Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

People

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Paragon hires new Technical Manager
V57_N10_Unger_mug

Paragon Water Systems announced that Mark Unger has joined the company as Technical Manager. He brings 15 years of valuable experience in the water treatment industry. Unger began at the WQA in 2000 and has expertise in quality assurance, training, laboratory management, as well as product testing and certification. He has authored several technical articles in the various trade magazines over the years. Unger has a Bachelor of Science Degree in chemical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology.

Haws® introduces new team members, Centers of Excellence departments and internal promotions

Haws, a Traynor Family Enterprise™ company, is pleased to share several new team members, as well as internal promotions within multiple company departments. In addition, the formation of five departments as Centers of Excellence within the headquarters was announced. The Center of Excellence groups provide leadership, research, critical analysis and process engineering expertise and tools that improve performance and productivity for their respective areas and to be distributed throughout the organization. For more than 100 years, Haws has been committed to inventing, designing and manufacturing hydration products, as well as standardized and customized emergency- response products. With more than 8,000 distribution locations and 250 employees worldwide, Haws continually focuses on quality, service, reliability and complete solution support. Headquartered in Sparks, Nevada, Haws is globally represented with locations in Switzerland, Singapore and Brazil. For more information on Haws, please visit www.Hawsco.com.

Harley Enochson, Director, Haws Global Supply Chain

With a Bachelor of Science in business management from the University of Phoenix, Enochson comes to Haws with over 20 years of experience in supply chain management. As the new Director of Haws Global Supply Chain, Center of Excellence, he will be overseeing and managing master production scheduling, procurement, vendor management, inventory, logistics and freight.

Adam Pruitt, Product Manager

Pruitt joins the Haws team with over 13 years of experience in manufacturing quality, engineering and new product development. As Product Manager, he will be managing the development of new products from discovery to commercialization and the life cycle and sustainment of existing products. Pruitt will also be responsible for the revenue, volume, margin, profitability and ROI of product lines, as well as market risk evaluation and competitive analysis.

Sanjeev Kumar, National Sales Manager, Haws India Pvt. Ltd.

As part of the ongoing growth strategy, Haws has added manufacturing and distribution of products throughout India. Kumar has been brought on as the National Sales Manager and will oversee and direct all functions of the sales and customer services team for India. He joins Haws with 16 years of experience, most recently holding the position of Senior Sales Executive at 3M in Delhi, India.

Internal promotions include: James Eslinger, Director, Haws Global Production

Eslinger has been with Haws for over eight years, holding positions from Manufacturing Engineering to Operations Manager. Most recently, he was promoted to the position of Director of Haws Global Production, Center of Excellence and oversees receiving, production, shipping, quality control, as well as building maintenance and safety.

Kathryn Hes, Director, Corporate Communications

Hess brings over 12 years of marketing communications experience to her new role as Director of Corporate Communications, Center of Excellence for Traynor Family Enterprise. In addition to her previous responsibilities of implementing and managing marketing business strategies for the multiple business units, Hess oversees branding, public relations, product launches, digital marketing and internal/external corporate communications.

Don Marshall, Director, Haws Engineering & Global Products

Marshall has been promoted to Director of Engineering & Global Products, Center of Excellence. He will now oversee the engineering department and functions in addition to his previous product development and management responsibilities.

Kevin Ceccarelli, Customer Experience and Specials Manager

With over 16 years of experience at Haws, Ceccarelli has recently been given the responsibility of leading the Haws Specials Process Team, in addition to his current role as Customer Experience Manager. The new team will allow for particular focus on the growing customer demand for customization and product options.

Daniel Page, Production Supervisor

Page started with Haws in 2011 as a Production Assembler and soon moved up to become Production Coordinator in August of 2013. With his recent promotion from Assistant Production Supervisor to Production Supervisor, Page’s responsibilities include supervising and coordinating daily workload for all the products on the production floor, including manufacturing production, parts, pulling and concrete.

Global Spotlight

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

North America

WQA best practices guidelines

The Water Quality Association (WQA) has unveiled an informational resource to help water treatment professionals and consumers use water treatment systems in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Getting Smart with Reverse Osmosis Systems is now the second pocket-sized booklet published in the Getting Smart With series. With this special publication, water treatment industry professionals are encouraged to follow a set of best practices developed by WQA pertaining to the sale, installation and maintenance of residential RO systems. These guidelines are intended to help industry professionals choose efficient water treatment systems that employ RO technology, while also sizing and installing equipment for maximum efficiency. WQA sought advice from the most respected professionals in the industry and turned to current scientific research in developing these guidelines. Consumers will benefit from the extensive set of tips to help them avoid the waste or excessive usage of water all around the home. Each tip is labeled under one of the three categories: quick fixes, smart upgrades and great investments designed to help guide consumers in making changes that fit their budget and living situation. According to Bob Hague, president of Hague Quality Water and chairman of WQA’s Reverse Osmosis Efficiency Task Force: “Not only do we want to protect our environment, but we want to protect our customers as well. This publication helps us do both.” Getting Smart with Reverse Osmosis Systems is available for digital download by visiting http://www.wqa.org/Programs-Services/Resources/Publications/Getting-Smart-Booklets. Print samples may be obtained by contacting Daniel LeBlanc at dleblanc@wqa.org and content questions may be directed to Eric Yeggy at eyeggy@wqa.org.

Home desalination market rising

The market for domestic countertop water treatment devices and other point-of-use treatment systems is estimated to reach $24.5 billion (USD) by 2020. And the compound annual growth rate for the market is forecast at 9.86 percent from 2015 to 2020, according to a report by market analyst MarketsandMarkets. The report, Point-of-Use Water Treatment Systems Market – Forecast to 2020, segmented the market on device, technology, application and region. The technology segment falls into RO systems, distillation systems, disinfection methods, filtration methods and others. The researcher forecasts the market for RO systems will show the highest growth to 2020, segmented on the basis of device into tabletop pitchers, faucet-mounted filters, countertop units, under-sink filters and others. The tabletop pitcher segment is projected to grow at the highest rate over the report period. The applications of the point-of-use water treatment systems include residential and non-residential uses. The residential segment accounted for the highest market share of the total in Point-of-Use Water Treatment Systems Market in 2014. According to the report, factors including increasing water contamination and growing awareness of the benefits of clean drinking water drive the point-of-use water treatment systems market. Scarcity of clean drinking water in developing and under-developed regions provides a growth opportunity for the market, but high equipment cost put a rein on the market. The growing popularity of the bottled-water market creates a challenge faced by the point-of-use water treatment systems market. Chief growth strategies taken by the point-of-use water treatment systems companies is development of new products and acquisitions to meet increasing demand in key emerging markets.

