Wednesday, March 24th, 2004
WC&P Technical Review Committee members Peter Cartwright, P.E., CWS-VI, and Dr. Evan Koslow were named to Filtration News’ editorial advisory board for 2004. The announcement appeared in the magazine’s January/February issue. Congratulations to both of them on the news. 💧
IDEXX Laboratories Inc., of Westbrook, Maine, reported net income decreased 3 percent to $12.4 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31 vs. $12.8 million for the same period in the prior year. 💧
Demand for non-chemical water treatment equipment and supplies in the United States is projected to increase 7.2 percent per year to $5.9 billion in 2007, according to The Freedonia Group Inc., of Cleveland. 💧
Black & Veatch, of Kansas City, Mo., has earned a Project Merit award from the Environmental Business Journal for its membrane systems in several water and wastewater treatment plant designs last year. 💧
Queench Inc., of Jericho, N.Y., has had its water bottling plants approved by the U.S. Army Veterinary Command. Since Jan. 1, Queench has supplied the military contract in the southern United States including Florida. Queench is a beverage company holding 24-year leases on four natural springs in Canada, Florida, New York and Oregon. 💧
The International Society of Beverage Technologists, an organization interested in the technical and scientific aspects of soft drinks and beverages, has entered into an agreement with the organizers of BevExpo 2004 to become a “supporting association” of the event. 💧
East Troy, Wis.-based Trent Tube announced a 6 percent price increase on all stainless tubular products, effective Feb. 2, 2004. The company said the increase was “required to offset escalating raw material prices.” 💧
Dow Chemical Co., of Midland, Mich., has introduced a series of QUESTRA crystalline polymers for use in water and food contact applications such as water transport and purification systems. 💧
The U.S. affiliate of Degremont was renamed Infilco Degremont because of its strong water treatment equipment heritage. The name Infilco originated from the International Filter Co. of Chicago. 💧
David Conway, president and chief executive officer of Glen Head, N.Y.-based WaterChef Inc. said the company has filed an application for patent protection in Hong Kong for its PureSafe Water Station.💧
St. Louis-based Environmental Management Corp. renewed its contract with the city of St. Charles, Miss., for management of the city’s wastewater treatment system. The five-year renewal agreement is worth $8.1 million. 💧
Portola Packaging Inc., of San Jose, Calif., reported results for its first quarter of fiscal year 2004, ended Nov. 30, 2003. Sales were $59.8 million compared to $52.0 million for the same period a year ago, an increase of 15 percent. 💧
Alexandria, Va.-based Water Environment Federation has released “Managing the Water & Wastewater Utility,” the group’s first publication this year. Highlights include leadership, financial management, budgeting and fiscal control, managing O&M, design and capital improvements, and the role of information technology. 💧
The National Ground Water Association has three new publications including “Transfer of Technology: A Technical Article Series to Better Understanding Drilling Equipment Components” by John L’Espoir. The others are the Ground Water Contracting Industry Survey and December’s Water Well Journal with highlights of the survey. 💧
WQA foundation kicks off endowment drive; online courses also featured at booth
The Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF), formerly the Water Quality Research Council, announces a new $1 million endowment drive that will officially kick off at the 30th Annual Water Quality Association (WQA) Convention this month. Four donation brackets have been established—Bronze ($5,000), Silver ($15,000), Gold ($25,000) and Platinum ($50,000). Aside from plaques and publicity related to gifts, artwork will also be commissioned for use on donor stationery and other company publications including websites. All donors will be recognized at WQA conventions. All contributions to WQRF, most of which are tax-deductible, go into the foundation’s research fund. The money provides the foundation with a source of funding critical to continuing education and scientific research in the point-of-use/point-of-entry industry. The WQRF raises funds through donations, annual golf and tennis outings at the Mid-Year Leadership Conference, and now the endowment drive. The original WQRC was formed in 1949.
In other news, the WQA introduces its new online education program, which will be unveiled at the association’s annual convention on March 16-20 in Baltimore. There will be courses for employees new to the water treatment industry as well as more experienced professionals. Initial online courses will cover basic water treatment fundamentals such as water chemistry as well as core technologies including softening/ion exchange and reverse osmosis. The latest treatment options for arsenic removal will be covered in another new offering. Later, courses covering the latest science and treatment options for Legionella and radium will be introduced. Initial courses will be available for preview and purchase on WQA’s website, www.wqa.org, beginning March 22. The cost per course will range from $20 to $25. The courses will also include interactive progress questions (multiple choice with answers revealed) as well as a final credit quiz with immediate notification of results. A passing quiz grade will earn the student a minimum of 1.5 education hours (0.15 continuing education units or CEUs) and a printable course certificate. Convention attendees will have an opportunity to preview initial online courses at the WQA booth. The first three course offerings will be “Basic Water Chemistry”; “Understanding Ion Exchange – Softening and Basic Deionization,” and “Arsenic: Chemistry, Occurrence and Removal.” New courses will be added on a regular basis. For more information about the online education program, contact the WQA at (630) 505-0160.
