regulation and control markets. In the POU/POE market, it also owns Watts Premier, of Phoenix.
USFilter settles lawsuit
Met-Pro Corp., of Harleysville, Pa., announced in late February that it reached an agreement, subject to court approval, to settle certain patent litigation brought by USFilter Corp. involving a small number of odor control installations sold by Met-Pro’s Duall Division. Met-Pro had denied it infringed USFilter’s patent and had further asserted USFilter’s patents were invalid. During the litigation, USFilter dropped all infringement allegations against one of the two patents included in the lawsuit and major portions of its claims under the second patent. The settlement allows Duall to make, use and sell its current line of odor control products and technology. To terminate the lawsuit, Met-Pro agreed to pay USFilter an undisclosed sum.
Alamo, Aqua Finance sign deal
A unique equipment rental program targeting independent water treatment products vendors and their customers nationwide was launched as the result of an alliance between San Antonio-based Alamo Water Refiners Inc. and Aqua Finance Inc., of Wausau, Wis. Here’s how the program works:
- Aqua Finance provides the independent dealer with credit to purchase water treatment units for water softener or reverse osmosis/water purifier systems from Alamo Water,
- The dealer/vendor agrees to provide service for units that they install under the rental program (the monthly rental price is set by the dealer),
- The dealer signs a customer to an 18-month, non-cancelable, rental agreement,
- During the 18 months, the dealer shares the rental revenue with Aqua Finance and Alamo Water, and
- After 18 months, the dealer keeps 100 percent of any further rental revenue.
Aqua Finance provides financing and account servicing for the water treatment industry with clients in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Calgon, Shell fight MTBE
Calgon Carbon Corp., of Pittsburgh, and Shell Global Solutions Inc., of Houston, have completed a licensing agreement that will allow Calgon Carbon to use Shell’s BioRemedy microbes in a line of products developed by Calgon Carbon specifically for groundwater remediation of MTBE and TBA—tert-butyl alcohol. In other news, Calgon Carbon’s sales for the fourth quarter 2003 ended Dec. 31 were $69.6 million, an increase of 11.1 percent vs. the same period in 2002.
TWQA upgrades its site
The Texas Water Quality Association (TWQA) has promised changes to its new-look website (Ed. note: See WC&P review of the TWQA site in the May 2002 issue). The TWQA says the new site will now be updated monthly for news and other statewide developments relevant to its membership. For the time being, the TWQA reports that it’s working with the town of Pfluger-ville regarding a stop-work order issued to Ultrapure and Industrial Services, of Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, Florida WQA and Eastern WQA announced they’re developing initial websites to be unveiled by mid-year.
ResinTech picks up L.A. firm
The Aries Division of West Berlin, N.J.-based ResinTech Inc., acquired American FilterWorks (AFW) of Los Angeles. The company’s products will be integrated into the Aries product line and the entire division will be renamed Aries Filterworks. David Nasrin, former AFW president, joins Aries as sales director for point-of-use/point-of-entry business. AFW was founded in 1992 and offers four unique series of media cartridges to meet a wide range of filtration needs. This includes a complete line of replacement cartridges, private label programs, custom injection molding, custom cartridge design and turnkey assembly options. ResinTech will combine AFW operations into its existing facility in Los Angeles.
Judges rule on best water
Tap water from Desert Hot Springs, Calif., was ruled the best in the world in February by judges who sipped samples from around the globe. Five countries, 25 states and the District of Columbia were represented at the 14th annual Berkeley Springs (W. Va.) International Water Tasting. Ice Mist bottled water from Morarp, Sweden, also took a top prize. Each sample is weighed on six points—appearance, odor, flavor, mouth feel, aftertaste and overall impression. All the water is sipped at room temperature. Bosec, of Harghita County, Romania, took first place for carbonated bottled water and Pure StoneClear Springs, of Vanleer, Tenn., won for purified drinking water. In addition, fourth place in the non-cabonated bottled water category went to Fountain Natural Spring Water, of Keyser, W. Va., whose owner, Clinton Taylor, represented the host state of the contest very well.