WWIF to use new biofoam technology

Since its launch in 2011, Wishing Well International Foundation (WWIF) has continually worked to provide safe, clean drinking water in developing areas. The foundation has focused attention on attracting sponsors and donors to complete more deployments and reach more people who lack clean water. Given the simplicity and low cost of the biosand water filters that are used during WWIF deployments, there has been little incentive to use any other type of technology or equipment to remove harmful contaminants from local water. Now, a robust study of a new biofoam water filter has proven to be a game-changing development in how water is filtered and decontaminated in rural areas. WWIF will be one of the first organizations to utilize this technology in the field. The study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University evaluated a multi-barrier, low-cost water treatment technology, BlueQ™ developed by Ada, Michigan-based Amway Corporation. It consists of a flocculation stage, a newly developed biofoam filter and chlorine disinfection, the results of which indicate removal of biological contaminants in water with significantly higher effectiveness over existing biosand equipment.

Europe

Water coolers up in Europe

West Europe’s water cooler market grew by a further two percent in 2014 to a total of 2.9 million at the end of the year, according to a new report from the sector’s leading specialist consultancy Zenith International, with point-of-use mains water coolers coming closer to overtaking bottled water coolers. The number of mains water units rose by five percent, contrasting with a 0.2 percent decline for bottled cooler numbers. Bottled coolers now account for a 55-percent share, down from 57 percent in 2013. Mains water coolers are steadily heading toward a majority share. The UK retains the lead for water cooler installations, with 24 percent of the total. Italy and France also saw modest gains, at 17-percent and 15-percent shares respectively. Many other countries achieved increases in the bottled cooler segment, but Finland and Portugal both experienced falls of six percent. Mains water coolers achieved double-digit growth in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, led by Belgium and Portugal with growth rates of over 17 percent. Spring water remains the most popular type of water in bottled coolers, though its share dropped to 30 percent of bottled cooler volume. Mineral water and purified water grew, while eau de boisson slipped back to 14.5 percent of bottle sales. Zenith forecasts that point-of-use mains water cooler numbers will continue to advance faster than bottled water cooler installations, approaching a 50-percent share by 2019.

Jacobi Carbons’ new production facility

The Jacobi Group announced that production has begun at its newest coconut-shell carbon activation plant based at Cagayan de Oro on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Once running at full capacity (anticipated by the end of 2015), this facility will be the world’s largest coconut-shell activated carbon plant with a new level of automation, serving as a key component of Jacobi’s strategy to continually strengthen its position as the number-one worldwide manufacturer of coconut-based carbon. According to Anders Skeini, CEO of Jacobi Carbons Group, the size and sophistication of the new facility represents the state-of-the-art in carbon activation technology and will allow the company to assure a consistent supply of high-quality activated carbons for customers who are realizing the benefits of coconut shell-based carbons. Upon completion, the will have a production capacity in excess of 60,000 MT (130 million lbs.), making them the largest in the world. The Philippines facility will include a charcoal granulation plant, multiple activation kilns with a nominal capacity in excess of 20,000 metric tons per year, grinding and pulverizing capacity, specialty impregnation and water/acid washing. Founded in 1916, Jacobi Carbons Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Osaka Gas Chemicals Co. Ltd. and an industry-leading manufacturer of activated carbon products for use in water, air and process purification applications. With production facilities around the world, they offer a full range of activated carbon products based on coal, coconut shell, wood and other raw materials, covering a wide breadth of applications.

Aquatech Amsterdam to celebrate 25th edition
V57_N10_GS Aquatech Amsterdam

Aquatech Amsterdam focuses on process, drinking and waste water technology, with an emphasis on water and wastewater treatment, transport and storage, process control technology and process automation and point-of-use. This trade event attracts the most influential market leaders and features a complete overview of the latest innovative technologies, new products and services, as well as unparalleled networking opportunities. A prominent new addition to the show floor, the Industrial User Experience, will cover key sectors such as oil and gas, food and beverage, paper, mining and chemicals. This dedicated hotspot with sessions by and for industrial water users will provide a platform to share insights into the water challenges they face and their experiences with solutions. Thousands of water industry professionals gather at this exhibition because new developments are often shown for the first time at Aquatech. The celebratory 25th edition of Aquatech Amsterdam will be held November 3-6. Inspired by current trends, the world’s largest water technology event will be welcoming new initiatives to the exhibition floor with a special focus on innovation, stormwater, industrial water consumption and waste water. For the third time in a row Aquatech Amsterdam is going to be part of the Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW). The theme in 2015 is Integrated Solutions for a Circular Economy and Resilient Cities. The AIWW offers a varied program with a conference, the Young Water Professionals program, the Sarphati Sanitation Award, more than 40 international delegations and a detailed program of excursions. Pre-registration is free of charge via www.aquatechtrade.com

Bluewater wins prestigious international award

Swedish company Bluewater, a world leader in providing virtually contaminant-free tap water, won an Envisioneering Innovation and Design Award for its breakthrough Spirit water purifier, which delivers second-generation RO that slashes the water wastage of traditional RO solutions by up to 82 percent. In September, the new Bluewater Spirit was honored during Showstoppers IFA 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The award comes in the first year Bluewater has participated at the event, during which a select group of over 70 companies compete to win recognition for their innovation level, design and value to consumers. Envisioneering’s international team of technologists, marketers and industrial designers assessed each product, technology or service before making their choices for the ‘best of the best’ at IFA 2015 Berlin.

When Clean Water Is Liquid Gold

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

By Sarina Prabasi, Chief Executive WaterAid America

V57_N10_Prabasi_photo1Take a moment to travel with me to a small town called Wawa Boom, one of the most geographically and culturally isolated parts of Nicaragua, situated along the Miskito Coast. There is only one dirt road into Wawa Boom. The marine life is unparalleled, the coastal rain forests second only to those in Brazil, and the winding rivers so abundant that they serve as one of the main means of transportation.

Anyone can see that there is no shortage of water in this region. So why would my organization, WaterAid, choose to focus its energies here, dedicated as we are to clean water, toilets and hygiene education? Much of it comes down to water pollution.

Surface water sources have become polluted with mercury and other heavy metals from mining activity in the area, groundwater in the coastal zones has become salinized as sea levels rise and naturally occurring arsenic combined with increasing erosion make water quality a critical issue. What’s more, less than 20 percent of the population in the Autonomous Regions of the Atlantic Coast has access to toilets. Rivers and streams are often the only water sources available to the people living here and are frequently contaminated with human waste that can carry deadly diarrheal diseases.
V57_N10_Prabasi_photo2

Despite the fact that Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean region, few companies or organizations are working in this area. Operating costs are high, there are no paved roads and bridges are frequently washed out by flash floods. Hurricanes pose a perennial threat, malaria and dengue fever are common, security can be compromised by drug trafficking and communication is difficult for those unable to speak the local indigenous languages. In a world where clean, quality water is all too often taken for granted, clean water along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua is as precious as liquid gold.

Life quality depends on water quality
We hear a lot about the scarcity of water. What we don’t often hear is that the planet has enough water to meet humankind’s basic needs—drinking and keeping clean and healthy—so long as it is managed carefully and basic needs are prioritized. What we really need more of is quality water that’s safe for consumption.

