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Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

North America: CWG facility opening celebrated

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Jul2016_GS_HT CarmelCanature WaterGroup celebrated the grand opening of its new Indiana facility on April 28 with new and existing customers. Attendees enjoyed a tour of the facility followed by a BBQ lunch and prizes. The company extended a hearty thank-you to the city of Carmel and Jeff Worrell, City Council, for the warm welcome to the area and for assisting Toby Hughes, Canature WaterGroup’s COO, in the official ribbon cutting earlier in the week. Canature also thanked those who joined the festivities and looks forward to serving them from the new facility, located at 9760 Mayflower Park Drive, Suite 110, Carmel, IN 46032.

Viewpoint

Friday, July 15th, 2016

What has changed?

For several years, we’ve been reporting on emerging contaminants, improved technology, better treatment methods. So why are we still grappling with the continuing and wide-spread occurrences of water contamination? The industry has risen to every occasion, providing many options and opportunities to ensure that everyone has a safe source of clean water. Still, the news reports on lead, perchlorate, even pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) found in our drinking water supplies just keep coming back to the top of the list of public safety concerns. The crumbling water infrastructure is the biggest problem but the lack of knowledge about water treatment options isn’t far behind. Be the expert, the go-to guy, when you hear of something in your neighborhood. Give people the sense of security that has been squandered by the lack of political will to fix the problems at their most basic levels. You’ll have customers for life if you make the water safer and present options that are of value to any home.

RO hasn’t changed much over the last 50 years, other than better membrane manufacturing that has resulted in better and cheaper systems. As new testing protocols have modified limits from parts per million to parts per trillion, this mainstay treatment technology is one of the better options for many customers in all segments of the water treatment industry. And due to the serious and unrelenting drought that has plagued the western states since 2000, reuse is coming more into vogue, as is water harvesting. But water is not pure and treatment is often a must, especially when consideration for reuse of highly treated wastewater becomes a discussion point. As more municipal players opt for reuse to supplement their finite resources, treatment demands will only increase.

C.F. ‘Chubb’ Michaud tackles these subjects in tandem this month, with the initial installment of a three-part series. The new realities for water purveyors and suppliers is that there isn’t an infinite supply of potable water, something we’ve tried to explain many, many times over the past decade. To make use of what is available will take all of the technologies now in use and whatever else the industry can invent to meet those needs. We present a new article under the Innovations banner about a technology that may be ‘the next big thing’ in water treatment. Written by Ed Knueve and David Thomas, the article details the path to invention for something called quantum disinfection. Rounding out the July coverage is Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds’ article, which revisits the recurring Legionella outbreaks and their consequences.

Conference season is in full swing. New companies, technologies and products, all of which are or could be business opportunities, will greet you at a host of annual conventions and trade shows. Take advantage of the opportunity to see things first-hand, talk to the decision makers and stay on track with the rapidly changing world of water treatment. While some tried-and-true technologies and systems maintain their place as the workhorses of our little corner of the industry, there’s always room for more and better. We can’t be everywhere so if you see something that is innovative, with tangible application benefits, let us know!

Kurt C. Peterson
Publisher

The Rise of Legionella

Friday, July 15th, 2016

By Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD

President Obama visits Flint, MI and assures residents that the filtered drinking water is safe and free of lead contamination by taking a sip himself. The operative word here is not just safe but filtered. While POU devices have effectively minimized lead exposures from Flint’s municipal water supply, other contaminants are still a concern. Specifically, Legionella infections have notably increased in the region and more broadly in the US. Deficiencies in water quality management are the primary cause of these infections and thus, in many cases, are preventable. Preventing Legionella, however, requires additional efforts beyond treatment at the tap.

Increasing cases

Legionella was first discovered in 1976 when a mysterious illness struck staff and attendees at a convention for the American Legion in Philadelphia, PA. During this outbreak, 182 people were sickened and 29 died.(1) Additional illnesses were eventually linked to cooling towers, water misters, decorative fountains, hot tubs and showers. From these sources, the bacteria could be aerosolized and spread in micro-droplets of water that were inhaled by unsuspecting victims.

The majority of cases today occur in middle-aged men and show a seasonal increase in summer to fall months, particularly in the eastern US, but women and older populations are also at risk; outbreaks do occur year round.(2) Legionella infections manifest into two distinct clinical outcomes: Legionnaires Disease (LD), which is an acute respiratory disease similar to pneumonia, and Pontiac Fever (PF), which is a milder, flu-like illness. Most of the cases reported to the NNDSS are LD. Given the greater severity of LD compared to PF, this may be due to a greater tendency to order Legionella testing in patients with LD.