Ionics spends $338M on firm
Ionics Inc., of Watertown, Mass., has completed the acquisition of Ecolochem Inc. and its affiliated companies for approximately $219 million and 4.65 million shares of Ionics common stock, valuing the deal at $338 million. Ecolochem, of Norfolk, Va., is a provider of emergency, short and long-term mobile water treatment services to the power, petrochemical and other industries. In related news, Ionics obtained a $255 million banking facility arranged by UBS Securities LLC, Fleet Securities Inc. and Banc of America Securities LLC. Included is a $175 million secured senior loan and an $80 million revolving credit facility. And Lyman Dickerson, former president of Ecolochem, has joined Ionics as vice president of Ionics’ Water Systems division. Following the closing of the transaction, Dickerson and Frederick Stant became directors of Ionics.
Hydroflo undergoes change
The board of directors of Raleigh, N.C.-based HydroFlo Inc. agreed to undertake changes in its business strategy designed to raise capital and expand the reach of its wastewater treatment systems into new markets. Key elements include plans to install a majority independent board of directors, the expansion of operations into additional global markets, and working closely with an appropriate funding partner. Hydro- Flo provides aeration equipment used for the pre-treatment of wastewater.
Mesa Water launches site
Mesa Water, of Dallas, has launched an official website (www.mesawater. com) containing detailed information about its ability to supply groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer in the northeast Texas Panhandle to the Dallas-Fort Worth or San Antonio regions. The website provides Mesa Water history and discusses present and future use of the Ogallala Aquifer and its hydrology. It also includes an illustrated description of possible modes of groundwater transportation to major Texas metropolitan centers including routes for a high-pressure pipeline and use of the bed and banks of the Brazos River. The population of Texas is expected to double in the next 50 years, creating a critical need for new water supplies. Mesa Water was formed in 1999 to develop and market groundwater from Roberts County, Texas.
GE opens China plant
General Electric’s first China-based water treatment factory went on-stream in late February in Wuxi City, a part of eastern China’s Jiangsu province. GE Betz Water & Process Chemicals (Wuxi) Co. Ltd., funded with an investment of $10.5 million, will supply specialty chemicals for water treatment for China and other Asian countries. The newly established company, covering an area of 98,400 square feet, has an annual output of 30,000 tons of reagent used for water and wastewater treatment including water purification and fluid filtration. GE has opened water treatment-related businesses in 20 of China’s provinces and municipalities.
Pall enters Canada via pact
Pall Corp., of East Hills, N.Y., and Haemonetics Corp., of Braintree, Mass., announced they’ve entered into an exclusive agreement for Pall to distribute Haemonetics blood donor and laboratory processing equipment and disposables in Canada. The companies didn’t disclose terms of the agreement. Haemonetics is a leading supplier of automated blood processing systems used in the collection of platelets, plasma and red cells. Pall sells blood bags and filters used in manual blood processing to blood centers and hospitals around the world.
Lodi calls on Trojan’s UV
Canadian-based Trojan Technologies Inc. won an order for advanced ultraviolet (UV) water treatment solutions for a wastewater reuse facility in Lodi, Calif. The systems, valued at $2.4 million, are to be installed at the Lodi White Slough Water Pollution Control Facility later this year. The system was validated through third-party bioassay testing and received acceptance from the California Department of Health Services to meet National Water Research Institute guidelines for wastewater reuse applications.
Legionella claims 7 French lives
A petrochemicals factory possibly linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed seven people detected bacteria in October but didn’t take necessary measures. In January, authorities ordered the Noroxo factory, owned by Exxon Mobil, in northern France to close temporarily for disinfection after tests showed some victims were made sick by the same bacteria that was found in the plant’s cooling system. Seven people died and 59 were infected with the disease, a form of pneumonia caused by bacteria in water droplets that broke out in northern France in November.
Hanovia wins UV contract
Ultraviolet (UV) manufacturer Hanovia Ltd., of Berkshire, United Kingdom, has won a contract to supply two medium-pressure UV systems to the Roodeplaat/Temba Water Supply Project in South Africa. The UV systems will be delivered and installed by Hanovia’s South African distributor, Patterson Candy International SA (Pty) Ltd. The combined capacity of the UV plant will be over 197,000 ft3/day. The Roodeplaat/Temba project is set up by the city of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality to eradicate delivery backlogs and enhance water supply capacities.