More than 650 million people around the world today struggle day in and day out to access enough clean water to meet even their most basic needs. That’s one in 10 people worldwide who have no choice but to drink dirty water and who struggle to get the water they need for washing, cooking, cleaning and producing food.

As a result, half of the world’s hospital beds are filled by people suffering from preventable water- and sanitation-related diseases. Globally, women and children lose an estimated 200-million hours each day collecting water from distant sources; school attendance drops and the opportunity for people to earn a living is seriously diminished. In Nicaragua alone, as many as 800,000 people do not have access to safe drinking water.

Water experts understand that to be water-secure three things are critical for people: good quality, well-managed water resources and effective water-supply services. Water resources cannot be easily accessed without pumps, pipes, taps, tanks and skilled people to manage them as part of a service. Similarly, water supply services alone are of little use without water resources. If either is unavailable or unreliable, people will not have the quality water they need to lead healthy, dignified and productive lives.

Clean water transforms lives
WaterAid is increasingly combining the delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services with improved water resource management. Our integrated WASH-water resource management approach provides a structure for identifying and monitoring water-related threats, carrying out risk-based planning and acting to mitigate these threats. The outcome is reduced risk and increased water security…and individual lives that are radically transformed.

Linda Felix, a 41-year-old mother of six, recently completed one of our training programs aimed at giving women in her remote indigenous community the skills and know-how to repair local wells and monitor water levels in rainwater harvesting tanks that provide a life line to clean water in the area. Her work is important because of the fact that people in the area have traditionally gotten their water from a nearby river or from unprotected dug wells that dry up seasonally and are in a poor state of repair. Cholera epidemics hit hard here in the late 80s and early 90s—epidemics that resulted from drinking water supplies being contaminated by fecal waste in the absence of good sanitation and hygiene. In a region where the water table is high and where latrines are often in close proximity to drinking water supply wells, epidemics remain a real possibility. Today, Linda not only enjoys a greater status and respect in her village as a result of what she’s learned about water resource management, but her entire community has a viable means of boosting both the quality and long-term access to clean water.

In addition to installing ferro-cement household rainwater collection tanks to supplement water supplies from rehabilitated wells, newly trained community members are helping to provide presence/absence water quality testing, promoting the use of clay pot filters and educating their peers about the importance of protecting local water sources. But it hasn’t been an easy road. Uptake of home water testing has been slow, supplies remain difficult to acquire and the ferro-cement tanks used for rainwater harvesting can be expensive. Progress, however, can clearly be seen.

As water management experts, we know that clean water is worth its weight in gold. But guaranteeing access to clean, safe water will never be possible unless good sanitation and hygiene practices are also achieved. WaterAid and our partners are working toward a world where everyone, everywhere has access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene. It’s in everyone’s interest to address the global water crisis; the cost of inaction is simply too high.

About the author
Microsoft Word - Sarina Prabasi_CEO WaterAid.docx

Sarina Prabasi is the Chief Executive of WaterAid America. With 20 years of experience in international development work, she most recently served as Deputy Chief of Programs at Orbis International and as Country Representative at WaterAid Ethiopia. Prior to that, Prabasi spent nearly ten years at Pact Inc., serving both in Washington, DC and overseas. Originally from Nepal and mother of two young girls, she lives in NYC and is co-founder of Buunni Coffee, a fair trade, organic coffee company.

About the company
Since being founded by the water industry over 30 years ago, WaterAid has worked alongside partners in some of the poorest and most marginalized communities to reach over 21 million people with safe water and 18 million with sanitation. As the world’s largest civil society organization focused solely on water, sanitation and hygiene, WaterAid has built a deep understanding of the issues that face communities living without these basic services and of the solutions needed. Visit www.wateraidamerica.org

First, Do No Harm

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

By Greg Reyneke, MWS

Biofilm wiped off of a filter housing

Waterborne infectious diseases are diseases caused by bacteria, virus or protozoa that spread through contaminated drinking water. Common examples include adenovirus, cholera, dysentery, legionellosis, hepatitis, norovirus and giardiasis. Symptoms will vary, but nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, with or without fever, are the most common. It’s common for people to mistake a case of waterborne disease for food poisoning or a ‘24-hour flu bug.’

Most waterborne diseases are spread in the same way: by drinking water that has become contaminated by infected human or animal fecal matter. A small number of disease-causing organisms can cause illness or even death. Biologically contaminated drinking water can look, smell and taste ‘normal’, which is why this is such a serious issue. We’re not going to discuss evil bugs in this article though, but rather how we as professionals can avoid making our clients’ water worse while doing our jobs.

In the plumbing and water quality improvement industry, we’re expected to do the very best that we can to help our clients improve their water quality efficiently and economically, while still making enough profit to stay in business and get ahead. Those are lofty goals but very rewarding when ethically attained.

Hippocrates is credited with the physician’s admonition, “first, do no harm.” These words have guided medical professionals for centuries, and are wise counsel for us to follow too.
Something I notice with disturbing frequency is the lack of attention to good sanitation and hygiene practices among some water treatment practitioners who really should know better. Inadequate attention to good hygienic practices allows for preventable biological contamination.
V57_N10_Reyneke Sidebar

Biological contamination is a continued threat to human health, comfort and safety in the 21st century, especially with the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as well as the appearance of communicable diseases and parasites that can live in water. Beginning to practice safe water treatment isn’t hard at all. Consider the following basic rules:

1. Keep your clothing and tools clean, and maintain good personal hygiene at all times (wash those hands).
2. Use completely separate tools for working on potable and non-potable plumbing/appliances.
3. Wear disposable examination gloves (Make sure the ones you buy pass Viral Penetration Testing as listed in ASTM F1671) when working with potential sources of bacterial contamination, like exhausted drinking filters, drains, p-traps or other system/plumbing components that can potentially harbor bacterial contamination.

The foregoing are easy to remember and simple to practice, especially when you consider that lives are truly at stake. These common-sense precautions are just the beginning though; we can do so much more, especially in the prevention and elimination of biofilm growth in plumbing systems.
V57_N10_Reyneke Photos

Biofilms are composed of diverse communities of microorganisms adhering to hydrated surfaces. These microorganisms are usually encased in a slimy glue-like, extracellular polysaccharide that they themselves synthesize. Biofilm can grow on almost any surface in contact with water, whether entirely immersed, at the air-water line or even only occasionally wet. Their development is fastest in areas where warmth and adequate nutrition are available.

While biofilms in and of themselves are not necessarily harmful (and some have even been occasionally seen to compete for nutrition with pathogens) we simply don’t have reliable rapid detection methods to help us understand which biofilms are actually good or bad in the field. Some biofilm growth can encourage or feed pathogens such as Legionella pneumophila and most biofilm growth is shown to be responsible for microbial-induced corrosion of metallic components in plumbing systems, so the most prudent approach for plumbing systems is to prevent and eliminate all biofilm growth entirely.