Legionella cases in the US are reported via a passive surveillance system where physicians and diagnostic laboratories submit data to the CDC’s National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System, aimed at tracking outbreaks. Reports to the NNDSS increased from 0.42 to 1.62 incidences in 100,000 persons between 2000 and 2014, an increase of 286 percent.(3) Actual cases are thought to be higher given the inherent lack of diagnosis and reporting of the disease. Currently the CDC receives reports of about 5,000 cases of Legionella infection each year but the true incidence is thought to be as high as 18,000. Reasons for the increase are not fully known; however, at least some is attributed to better laboratory testing, reporting and surveillance. Aging infrastructure and a growing population of elderly persons are also thought to contribute to the incidence increase. Other reasons, including increased awareness by physicians and even climate change, have been suggested.

Case fatality rates in outbreaks have been reported as high as 40 percent in the literature but with the changing epidemiology of the disease now reported in younger populations, fatality rates have decreased to below 10 percent.(4) Legionella infection is now recognized as a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia that can lead to serious infections and hospitalizations.

It’s in the water

Legionella is commonly present in the environment and we are exposed routinely to the organism. Environmental sources include groundwater and surface waters. The bacterium is indigenous in the environment and commonly colonizes drinking water distribution pipes. Municipal, household and hospital water distribution systems are all vulnerable to contamination. Routine levels of chlorine residual in distribution systems are typically not high enough to prevent Legionella from occurring in pipes. The greatest risk of infection is when Legionella multiplies in a water system and bacteria-laden droplets of water are inhaled. Although not as common, Legionella can be transmitted by drinking water that results in aspiration when the water inadvertently enters the windpipe instead of the stomach. This occurs when water essentially ‘goes down the wrong pipe.’

In an investigation of 27 outbreaks of LD from 2000-2014, the CDC found that 56 percent were due to potable water distribution systems, with 22 percent due to cooling towers and seven percent from hot tubs.(3) Forty-four percent of the outbreaks were at hotels and resorts, 19 percent at long-term care facilities and 15 percent at hospitals, largely due to increased immunocompromised and elderly populations.

Outbreaks from waterborne pathogens are reported in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR). The most recent report, published in 2015, included cases from 2011-2012. According to the report, “For 2011–2012, 32 drinking water–associated outbreaks were reported, accounting for at least 431 cases of illness, 102 hospitalizations and 14 deaths.” Legionella was responsible for 66 percent of outbreaks and 26 percent of illnesses and viruses and non-Legionella bacteria together accounted for 16 percent of outbreaks and 53 percent of illnesses. The two most commonly identified deficiencies leading to drinking water–associated outbreaks were Legionella in building plumbing systems (66 percent) and untreated groundwater (13 percent).(5) The report further identified the need for “continued vigilance by public health, regulatory and industry professionals to identify and correct deficiencies associated with building plumbing systems and groundwater systems,” in order to prevent the majority of the reported drinking water outbreaks.

While most Legionella outbreaks are linked to large, complex water systems, transmission can occur via household exposures to Legionella in domestic water systems. One study in 1992 found that six percent (14/218) of the homes surveyed were positive for the bacterium but that the risk of infection in the residents was low.(6) The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a guidance for home owners on how to identify areas in the premise plumbing where Legionella might persist and how to ensure minimal growth and transmission by maintaining proper temperature levels and reducing any stagnant areas in the distribution lines. For additional control, POU devices must be considered not just at the drinking water faucet but at other areas in the home where the bacteria can be aerosolized and inhaled, including shower heads, misters and fountains.

Infection prevention

In the CDC outbreak investigation, researchers determined that many of these outbreaks could have been prevented with proper maintenance of the building water system. Fifteen outbreaks (65 percent) were linked to process failures, 12 (52 percent) to human errors, eight (35 percent) to equipment failures and eight (35 percent) to unmanaged external changes.(3)

To address the need for improved system maintenance, a new industry standard was published in 2015 by ASHRAE for prevention of Legionella growth and transmission in building water systems.(7) (The standard is based on the use of best practices for identifying and minimizing Legionella growth and transmission in large or complex water systems using chlorination and temperature controls.) The CDC has also developed a companion toolkit, Developing a Water Management Program to Reduce Legionella Growth & Spread in Buildings: A Practical Guide to Implementing Industry Standards (www.cdc.gov/legionella/maintenance/wmp-toolkit.html) to help guide users through the ASHRAE standard and the development of a water management plan. In the toolkit, the CDC promotes the use of routine testing to monitor for Legionella growth and the efficacy of control measures.

