Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

Amway Wishing Well Int’l. Foundation Sponsorship

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Amway Corporation has committed to a Wishing Well International Foundation Vehicle Plus sponsorship in next year’s 10-1-10 Africa Expedition. The company developed a new biofoam filtration technology and the expedition will be the first large-scale deployment of these biofoam filters in the field.

Charger Water Treatment Products New Branch

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Charger Water Treatment Products, LLC has opened its 11th branch, managed by Mark Hudak, at 9124 South Avenue, Poland (Youngstown), OH  44514. Contact them toll free at (844) 677-0547 or by fax, (330) 629-2509.

Viewpoint

Friday, January 15th, 2016

A new year with better prospects

Happy New Year, one and all! As we embark on another year of enthusiasm and positive trends, we hope you began the new year with as much energy and optimism. Just as spring will bring a sense of renewal, the new year seems to bring people to a fresh beginning and hopefully, with a cleaner slate.

Business and economics dictate that things have gotten much better and will continue to do so, with some exceptions. The slowdown in China affects all markets because of the heavy industrialization the country has engaged to become part of the global marketplace. The upside is the need for technologies and equipment designed to scrub the air and water that has been so polluted from this overwhelming pursuit. That’s good for many US companies, especially those who have manufacturing facilities in China, although they may experience slowdowns to address pollution issues.

Membrane separation and filtration, this month’s topics, cover a wide range of applications in nearly every aspect of production. Whether it’s goods, equipment, water treatment or medical usage, there’s a need for some type of filtration. Some involve highly technical and specialized aspects and those are becoming bigger niche markets, such as the medical needs communities.

Technologies once thought of as specific to only one market, such as industrial or municipal, are now being scaled down for much smaller applications, like commercial and residential use. Greg Reyneke, MWS, of Red Fox Advisors, provides an in-depth review of the different types of membrane separation and their uses. Alan Murphy, STW Resources Holding Corp., gives an overview of both separation and filtration and the prospects to be gained in the future. All major consultancy reports on membranes indicate there is nothing but growth for the next several years. Are you taking full advantage of these opportunities?

Guest author Marc Verhougstraete, PhD, pens the On Tap column this month with a look at how regional water issues actually impact those outside an affected region. He also gives examples of the worst man-made water disasters. Hopefully, some mitigation can be achieved to regain some of these lost precious resources and correct the devastation that has occurred as a result of these misguided projects.

Coming soon is the Water Quality Association 2016 Convention & Exposition in Nashville, TN, March 14-17. Registration is already open, just waiting for you to take advantage of early-bird savings. In addition, WQA is seeking new committee members. Please visit the WQA website to learn more. It takes an industry…

Kurt C. Peterson
Publisher

North America: NGWA, Splashlink in partnership

Friday, January 15th, 2016

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) and SplashLink.com, an online one-stop resource for the water industry, announced a partnership that will give NGWA members easier access to industry bids and projects, as well as funding opportunities throughout North America. The website is built exclusively for the water industry and not only provides access to millions in funding as well as thousands of projects, but also has search tools that make it easy to find just the kind of opportunities that are of most interest to each subscribing member.

NSF/ANSI Membrane Standards

Friday, January 15th, 2016

By Rick Andrew

Membrane technology is used widely in water treatment, with several different types of membrane and a number of varying product configurations. The membrane types include:

  • Pleated membranes providing filtration of particles in the micron range
  • Submicron microfiltration membranes
  • Ultrafiltration membranes effective at filtering below 100 nanometer-sized particles
  • Nanofiltration membranes effective at the molecular level
  • Reverse osmosis membranes effective at rejecting charged ions in water

Product configurations used for various membrane types include filter cartridges, bag filters, hollow-fiber membrane modules and spiral-wound membrane elements. Membranes with larger pore sizes typically have a direct flow path through the pores of the membrane, whereas nanofiltration and RO membranes typically operate in crossflow mode with a reject or waste stream that carries contaminants away from the membrane to a waste stream. Some direct flow-path systems use a backwashing or other alternate flow mode to clear accumulated contaminants from the membrane surface and out of the system to extend module life.

The landscape of NSF/ANSI standards and protocols relative to membrane products used for water treatment can be a bit complicated to navigate. The reasons for this challenging application of the standards are that many are based on the end use as opposed to specifically on the technology and the standards have varying scopes.

Figure 1 provides a summary of the NSF/ANSI standards relevant to membrane technologies and membrane systems used to provide water treatment. Also included are two important protocols that are not NSF/ANSI standards but are quite relevant. Figure 1 provides the title of each standard, its scope and a brief description of the types of requirements included. Some additional notes are pertinent to having an appreciation and understanding of these standards and how they relate to each other and to membrane technologies.