We contribute to the growth of biofilm when we’re sloppy with operational hygiene and sanitation techniques. Good installation and service practices are important for doing no harm to our clients. There are still too many who take dangerous shortcuts or use unsound practices. POE ion exchange equipment can grow biofilms on resin inside the tank or distribution system, especially where halophilic bacteria are present in the regenerant. Consider the following best practices:

  1. Disinfect the brine tank during each periodic maintenance service.
  2. Scrub and disinfect all surfaces that show evidence of biofilm growth.
  3. Disinfect any system that you open to atmosphere, regardless of the work being done.
  4. Adhere to prevailing local code and industry best practices when connecting to building drainage systems.

Consider applying the following minimum guidelines to reduce biofilm growth in the drinking water systems that you service:

  1. Change filter cartridges at or before the manufacturer’s minimum recommended interval.
  2. Scrub and disinfect filter housings when changing filters.
  3. Actively disinfect any surfaces you touch that will come in contact with water.
  4. Replace any tubing that shows any evidence of bacterial contamination.
  5. Swab and disinfect faucet waterways or even replace faucet spouts when contamination of any kind is suspected.

The importance of sanitary working practices cannot be over emphasized. Think carefully when cutting pipes, changing filters, repairing softeners or anything else in your daily work routine. Consider the potential pathways of contamination and take sensible countermeasures. The health and safety of your clients rest in your (hopefully clean) hands. Pay attention to hygiene, your clients are counting on you!

About the author
Reyneke_Greg_mugGreg Reyneke, Managing Director at Red Fox Advisors, has two decades of experience in the management and growth of water treatment dealerships. His expertise spans the full gamut of residential, commercial and industrial applications including wastewater treatment. In addition, Reyneke also consults on water conservation and reuse methods, including rainwater harvesting, aquatic ecosystems, greywater reuse and water-efficient design. He is also a member of the WC&P Technical Review Committee. You can follow him on his blog at www.gregknowswater.com

Fourth Generation Water-on-water Reverse Osmosis: A Case Study

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

By Alexander Polyakov, PhD and Joseph L. Shmidt, PhD

The bottled water market in the US is on the rise and now exceeds $11 billion (USD) annually, making it today’s benchmark for quality of drinking water. According to International Bottled Water Association statistics for the past five years, no one has suffered from stomach illness due to bottled water, while during the same period, more than 16 million people have complained of stomach disorders caused by municipal water supplies.1 Almost all bottled water is produced from municipal tap water, using large-sized RO systems, mineralization and ozonation. There are, however, disadvantages to using bottled water at home, which include:

  • Consumers must carry heavy bottles or sign up for costly deliveries.
  • High cost: a family of four may spend $100 or more per month.
  • The need to dispose and recycle plastics
  • Hidden risks of water contamination (exposing bottles to sun may cause UV-accelerated leakage of chemicals in the plastic and water dispensers require regular sanitizing).

In comparison, the home RO market is but a small fraction of the market for bottled water. Since the 1980s, three notable types of home RO systems have been introduced. The first and most widely used type is well known and includes:

  • A prefiltration module with activated carbon, which reduces many impurities and converts chlorine to chlorides
  • An RO membrane
  • A purified water (diaphragm/air) storage tank
  • A postfilter
  • A built-in shut-off valve that turns off inlet water flow when pressure in the collection tank reaches approximately two-thirds of the incoming tap water pressure

The main advantages of this system are simplicity and dependability. As with most systems, there are also disadvantages, which include:

  • As much as eight to 14 liters (2.1 to 3.6 gallons) of pre-filtered water may go to drainage while collecting only one liter (0.3 gallons) of pure water.
  • A water storage tank, partially filled with air, is very large and can be difficult to fit in small kitchens.
  • Prefiltration cartridges in many instances (especially in developing countries) need to be frequently changed because of poor tap-water quality and large volumes of prefiltered water, where most of it is discarded into the drain.
    Second-generation systems were comprised of direct flow RO filters without the storage tank. In the mid-90s, the first fully automated, pump-driven, compact RO systems (~1.2 L/m or 0.3 gpm) were introduced. Among later entrants were tankless 1.2 to 1.5- L/m flow systems. These systems were not successful due to a combination of factors:
  • Dependable, on-demand, high-flow RO required large prefilter cartridges.
  • There was a high salt content in the first few hundred milliliters of pure water because of salt concentration equilibrium between the retentate and the permeate sides of the RO membrane cartridge, given a few hours between filtration cycles.
  • Increased cost of domestic water to the homeowner, which was a major factor in low residential sales.
    V57_N10_Polyakov_Shmidt_Figure 1

More than 10 years ago, a water-on-water RO system was introduced in the US and was declared Consumer Report’s number-one choice a few years later. So called water-on-water systems were comprised of a pure water collection tank, where water was collected and stored at atmospheric pressure (see Figure 1). When the pure-water faucet was opened, a valve allowed the tap water pressure to be applied through the flexible diaphragm, pushing pure water out. It did not create back pressure during water collection and the tank could be completely filled with pure water.

V57_N10_Polyakov_Shmidt_Sidebar

About six years ago, two compact and reasonably priced devices also based on the water-on-water storage tank were introduced in the US and in Russia. The US manufacturer of the compact water-on-water RO was later declared bankrupt as a result of quality problems and poor reliability. Although water-on-water RO systems are superior to the water/air RO systems, they have not been able to replace bottled water at home, due to several factors:

  • Water recovery is improved, but still a large amount of drain water is generated.
  • They were not certified as microbiological purifiers.
  • The automatic valving system needs to be exceptionally precise to switch on and off in a domino fashion. It makes the water-on-water RO systems manufacturing process more difficult, limiting the number of competitors.
  • Tap pressure must be more than 1.5 bar to 2 bar (22.5 to 30 psi) in order for the domino-type consecutive series of valves to operate properly.

Another problem that concerns all home RO water purifiers is that the RO membrane cartridge is shipped dry, almost universally. NSF-certified RO membrane manufacturers require a 24-hour water wash before use. Unless water filter dealers wash it before installation, the task falls to the consumer.