A preventable illness

Legionella disease is treatable; however, misdiagnosis has delayed treatment in some instances where the disease then progressed toward serious and even fatal outcomes. Recognizing that Legionella may be the cause of pneumonia-like symptoms in both the elderly and middle-aged populations has increased physician recognition of the disease and improved chances for disease management. While we are hearing more about Legionella now (and particularly since the spotlight remains on Flint’s water issues), it has been a common waterborne contaminant and a common cause of respiratory disease for decades. Strict diligence in water system maintenance is required to prevent Legionella infections. POU devices will also reduce Legionella risks but proper consideration of the multiple sources of exposure from faucets to showers, to cooling towers and fountains must be practiced.

References

  1. Fraser, D.W.; Tsai, T.R.; Orenstein, W.; Parkin, W.E.; Beecham, H.J.;  Sharrar, R.G.; Harris, J.; Mallison, G.F.; Martin, S.M.; McDade, J.E.; Shepard C.C. and Brachman, P.S. “Legionnaires’ disease: description of an epidemic of pneumonia.,” N. Engl. J. Med., vol. 297, no. 22, pp. 1189-97, Dec. 1977.
  2. Neil K. and Berkelman, R. “Increasing incidence of legionellosis in the United States, 1990-2005: changing epidemiologic trends.,” Clin. Infect. Dis., vol. 47, no. 5, pp. 591-9, Sep. 2008.
  3. Garrison, L.E.; Kunz, J.M.; Cooley, L.A.; Moore, M.R.; Lucas, C.; Schrag,  S.; Sarisky J. and Whitney, C.G. “Vital Signs: Deficiencies in Environmental Control Identified in Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease–North America, 2000-2014,” MMWR. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep., vol. 65, no. 22, pp. 576-584, Jun. 2016.
  4. Ng, V.; Tang P. and Fisman, D.N. “Our evolving understanding of legionellosis epidemiology: learning to count.,” Clin. Infect. Dis., vol. 47, no. 5, pp. 600-2, Sep. 2008.
  5. Beer, K.D.; Gargano, J.W.; Roberts, V.A.; Hill, V.R.; Garrison, L.E.; Kutty,  P.K.; Hilborn, E.D.; Wade, T.J.; Fullerton K.E. and Yoder, J.S. “Surveillance for Waterborne Disease Outbreaks Associated with Drinking Water–United States, 2011-2012.,” MMWR. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep., vol. 64, no. 31, pp. 842-8, Aug. 2015.
  6. Stout, J.E.; Yu, V.L.; Yee, Y.C.; Vaccarello, S.; Diven W. and Lee, T.C. “Legionella pneumophila in residential water supplies: environmental surveillance with clinical assessment for Legionnaires’ disease.,” Epidemiol. Infect., vol. 109, no. 1, pp. 49–57, 1992.
  7. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188, “Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water System.”

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

Standards for Water Reuse Treatment Systems

Friday, July 15th, 2016

By Rick Andrew

Water reuse has been a topic of growing interest over the last decade or so. Water shortages and sustainability initiatives have contributed to this interest, with increased opportunities for water treatment equipment manufacturers, engineers and dealers resulting. There are two standards related to water reuse receiving increasing recognition by various states and plumbing codes: NSF/ANSI 350 Onsite Residential and Commercial Water Reuse Treatment Systems and the related standard, NSF/ANSI 350-1 Onsite Residential and Commercial Graywater Treatment Systems for Subsurface Discharge.

Overview

Essentially, the scope of these standards can be viewed in terms of input types, applications and reuse purposes. These scopes determine the challenge-water type, which in turn determines the test environment. In all cases, testing is extensive, with a 26-week/six-month test period being required to make sure the equipment will function under a variety of use conditions for an extended period of time.

Input types

The standards address situations in which all of the wastewater (graywater and blackwater) are being reused. This includes laundry, bathing, toilet flushing…everything. This is obviously the most demanding type of scenario for reuse treatment, because all of the wastewater is being treated. Additionally, the standards address scenarios in which only the graywater is being reused. Graywater essentially excludes toilet flushing wastewater (blackwater). For purposes of NSF/ANSI 350 and NSF/ANSI 350-1, graywater is defined as laundry water and bathing water. Further, the standards include requirements for reuse systems targeting only laundry water or only bathing water reuse. Each of these reuse scenarios has real-world applications that provide reuse and enhance the sustainability of the water infrastructure, so it is important to include requirements for all of them.