Jan2016_Andrew_Figure1General requirements

Almost all of the drinking water-related standards require an evaluation for material safety. It is an underlying theme of all of the NSF/ANSI drinking water standards and protocols that all materials in contact with drinking water must have a material safety evaluation. This is accomplished through a review of each of the materials to determine what contaminants may leach out of them based on the ingredients, impurities, processing aids and other chemicals associated with each material. This review establishes the analytical parameters for the extraction testing.

Extraction testing is accomplished through a variety of specific test methods, depending on the end use of the product, product type and the standard. In each case, sophisticated instrumental analytical techniques, such as gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) and inductively coupled plasma/mass spectroscopy (ICP/MS), are included to achieve low levels of detection and accurate identification for a large number of potential contaminants.

The results of extraction tests are typically adjusted through a mathematical normalization based on the amount of water flowing through the product based on where and how it is used in the distribution system. Finally, an assessment of the potential toxicity of any detected contaminants and their concentrations is conducted to make a determination of pass or fail for the test.

Testing contaminant reduction claims

Because membranes are used to reduce contaminants in the water, many of these standards include criteria and test methods for contaminant reduction. The types of contaminants evaluated under each standard depend on the technology and its capabilities, plus the end use being evaluated. For example, NSF/ANSI 58 includes, among others, test methods for evaluation of reduction of heavy metal ions in drinking water, whereas NSF/ANSI 419 is focused on microbiological treatment.

The microbiological treatment test methods in these standards typically involve the use of actual microorganisms, either the actual microorganisms ultimately being treated in the field (such as Cryptosporidium) or surrogate organisms useful in a laboratory environment and serving as conservative representatives of the actual microorganisms being treated in the field. In some cases, particles such as polystyrene microspheres are used.

The test operation of these varies considerably to achieve repeatable and reproducible tests that provide conservative evaluations, providing end users with confidence of performance in real-world conditions. For example, NSF/ANSI 58 requires a seven-day test operation with a variety of usage patterns incorporated into the test, such as partial storage-tank draws, complete storage-tanks draws and a stagnation period.

A summary overview

Each of the standards mentioned here includes significant details related to requirements, test methods, acceptance criteria and more. It is possible to dive very deeply into each one of them and explore some very interesting aspects of each. These deep dives can be very useful and informative, but they do not necessarily reveal a broad look at the entire landscape of standards applicable to various types of membrane technologies, end uses and product configurations. Hopefully the information presented here helps provide a basic overview to help piece together the high-level structure and relationships of these standards to the membrane technologies and to each other.

Andrew_Rick_mugAbout the author

Rick 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

North America: WateReuse Foundation awards announced

Friday, January 15th, 2016

The WateReuse Association presented the 2015 WateReuse Award of Excellence to nine leaders in alternative water supply development during a September 15 luncheon in Seattle, WA: WateReuse Project of the Year (Large): Sparta Reuse Facility, West Monroe, LA; WateReuse Project of the Year (Small): Woodland Creek Groundwater Recharge Facility, Lacey, WA; WateReuse Industrial Project of the Year: Kooragang Recycled Water Scheme, New South Wales, Australia; WateReuse Agriculture Project of the Year: Pure Water Monterey, Monterey, CA; WateReuse Innovative Project of the Year: WaterHub on-site water reclamation system, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; WateReuse Equipment Supplier/Manufacturer of the Year: TrojanUV, Ontario, Canada; WateReuse Public Education Program of the Year: King County (WA) Wastewater Treatment Division’s Education Program; WateReuse Customer of the Year: Sample McDougal House Preservation Society, Pompano Beach, FL; WateReuse Person of the Year: Karla Fowler, Director of Community Relations and Environmental Policy for LOTT Clean Water Alliance, Olympia, WA.

North America: Flomatic product certification announced

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Flomatic Corporation announced that all of its Model 888 silent wafer check valves are now NSF/ANSI Standard 61–Drinking Water Standards certified for drinking water systems. Effective immediately, all sizes and models will be constructed with EPDM elastomers as standard. This change is a direct result of the company receiving certification in compliance with the standard.

Not a Sprint but a Long-Distance Race

Friday, January 15th, 2016

By Donna Kreutz

Jan2016_EI_info box and picTwelve years ago, ChungHo purified water coolers were unknown in the United States. Today, ChungHo U.S.A. serves tens of thousands of customers and works with more than 200 dealers across the nation.

“Our vision is to make ChungHo water purifiers as ubiquitous in the US as they are in Korea,” said Founder, President and CEO Edward S. Park. He estimated that a great majority of households in his homeland, South Korea, use RO purification products over bottled water. Park said ChungHo introduced the world’s first RO POU water cooler with a built-in ice maker, so customers automatically got ice as pure as their drinking water. “I saw the market potential.”

He left his job as a vice president of an IT security company (funded by Samsung) in the Silicon Valley to launch this company with personal and private angel investments. He founded ChungHo U.S.A. on June 25, 2003 and began marketing directly to Korean-American communities in California, leveraging the power and brand recognition of ChungHo Nais, an established premium brand in Korea founded in 1993. “I personally installed the first hundred or more units throughout California,” he said. “I believe every leader must have walked the walk in order to truly understand the dynamics of the business.”