  • Earlier this year, another type of cycling water-on-water RO scrubbing system with an electrically driven diaphragm pump was tested (see Figure 1).The RO scrubbing system was designed to have high permeate recovery (up to 80 percent). The valves open periodically, a burst of the fast concentrate flows through the drainage valve and cleans the membrane, both during the filtration cycles and in the intervals between filtration. Tap water that flows into the water-on-water collection tank enters the electrical diaphragm pump and is pumped with a flowrate of one L/min through the RO membrane before flowing through the return tube back into the water-on-water tank. Purified water is collected into the internal rubber bladder bag inside the five-liter (1.3-gallon) water-on-water collection tank and, optionally, into an outside, larger standard water/air tank. Minimally required inlet tap pressure is 0.8 bar to keep the internal valves/pumping system operating.The system has the following technical characteristics:
    V57_N10_Polyakov_Shmidt_Figure 2V57_N10_Polyakov_Shmidt_Table 1• Standard setting of 60-percent pure water recovery (permeate/concentrate = 60/40)
  • Five-liter water-on-water storage tank with a thin-walled, five-liter rubber collection bag inside
  • Two prefiltration cartridges (5-micron 2.2-inch OD, 10-inch sediment filter and a composite 2.2-inch OD, 10-inch carbon/chelating fiber block CCFB). CCFB carbon blocks are made from powdered activated carbon, polymeric binder and chelating, hydrophilic ion-exchange fibers. Hydrophilic fibers (10- to 20-micron diameter fibers with the complex forming carboxylic and amine groups) are manufactured in Ivanovo, Russia. Chelating ion-exchange groups provide additional selective adsorption capacity toward heavy metals and large dirt-holding ability. Hydrophilic, capillary fibers lower pressure drop across the cartridge two- to three-fold as compared to the standard carbon block comprising only powdered particles while filtering solids.
  • A first Mg/Ca mineralization cartridge 2.2-inch OD, 10-inch (immediately after the RO membrane)
  • A second Mg/Ca mineralizer 1.25-inch OD, 4-inch in the RO tank
  • Resulting water mineralization in the cycling water-on-water RO was measured to be between 0.4 to 0.7 meq/L combined calcium and magnesium, with the maximum measured when the RO permeate was stored in the tank for 72 hours and the minimum was measured when the permeate tank was completely emptied and the permeate water flowed directly through the mineralizers out from the drinking water faucet.
  • Postfiltration with the 1.25-inch OD, 3-inch activated carbon block (and a 0.1-micron, 0.75-square-meter, hollow-fiber membrane cartridge) immediately before the pure water outlet (a hollow-fiber membrane cartridge from a a Japanese manufacturer, certified by the Japanese Health & Food Authority to remove at least 99.9999 percent of bacteria). The system underwent three months of continuous capacity testing, according to the US EPA microbiological purifier testing protocol at 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100 percent of stated capacity with bacterial and viral testing.
  • A built-in electronic controller keeps track based on how long the diaphragm pump has been in operation to determine when cartridges need to be changed. LED light indicators are located opposite each filter cartridge. The alarm gives a signal for the user to service the under-the-counter system. LED lights show which cartridge(s) must be changed. The reset button in the controller is used to reset the system after each cartridge change.

Comparison performance between this new and a standard, five-stage RO system with the booster diaphragm pump can be found in Figure 2 and Table 1. Experimental conditions included:

  • Feed: 20 meq/L total hardness water (10 meq/L bicarbonate [HCO3], 10 meq/L chloride [Cl]) convert meq/L to mg/L, ppm or grains per gallon for hardness
  • Pressure: 50 psi
  • A daily selection of 50 liters of permeate
    V57_N10_Polyakov_Shmidt_Table 2

After the tank was completely filled, the diaphragm miniature electrical pump automatically switched off. The time of filling the tank with the amount of water pumped into the drainage was recorded. The test continued until 1,000 liters of permeate was collected.

The disadvantages of this cycling water-on-water RO system are that it requires a 24V electrical power supply and with the built-in miniature diaphragm water pump, valves, electronic controller and hollow-fiber membrane postfilter, the system is more complicated than the simple, mechanically controlled RO systems.

Conclusion
Water-on-water RO with cycling electrical pump-driven concentrate recirculation and the permeate collection tank completely filled with RO purified water and valve opening burst-type concentrate discharge were tested to have high permeate water recovery. With rapidly improving electronic technologies and cheaper, higher flowrate, lower pressure resistance RO membranes, combined with the plunging costs and sizes of the controller, the electric pump and other electrically driven components are expected to accelerate advances and competition in home RO water purification. Water-on-water drinking water RO systems, invented more than 40 years ago, are expected to benefit from these advances.

References

  • Hogan, Chris. “Bottled water: an industry on the move”, Water Technology Magazine, February 01, 2015
  • Polyakov, Alexander and Shmidt, Joseph L. “A Comparison of Water-on-Water and Standard RO Home Filters”, WC&P International, October, 2011.

About the authors
Alexander Polyakov is Vice President, Technical Sales of Westaqua/Aquaphor Corp. and a graduate of the Leningrad State University Physical Chemistry Department’s PhD program. Email him at alexander.polyakov@aquaphor.com. Joseph L. Shmidt, CEO of Westaqua/Aquaphor Corp., was co-Founder of Membrex, Inc. (now a part of Osmonics, GE Water). He earned his PhD and MS Degrees in chemical engineering from Columbia University, NYC. Email him at joseph.shmidt@aquaphor.com.

About the company
WestAqua/Aquaphor Corp., Estonia (a subsidiary of Electrophor Inc., New York, US) was founded in 2007. WestAqua manufacturing is supported by the R&D department of Aquaphor Corp., its sister company in Russia (founded in 1992). Aquaphor R&D department employs more than 100 chemists, engineers and microbiologists who design and develop different water filtration POU and POE water treatment systems and filtration materials. Visit www.aquaphor.com.

Customers Want Solutions

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

V57_N10_Dealer Profile info boxBy Donna Kreutz

One fateful day nearly three decades ago, Al Lozier saw a newspaper ad and decided to attend a presentation about opportunities in the water treatment industry.

“Back then they used to run an ad and 20 to 25 people would show up for a presentation,” he said. “They explained the opportunities in the water treatment business in a group atmosphere and let you decide if you were interested.”

He was. Lozier started training for in-home sales. “I was motivated. If you did well in sales, the companies had programs that would allow you to branch off and start your own business”—which he did.

His company is Fresh KC Water, a full-service, owner-operated water treatment company serving Kansas City and the surrounding 60-mile radius. “I wanted to have my own business and I built it from the ground up.”

Lozier was committed to customer satisfaction from day one. “I built my business on that. I’ve been very conscious that services get done correctly, technicians are trained correctly and the customers get what they pay for.” Over the past 28 years, Lozier and his team have completed more than 10,000 residential projects.

He is a Water Quality Association (WQA) Master Water Specialist VI CI, CSR. He trains his staff to those standards. Key employees are Ron Carruthers, service and sales specialist; Jennifer Jofre, customer care and Jean Richardson, account management. Lozier likes the challenge of water treatment problems and finding the right solutions. “City water is hard and creates a lot of problems for drinking water. We have great solutions for those challenges and customers want solutions.

“It depends on what specific contaminants you’re trying to remove. City water has a lot of chlorine and atrazine. Well water has iron, manganese, hardness and sometimes hydrogen sulfide.

“More and more people are moving out to the country and do not have access to city or rural water, so they’re pulling from a lake, digging a pond or a well. We have the people and the equipment to make that water potable.”

Consumer awareness has changed tremendously, he said. “People used to say ‘the water is great, it’s fine.’ Today we very rarely hear that. Usually it’s ‘I know my water’s bad. I don’t want to know how bad it is – just fix it.’