Auditor report slams Lancer
Lancer Corp., of San Antonio, accused by outside auditor KPMG LLP of “illegal acts” amid an ongoing U.S. government investigation into its dealings with Coca-Cola Co., stood by findings of its recent audit-committee investigation that found no evidence of misconduct or irregularities, The Wall Street Journal reported. Lancer’s auditor, KPMG, told the maker of beverage-dispensing equipment in an early February letter that it was resigning as outside auditor and withdrawing its audit opinion on the company’s financial statements for 2000-2002. KPMG declined to comment on the “illegal acts” it found. Audit firms rarely disclose such information for fear that they will open themselves up to litigation as to why they didn’t act earlier. Since last summer, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigating some of Lancer’s dealings with Coke, its biggest customer for fountain dispensers. Coke has denied wrongdoing. Coke and Lancer said they are cooperating with investigators. In other news, Lancer said Christopher Hughes will succeed George Schroeder as chief executive; Schroeder was set to resign on Feb. 28 after 37 years at the company. Schroeder said the change had been planned for some time and had nothing to do with the current investigation.
Pentair grabs WICOR/Sta-Rite
Pentair Inc., of Brookfield, Wis., has agreed to buy Wisconsin Energy Corp.’s water-systems subsidiary, Wicor Industries, for $850 million, a move that is expected to accelerate Pentair’s growth in the global water treatment industry. Parent company of Sta-Rite Industries, Wicor, with sales of about $750 million last year, will boost Pentair’s 2003 sales of nearly $1.1 billion from its water pumps, filters and pool and spa components. The acquisition will be Pentair’s 12th and largest in water technologies since 1995. Meanwhile, Pentair is set to explore a sale, a spin-off or a joint venture of its power tools business, which had sales of $1.1 billion last year. Wicor is an autonomous industrial unit of Wisconsin Energy, a utility holding company based in Milwaukee.
Tenergy signs with BWT unit
Tenergy Water LLC, of New Britain, Conn., has signed an exclusive manufacturing, license and technology transfer agreement with Switzerland-based Christ AG. Technology transfer and manufacturing of Christ AG’s premier equipment line, led by the company’s pre-engineered pharmaceutical and life sciences pure water system series, will begin immediately. Under this new business partnership, Christ AG has acquired a minority interest in Tenergy Water and the company will be renamed Tenergy Christ Water LLC. In addition, Tenergy Christ will take over exclusive responsibility for the distribution of all Christ products in the United States. Tenergy Christ will broaden distribution efforts beyond Christ’s traditional focus on the pharmaceuticals market to become active in the sectors of drinking water treatment, the food and beverage industry, and power generation. Tenergy Water specializes in the design, manufacture, distribution and service of high purity industrial water systems for the pharmaceutical, beverage, power and electronics industries. It also serves its U.S. customers’ needs through its service deionization and residential/light commercial divisions. Christ AG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vienna stock exchange-listed Best Water Technologies (BWT) Group of Austria, is Europe’s recognized market leader in water technology.
Calgon Carbon to pick up Waterlink, Barnebey Sutcliffe
Waterlink Inc. and its affiliated companies have approved Pittsburgh-based Calgon Carbon’s bid as the highest and best for Waterlink Specialty Products, comprised of the operating units that make up Waterlink’s former Specialty Products division. Calgon Carbon’s bid is around $35.2 million plus the assumption of certain liabilities. The assets to be acquired include those of Waterlink’s U.S.-based subsidiary, Barnebey Sutcliffe Corp., and the stock of Waterlink (UK) Limited, a holding company that owns the stock of Waterlink’s operating subsidiaries in the United Kingdom. Water-link Specialty Products is a provider of products, equipment, systems, and services related to activated carbon and its uses for water and air purification, solvent recovery, odor control and chemical processing. The company has 250 employees at 12 locations in the United States and the U.K. For fiscal year 2003, company sales were $66.9 million.
Water Pik buys Huron Tech
Water Pik Technologies Inc., of Newport Beach, Calif., purchased the assets of Huron Tech Systems, of Jacksonville, Fla., a division of Finnchem USA Inc., for $10 million. Huron Tech Systems is a leading manufacturer of automatic salt chlorinators for swimming pool and spa water sanitation and titanium heat exchangers, a component used in high-end pool and spa heat pumps. For the year ended Dec. 31, Huron Tech Systems’ unaudited sales were $6.2 million including $2.4 million of titanium heat exchanger sales to Air Energy, a business acquired by the company in June. In other news, Water Pik said sales for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 were $97.1 million, an increase of 14.8 percent vs. sales of $84.6 million for the same period in 2002.
Sta-Rite pool filters recalled
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of Sta-Rite’s System 2 and AquaTools filters and filter systems because the locking ring, which secures the filter’s upper tank shell to the lower tank shell, can disengage from the lower tank shell. In certain instances, this has allowed the top shell of the filter to blow off and caused injury to nearby consumers. Sta-Rite has received three reports of the upper tank shell blowing off including two reports of minor scratches and bruises to hands and/or arms of individuals servicing the filters. These modular pool filters are designed for use with above-ground and small, in-ground pools.