Today, ChungHo U.S.A. has three facilities, including its headquarters in Irvine, south of Los Angeles. “Our retail division operates direct retail service centers in southern and northern California, and our wholesale division operates a national dealer program serving the US and parts of Canada.” The parent company, ChungHo Group, was established with the philosophy of “promoting a healthy lifestyle for today’s society.” It currently holds several US patents and has received numerous awards for technology advancements and customer satisfaction.

Poised for rapid growth

Park said, “It’s been a tough 12 years of business development, but through perseverance and dedication day in and day out, we have managed to develop a distribution infrastructure and establish the ChungHo brand in the United States. The company is poised for rapid growth going forward. Establishing local brand recognition and product localization were the biggest challenges in the early stages of our business development. Through the natural course of organic business growth and the ability to persevere through tough economic and market conditions, we have become an established brand and are poised for expansion via accelerated market penetration, through both direct and indirect channels. We currently have 20-plus employees and expect to double in size by the end of 2016.”
Jan2016_EI_graphicHe projects that over the next five years “ChungHo U.S.A. will become a dominant brand in the business-to-business marketplace, working with 500+ independent dealers throughout North America.” The company already provides products to major brands and features some 30 corporate logos on its website, including automobile dealerships, hotels, Amazon, LG, Sony and Samsung.

The company offers a complete spectrum of bottle-less water purification products that heat, chill and freeze water. All come with the built-in icemaker option that produces purified ice. “This is a unique product feature that is unparalleled in the industry today,” Park said. “This is an important differentiation for dealers because it helps them stand out from the competition and provides a value that other products do not offer.” Dealers can diversify their revenue stream with both residential and business customers by leasing, renting, selling and servicing the units. Early on, he found it beneficial to establish a solid rental base with the resulting residual income.

Growing one customer at a time

The retail division achieved success through its in-house rental/retail programs to obtain critical mass through a combination of local media advertising campaigns and regional roadshows. Once that base was well established, they transitioned into the wholesale business by launching an indirect independent dealer program. Park learned that doing business in the water cooler industry “is not a sprint, but a long distance race,” he said. “Growing the customer base still happens one customer at a time.” Testimonials on the company’s website include feedback from Kelly K., a longtime customer: “ChungHo U.S.A. units have been in my family household for 12 years. Water never tasted so amazing and pure. You can taste a significant difference between normal tap and ChungHo filtered waters. The units are incredibly, aesthetically pleasing and functional.”

The company has a culture of giving back to the communities it serves. ChungHo U.S.A. sponsors the annual Irvine Korean Cultural Festival, showcasing Korea’s customs, heritage, arts and cuisine. It also sponsors Little League to promote healthier youth and a travel baseball club with the mission of providing young players proper fundamental skills and strategies and to “develop higher baseball IQ.” Park is an avid baseball fan and regularly tweets action updates on the Irvine Tigers.

This summer, the company introduced the ChungHo Essay Contest to encourage the next generation to learn more about the importance of clean water. There were prizes for three different grade levels, from fourth grade through high school. Eighth-grader Daniel Kwon won $300 cash and an ice water purifier. He wrote, “When I first started researching facts about water, I was pretty stunned to find that we used hundreds and thousands of gallons just to make a car, or to take a shower, or even to simply make a fast-food quarter-pounder. If you leave a single 60-watt light bulb on for 12 hours, you’d also be wasting 60 liters of water.”
Park said the water cooler market still has tremendous untapped potential. “Even now, Americans predominately drink bottled water, not purified water.” Looking ahead, he expects that “in 10 years ChungHo U.S.A. will be the impetus that propels the consumer market toward purified water and ice. ChungHo is revolutionizing the way everyday people across America are drinking water and enjoying purified ice.”

QUA sales director named

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Jan2016_Wiesler_mugFred Wiesler has joined QUA as Director of Sales and Marketing, bringing more than 30 years of experience in the water industry in both engineering and business development. Most recently, he was Global Director of Sales for Membrana, where he managed the sales function in 56 countries, 20 markets and five industry sectors. Wiesler’s vast experience encompasses a wide range of water treatment technologies, including EDI, RO, UF, UV and ion exchange. Wiesler earned a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook.

Europe: Water cooler market growing

Friday, January 15th, 2016

The east European water-cooler market expanded to almost two million units installed at the end of 2014, up 3.4 percent over 2013, according to a new report from Zenith International. The market is still dominated by bottled water coolers with a 64.4-percent share, followed by pumps and other dispensers at 32.2 percent. Despite each of these traditional segments seeing a 3.1-percent increase in units, they continued to lose share. POU mains water coolers advanced by 13.3 percent to nearly 70,000 units and a 3.4-percent share.

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