“If you’ve been in the business a long time and have developed a great name and carry great products, people seek you out, rather than the dealers seeking them out through home sales. People getting into the business today have greater opportunities than what we’ve had over the past 28 years. Today most new business comes from referrals: our customers, Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor,” Lozier said.

People also are receiving information in new ways. That’s why Lozier recently upgraded his company’s website and began developing a social-media presence. “It seems that’s how the younger generation is getting information, so we want to make sure we’re in the ball game.”

The user-friendly website includes customer testimonials, information about water softeners, drinking water systems and whole-house filters, frequently asked questions and consumer tips. The Fresh KC Water tagline is: ‘quality water made with quality products.’

Lozier said one challenge he faced as an independent dealer in the early years was “not having backing from major manufacturers. That was tough at times. Today that has changed. Major manufacturers like 3M™ Water and Pentair Water® have some great programs and name recognition.”

Looking ahead, Lozier sees great potential for rainwater harvesting. “More and more people are becoming aware that water is a precious resource. If you want to save rainwater—collect it from a roof or wherever—we have treatment equipment to do that. I see this as a growth area for water treatment dealers.”

Some day he also thinks independent dealers and water companies will work together. “When people call the water company to hook up their water, they should be asked if they would like premium water: reverse osmosis or a water-softener system. It’s like cable companies asking if you want the premium channels. If water companies got into that revenue stream, they’d have to find a good water treatment company in the area to install the equipment and service it. That’s where I see the fit with the water treatment industry,” he said.

“With the larger manufacturers like GE, Whirlpool and Procter and Gamble getting into the residential water business, they will need great independent dealers to market their products. If they’re getting into the water business, it must mean they see a future that’s good and going to get better.”

That’s reassuring. “It’s a good feeling to know you’re in an industry that’s going to be around for a long time.”

An Overview of NSF POU/POE Standards and Protocols

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

By Rick Andrew

Most of us are familiar with the general idea of testing and certification of POU/POE products. We know there are standards and protocols for evaluation of this type of equipment, and we might even have some insights on what type of testing is required under these standards and protocols and which apply to which products. However, the full scope of available standards and their requirements can be overwhelming, even to those who are in the manufacturing sector and are engaged with new product development and regulatory compliance. For example, how many people know that there are actually eight different NSF/ANSI standards and three different NSF protocols for evaluating POU/POE products? Probably not many.

V57_N10_Andrew_Figure 1General requirements
Each of these standards and protocols includes similar general requirements. These requirements address various aspects of the products regarding safety, appropriateness for purpose, essential user information, etc. A summary of these requirements is presented in Figure 1.

Although these general requirements are very important (especially material safety and structural integrity) and there are some differences in how the general requirements are tested and evaluated in the various standards and protocols, these general requirements are not the reason there are so many different standards and protocols. The general requirements are similarly addressed across all of the standards and protocols and in some cases they are identical across several of them. If it were only for the general requirements, we would not need to have so many standards and protocols.

Scope and contaminant reduction claims
The scopes of these standards and protocols can generally be described across three categories:

  • Technology: RO, UV, cation exchange, etc.
  • Product application: POU or POE, complete system or component
  • Contaminant reduction claims: Scope of available claims, any mandatory claims, etc.

Basically, different technologies have different capabilities, limitations and configurations, so it is logical to create standards and protocols according to technologies. That way, the scope of the standard, the contaminant reduction claims available and testing methods are appropriate and applicable to the technology addressed in that particular standard or protocol.

For example, POU RO systems are constructed differently, operate differently and provide different treatment from POE cation exchange water softeners. Criteria that are important for evaluating POU RO systems, such as TDS reduction performance and daily production rate determination, are not applicable to water softeners. Similarly, fundamental criteria for evaluation of POE cation exchange water softeners, such as pressure drop and softening capacity, have no relevance to POU RO systems. It only makes sense to have separate standards for evaluation of these two different types of technologies and systems.
V57_N10_Andrew_Figure 2

When considering the various types of POU and POE technologies existing in the market, and the different end uses and functions they can have, it becomes more understandable that there are eight different NSF/ANSI standards and three different NSF protocols for evaluating POU/POE products.

Figure 2 provides a summary of the scope and contaminant reduction claims available in the NSF/ANSI standards and NSF protocols for POU/POE products.

A summary overview
The NSF/ANSI standards and NSF protocols for POU/POE products are very rigorous, scientifically based documents, with very detailed information provided for testing methods to facilitate reproducibility of test results among various laboratories. Exploring these details and the history, science and rationale behind them can be a fantastic learning experience. However, it is quite easy, and maybe even inevitable, in this pursuit to lose sight of the forest for the trees.

Instead, we present here a very general summary overview of the various standards and protocols to help provide a big-picture look at their structure and how they interrelate with each other, as well as a high-level overview of the requirements. This overview can be helpful as we match up products with standards and/or protocols and to help us keep clear on which standards apply to which types of technologies, products and contaminant reduction claims.

About the author
Andrew_Rick_mugRick Andrew is NSF’s Director of Global Business Development–Water Systems. Previously, he served as General Manager of NSF’s Drinking Water Treatment Units (POU/POE), ERS (Protocols) and Biosafety Cabinetry Programs. Andrew has a Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He can be reached at (800) NSF-MARK or email: Andrew@nsf.org

Methadone Creates Harmful Byproducts in Treated Drinking Water

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

By Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD

What happens in sewage doesn’t always stay in sewage. A recently published study found that traces of the drug methadone excreted in wastewater supplies ultimately impact sources of drinking water. Exposure to methadone, however, is not the primary human health concern. Rather, the interaction between methadone and disinfection byproducts that produces the carcinogenic compound NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine) currently has health officials taking notice.

What your sewage says about you

Scientists can tell a lot about you from your feces. Reportedly, monitoring sewage for specific genetic markers was considered (if not attempted) in tracking Osama bin Laden’s specific location.(1) Given that each individual has a unique DNA sequence that is naturally shed in urine and feces, if you know something about their baseline genetic fingerprint, sewage becomes the perfect sample to secretly collect. In fact, the field of ‘sewage epidemiology’ is exploding. We can gather evidence from wastewater to track illness rates or even drug use in a community or, theoretically, at the individual household level.

While the two don’t seem connected, the presence of pharmaceuticals in wastewater does affect the quality of drinking water. Pollutants in wastewater do not stay localized. Wastewater treatment plant effluent is eventually released back into the environment but some contaminants of concern remain. In fact, wastewater facilities are a major contributor of pharmaceutical residuals in drinking water sources. The connection between our toilets and taps is increasingly obvious but the resulting human health effects from exposure to lingering contaminants are still uncertain.

Opioid narcotics in drinking water sources
V57_N10_Reynolds Pull-quote

Methadone is an opioid narcotic used to treat symptoms of heroin withdrawal and chronic pain and it is commonly found in wastewater and drinking water sources. At medically relevant doses, the drug can cause severe side effects, including breathing abnormalities, allergies, heart arrhythmia and addiction. About four million prescriptions per year are issued in the US. Like many drugs, not all of methadone is absorbed into the body during treatment. Approximately 30 percent of the chemical is rapidly excreted in urine, which ends up in the wastewater treatment plant and eventually in the general environment.