NGWA lauds water well bill
President George W. Bush signed a bill that provides $1 million for loans for low- to moderate-income persons for the installation or improvement of household water wells.
The National Ground Water Association (NGWA), which supported the federal assistance, hailed the appropriation as an important step in meeting an urgent national need. Some 3.6 million low- to moderate-income households across the country use outmoded water wells, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From the $1 million, grants will be awarded to non-profit entities, which in turn will provide loans to eligible persons for constructing, refurbishing or servicing household water well systems. The loans would have a maximum interest rate of 1 percent with a term of up to 20 years. The NGWA currently funds the non-profit Foundation for Affordable Drinking Water, which offers such loans in Ohio and Iowa, and is expected to expand into other states in the near future. Under the program offered by the foundation, households must:
- Have a combined household income of no more than $43,200 in Ohio (for a family of four) and $42,100 in Iowa for the most recent 12-month period,
- Be located in a city, town or unincorporated area with a population of less than 10,000.
Nearly half the U.S. population depends on groundwater as its source of water for drinking and household use. Every day, 76.4 billion gallons of groundwater are pumped in the United States. Information on the foundation and its low-interest loan program can be found by visiting www.wellowner.org and clicking on “Financing.”
Norland to greet governor
Lincoln, Neb.-based Norland Int’l. Inc. has moved into new office and plant facilities. The new 35,000-square-foot building houses the company’s customer service, warranty and technical support staff, along with executive and administrative offices including the marketing and engineering departments. The facility’s plant area includes product assembly, parts warehousing and shipping departments. An open house is scheduled for March 12 with Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns scheduled to participate. The company is a leading designer and manufacturer of water purification and bottling equipment used by commercial bottlers worldwide.
Calif. systems add chloramine
The drinking water in 30 northern California communities may have tasted different beginning in February as a result of a switch in chemicals used to treat water against bacteria. Local officials believed the change from chlorine to chloramine would go unnoticed by most residents. Still, people who use kidney dialysis machines, keep fish in aquariums, or use highly processed water for their businesses are being asked to take certain precautions. A mix of chlorine and ammonia, chloramine produces lower levels of trihalomethanes, suspected carcinogens that form when chlorine mixes with natural organic substances in water. Communities affected buy some or all their water from the San Francisco system, which is making the treatment switch.
Dealers: Join up, win chance to see Brickyard 400
Flint & Walling Inc., of Kendalville, Ind., introduces its Professional Prime Times Dealer Rewards program. The program is designed to thank and reward company dealers as well as to provide distributors with additional tools to more effectively approach new dealers. By signing up for the program by May 25, dealers will be entered into a drawing to win an all-expenses paid weekend package to this year’s NASCAR Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For more information, contact the company at (260) 347-6671 or email: lradcliffe@flintand walling.com. Flint & Walling is a manufacturer of water pump lines and water conditioning products.
System passes radium tests
Communities scrambling to meet USEPA standards for removing radium from drinking water are finding new cutting-edge environmental technologies that save millions of dollars and spare thousands of acres of Illinois farmland from radium exposure. Chicago-based Water Remediation Technologies (WRT) has developed new technology to remove the radioactive substance to an out-of-state licensed facility. In Illinois, the cities of Elburn and Oswego have adapted the WRT process. Many other communities have run or are running pilot tests. Last year, WRT completed a pilot study in Elburn. The company said the study confirmed this technology worked and will save residents $10 million over the next 20 years. A pilot plant study in Oswego revealed similar results.
Severn gets MUD(dy) in Texas contracts
Fort Washington, Pa.-based Severn Trent Services was awarded two new operations contracts for municipal utility districts (MUD) in Texas. The contracts are with the Fry Road MUD and the Fort Bend County MUD #35—both located near Katy, Texas, a western suburb of Houston. In these communities, Severn Trent will provide full operations and maintenance services including meter reading, billing, customer service, and the operations, maintenance and repair of water and wastewater facilities. In other news, Severn Trent’s Eclox rapid response water test system was verified by the Environmental Technology Verification Program. Verification testing was conducted by Battelle at the AMS Center in Columbus, Ohio, from July 14 to Aug. 22, 2003.
USEPA begins full-scale arsenic project in New Mexico
The first full-scale arsenic removal demonstration project for drinking water in the nation funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) began on Jan. 7. Funding follows the agency’s approval of a new arsenic standard for drinking water of 10 parts per billion promulgated January 2001. At that time, the USEPA pledged to support research and development of cost-effective technologies to help communities meet the standard. The USEPA has set aside $157,000 to fund installation and demonstration of the new treatment technology for a year at the Desert Sands Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association in Anthony, N.M. The technology being tested at the site attempts to use an iron oxide media to absorb arsenic from water. The project is one of 12 funded last year. Another demonstration project in New Mexico will be sited at Nambé Pueblo to begin later this year. Water systems must comply with the new standard by January 2006.