Concentrations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water are orders of magnitude less than prescription doses. Methadone, for example, is prescribed at doses ranging from 2.5 mg every 12 hours for pain to 120 mg per day for opioid detoxification. Although the risks of environmental dose are lower than treatment level doses,consumers should still be informed of potential hazards and solutions to prevent lifelong, low-level exposures.

Little is known about the direct or indirect impact of pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs in drinking water, especially when exposure occurs routinely to a wide range of low-dose hazards simultaneously. What we do know is that they are present and as physicians and drug companies continue to expand the use and availability of drug treatments, concentrations of these drugs and their metabolic byproducts continues to increase in the environment.

Evidence of wastewater contamination

One study monitored pollutants daily for a week at wastewater treatment plants in two communities near Albany, New York.(2) Six drugs, including methadone and cocaine, and eight related metabolites were targeted. Concentrations of drugs in the sewage were used to estimate consumption rates in the community. The environmental emission levels of illicit drugs ranged as high as 67.5 mg per day per 1,000 people relating to an estimated usage ranging from 1.7 to 3,510 mg per day per 1,000 people.

Wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove these types of contaminants from water and report a removal efficiency of nearly zero for methadone, methamphetamine and others. Contaminants not removed from wastewater are eventually discharged into the environment and make their way into drinking water sources.

Another study monitored effluent from three wastewater treatment plants over five years.(3) Two of the treatment plants received waste inputs from pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. Results from this long-term analysis were compared to baseline effluents from 23 wastewater treatment plants throughout the nation. Generally, targeted drug concentrations were very low (< 1 ug/L). However, in the two effluents from the pharmaceutical-industry impacted sites, concentrations of oxycodone and methadone were as high as 1,700 ug/L. This level is 1,000-fold higher than typical wastewater facilities.

Hazardous metabolites

Levels of methadone and other pharmaceuticals in drinking water are thought to be too low to cause human health concerns.(4) Exposure to the methadone, however, is not the primary concern in drinking water. Rather, it is the interaction between methadone and drinking water disinfectants, such as chloramines, that produces the toxic metabolite NDMA. NDMA is an organic chemical commonly found in drinking water and food (beer, milk, cured meats).

First identified in California waters impacted by rocket fuel manufacturing wastes, NDMA has been detected at levels as high as 40,000 ng/L in environmental waters. NDMA clearly causes cancer in animals and is thought to be a potent human carcinogen as well. Exposures have been linked to stomach and colon cancers. Although currently unregulated by the US EPA in drinking water, numerous studies have found NDMA levels in drinking water above recommended levels thought to result in adverse health effects. Methadone may account for up to 62 percent of the NDMA formation in wastewater, and about 25 percent of the US population consumes drinking water treated with chloramines.

A recently published study found methadone at a median concentration of 23 ng/L (ranging from 1 to 2,256 ng/L) and contributing up to 10 percent of NDMA formation potential in surface waters used for drinking.(5) The authors conclude that beneficial medicinal applications result in the potential exposure of millions of tap water consumers to harmful carcinogens, including NDMA.

Contaminant removal

Currently, there is no maximum contaminant level (MCL) for NDMA in water but California health agencies proactively set a public health goal of 3 ng/L and a response level of 200 ng/L. The response level correlates to an estimated one in 10,000 probability of causing cancer and a recommendation of removing the water source from service. Federal MCLs are generally set at values corresponding to risks no greater than one in a million.

Once formed, NDMA does not rapidly degrade in the environment and absorbs poorly to media. Thus, the contaminant passes easily through soils and activated carbon. Ultraviolet light can be used to degrade NDMA by breaking the structural bonds of the compound and sunlight can reduce NDMA in the environment. Reverse osmosis has been shown to remove NDMA from drinking water but only at an efficiency of about 50 percent.

The best approach to minimize NDMA formation is the use of activated carbon prior to disinfection. Unfortunately, only about 10 percent of treatment plants have this process in place and upgrades are costly, approaching tens of millions of dollars. While POU devices can help to reduce exposures to NDMA and other wastewater metabolites, a larger effort is needed to prevent their formation in wastewater and to minimize their transport to drinking water sources.

References

  1. Ferguson, B. Spies in the Sewer, [Online]. Available: http://www.wwdmag.com/spies-sewer-0. [Accessed 13-9-2015].
  2. Subedi, B. and Kannan, K. “Mass Loading and Removal of Select Illicit Drugs in Two Wastewater Treatment Plants in New York State and Estimation of Illicit Drug Usage in Communities through Wastewater Analysis,” Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 48, no. 12, pp. 6661-6670, 2014.
  3. Phillips, P.J.; Smith, S.G.; Kolpin, D.W. et al. “Pharmaceutical Formulation Facilities as Sources of Opioids and Other Pharmaceuticals to Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluents,” Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 44, pp. 4910-4916, 2010.
  4. Chawaga, P. Methadone In The Water: What’s The Real Risk? 8-8-2015. [Online]. Available: http://www.wateronline.com/doc/methadone-in-the-water-what-s-the-real-risk-0001. [Accessed 13-9-2015].
  5. Hanigan, D.; Thurman, E.M.; Ferrer, I. et al. “Methadone Contributes to N-Nitrosodimethylamine Formation in Surface Waters and Wastewaters during Chloramination,” Environmental Science and Technology Letters, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 151-157, 2015.

About the author
Reynolds_Kelly_mugDr. Kelly A. Reynolds is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona College of Public Health. She holds a Master of Science Degree in public health (MSPH) from the University of South Florida and a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Arizona. Reynolds is WC&P’s Public Health Editor and a former member of the Technical Review Committee. She can be reached via email at reynolds@u.arizona.edu

Gearing up for change

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

It was invigorating to see so many of you here in Tucson at the 2015 WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in the Santa Catalina foothills overlooking the city. Before getting down to business, some attendees had a bit of fun: a cowboy breakfast, a jeep tour through the desert, a visit to historic San Xavier del Bac mission and the annual golf benefit for the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF). The foundation exceeded its goal for the year, raising $2.8 million to fund industry research.

This is an exciting time for the Water Quality Association (WQA), which represents more than 2,700 member companies around the globe. Conference attendees learned about the restructuring of working committees and details of an ambitious three-year strategic plan. Now WQA staff is working to develop specific tactics and milestones to achieve those goals. WQA is a resource and information source, a voice for the industry, an educator of professionals and laboratory for product testing. In this issue, David H. Martin, president of Lenzi Martin Marketing, a firm specializing in water improvement and environmental marketing, shares highlights of the conference.

We all know that what happens in sewage doesn’t necessarily stay in sewage, and that’s especially true of drugs. Wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove contaminants like methadone and other pharmaceuticals. As a result, those facilities are a major contributor of pharmaceutical residuals in drinking water. Public Health Editor Kelly A. Reynolds explores research related to increased levels of pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs in drinking water and what is–and is not–being done to address this complex issue.

Travel with us to Wawa Boom, a geographically and culturally isolated section of Nicaragua in Central America. The region is flush with abundant water in rivers and streams, yet there is significant pollution from contaminants that include heavy metals from mining, salinization from the rising sea levels, human waste and naturally occurring arsenic. As many 800,000 people in Nicaragua have no access to safe drinking water and fewer than 20 percent have access to toilets. Water Aid America (WAA) is on the scene, training locals to test water quality, promoting the use of clay-pot filters and teaching the importance of sanitation and hygiene to protect local water sources. Sarina Prabasi, Chief Executive of WAA, shows us how clean water can transform lives.

This magazine is all about sharing information and insights. That includes profiles of thriving independent dealers. Donna Kreutz, new to our writing and editing team, introduces us to Al Lozier, president of Fresh KC Water, a small company serving the greater Kansas City metro area. He’s been in the industry for nearly 30 years and is laser-focused on customer service. He likes solving problems and evolving with the times. He’s using  technology and social media to attract the next generation of customers and envisions a future where the residential water treatment industry is involved in rainwater harvesting and possibly even partnerships with water companies to offer premium water options.

Think about your industry colleagues. Who do you know that is outstanding, innovative or inspiring? We welcome your input. Tell us about independent dealers you respect and suggest corporate leaders to feature in our Executive Insight column. Send an email to info@wcponline.com with the person’s name, company and contact information. We’ll take it from there.

It’s autumn at last, a season of transition, where nature slows down but we gear up as school starts and the holidays loom. It is a busy time, yet this also can be a season of contemplation, where we reflect on changes, appreciate progress and refocus our energies before the start of another year.

 

2015 WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference Recap

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

By David Martin

WQA membership leaders met in Tucson, Arizona’s dramatic mountainside Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, August 31- September 2. The conference’s 148 attendees included 111 volunteer members, as well as WQA staff.

Monday was dominated by the WQA Board of Directors’ orientation, meeting and evening reception. Tuesday morning was reserved for benefit outings of the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF), which saw some member participants enjoying a cowboy breakfast and jeep desert tour, followed by a tour of the historic San Xavier Mission. Others played in the annual WQRF benefit golf outing. The afternoon was filled with task force and committee meetings, and ended with the welcome reception.

The conference’s Wednesday general session presented with great anticipation the association’s new committee structure, as well as a draft of the 2016-18 WQA Strategic Plan. The afternoon saw the end of an era, when other committees and task forces met for perhaps the last time under their traditional names and configurations, save for a six-month transition before next year’s annual convention in Nashville, TN.

“Committees, sections and task forces, under their current structure, will continue to meet, taking the six months between the mid-year conference and the 2016 convention to finalize their transitions,” said David Westman, interim WQA Executive Director.

V57_N10_Martin_photo1WQRF exceeds goal
The Water Quality Research Foundation reported that it exceeded its goal to raise $2.5 million, raising $2,807,500 from 107 industry partners. The foundation has identified more than 20 potential research studies as fundable initiatives. Since its inception in 1949, WQRF has sponsored numerous studies that have generated essential marketing information, positively impacted legislative change and helped decrease product testing costs.

V57_N10_Martin Pull-quoteWQA restructures volunteer committees
The restructuring announced in Tucson affects 11 volunteer groups, said WQA Marketing Communications Director, Larry Deutsch. “The Governance Committe has been established as a subcommittee of the board of directors. The International Section will absorb the duties of the international standards and regulations task force. The Industrial Section will be renamed, the Commercial/Industrial Section.”
V57_N10_Martin_photo2Other groups affected by restructuring, according to Brett Tangley, 2015-2016 WQA President:
• The group dedicated to the association’s relationships with state and regional WQAs has been converted from a task force to a section.
• The Market Development Committee will be renamed the Communications Committee and given a new set of changes.
• The Government Affairs Committee will be split into two committees: one dedicated to federal isues and the other to state and regional issues.
• The Member Professional Development Committee will be renamed, the Professional Certification & Training Committee.
• The Convention Task Force will be made into a standing group called the Membership Committee.
• The Membership Recruitment & Retention Task Force will also be made into a standing group called the Membership Committee.
• The Statistics Task Force will be reformed as the Industry Research Committee.
• The Gold Seal Steering Committee will expand its scope to include sustainability and will report to the Product Certification Forum and Product Certification Advisory Council.
• The Website Advisory Task Force will be sunsetted and the role of providing guidance on the WQA website will fall under the new Communications Committee.

V57_N10_Martin_photo3WQA’s new 3-year strategic plan
Mid-Year Leadership Conference attendees were also shown a draft version of WQA’s new three-year Strategic Plan, which extends from 2016 through 2018.

Said Tangley: “The Strategic Planning Task Force has worked tirelessly throughout the spring and summer to benchmark the plan against similar organizations and compile input from the board of directors, other industry leaders and key staff. Staff are currently working hard to develop tactics and milestones to achieve the strategies listed in their strategic goals, so the necessary costs may be incorporated in the 2016 budget.”

WQA members are encouraged to download the current draft of the Strategic Plan from the association’s website. Tangley’s Sept. 16 letter invited members to submit their comments on the plan to Lynn Mathers, WQA Executive Services Manager on or before September 25 at lmathers@wqa.org.

International Section meeting
Tina Donda reported that the WQA International Section had 441 members at the end of last year. Since July, membership has grown to 470. Europe is up 16 memberships in the first six months of 2015; Mexico is up eight members and China is up three members. Membership of people from India has declined since the creation of WQIA.

Steve Ver Strat described the International Section’s greatest challenge as “lack of engagement” among the members. The following questions are in need of answers:
•    What is WQA doing to serve international members?
•    Why do they want to be part of WQA?
•    What do they depend on WQA for?
•    How can the diverse membership be better served?

A member survey was proposed to determine the main benefits of membership. A distinction was noted between Europe and Korea, as well as other developing markets. (In developing countries, people sign up just to use the WQA logo.) European members value WQA’s regulatory work and help with exporting regulations. It was noted that WQA has a large knowledge base and WQRF studies among its assets for international members. WQA is a member of Aqua Europa, EWTA and a part of the ICPCDW consortium

Conclusion
This year’s WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference introduced a sea change in the association’s structure and strategic strategy going forward. With all of that, attendees enjoyed their days soaking up Tucson’s natural beauty.

Martin_David_mugAbout the author
David H. Martin is President of Lenzi Martin Marketing, Oak Park, IL, a firm specializing in water improvement and environmental marketing that integrates old and new media. He can be reached at (708) 848-8404 or by email at dmartin@lenzimartin.com

©2020 EIJ Company LLC, All Rights Reserved | tucson website design by Arizona Computer Guru