Applications

Applications include both residential and commercial. For purposes of NSF/ANSI 350 and NSF/ANSI 350-1, residential is up to 1,500 gpd. A residential application also requires a treated effluent quality that is slightly lower than that necessary for a commercial application. Commercial applications include those systems of any daily treatment capacity that meet a commercial-effluent quality and all treatment systems providing more than 1,500 gallons of treated effluent per day.

Possible end uses

NSF/ANSI 350 addresses general non-potable reuse applications such as toilet and urinal flushing and subsurface irrigation. NSF/ANSI 350-1 addresses subsurface irrigation only and excludes other reuse applications. By having both versions of the standard, states can decide which scope they would prefer to regulate through codes using either of these. NSF/ANSI 350-1 was initially developed specifically for the state of Washington, but of course, other states are free to reference it in their codes as well.

Jul2016_Andrew Figure 1Challenge water and test environment

Under NSF/ANSI 350 and NSF/ANSI 350-1, the input type and application are what drive the type of challenge water, which in turn is what drives the test environment. For example, residential wastewater applications are tested at a wastewater treatment plant that is specially configured to be a test site. The test system is installed at the test site and actual wastewater is diverted to it as the challenge water. This wastewater must have a 30-day average TSS of 100-350 mg/L and five-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) of 100-300 mg/L. Commercial wastewater applications, on the other hand, are tested on location where they will be utilized.

Reuse systems for graywater applications up to 1,500 gpd are tested in a laboratory using a specific recipe of simulated graywater, whereas systems for graywater applications greater than 1,500 gpd are tested on location where they will be used. Figure 1 describes the requirements for the graywater-application challenge water. Residential reuse applications involving laundry water only are tested in a laboratory using laboratory-created, simulated laundry water, whereas all commercial laundry reuse treatment systems are tested on location where they will be used. Jul2016_Andrew Figure 2Finally, reuse systems for bathing water only applications up to 1,500 gpd are tested in a laboratory using a specific recipe of simulated bathing water, whereas systems for bathing water applications greater than 1,500 gpd are tested on location where they will be used. Figure 2 describes graphically the input types, applications, challenge water and test environment and reuse applications covered under NSF/ANSI 350 and NSF/ANSI 350-1.

Codes, regulations and the standards

Having been published in 2011, these standards are gaining recognition in various codes and regulations, adding to their importance and building a foundation for establishing reuse as a more common approach to water utilization. Recognition of these standards includes:

  • The state of Washington’s adoption for their regulations
  • The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and International Code Council (ICC) inclusion of NSF/ANSI 350 in their draft plumbing codes
  • Canada, Australia and some European countries have expressed interest in the standard(s). Canada will likely reference NSF/ANSI 350 rather than creating a duplicate standard.

A growing opportunity

Increased acceptance, improved and enhanced understanding of equipment and capabilities, and growing desire for sustainable practices drives the opportunity for equipment manufacturers, distributors, dealers and installers in the area of water reuse. NSF/ANSI 350 and NSF/ANSI 350-1 contribute to this opportunity by providing a framework to establish effective performance of these systems for a variety of input types, applications and end uses.

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

All in the Family

Friday, July 15th, 2016

By Donna Kreutz

From left: Joel, Rich, Terry and Dan Addie

From left: Joel, Rich, Terry and Dan Addie

Water is Terry Addie’s passion both on and off the job. By day, he relishes solving water problems, especially when other companies have already tried and failed. After hours, he’s an avid water skier on a team that has won 19 national competitions. “I’m all about water,” he said. And so is his family.

Addie grew up around water. His father Lawrence founded Addie Water Systems in 1978 and in 1985 decided to expand it from a one-man operation. “He asked me if I was interested in coming to work for him. After consideration and a $3-an-hour pay cut, I decided it might be a good career move.” Addie worked part-time for his dad and part-time for a small plumbing business. “Our business grew rapidly and it was not long before we brought on my brother Rich in 1988 and other employees thereafter.” Along the way, three other brothers have worked with them. When their father retired in 2000, Terry became President and company spokesman and Rich became Vice President. (Today, the third generation is already on board. Terry’s son Dan is in college and works for the company during the summer, as did Rich’s son Joel until he graduated this year. He now works for the business full-time.)

“My father was a regional sales manager for a major water treatment company for five years,” said Addie. “While in Janesville, calling on one of his dealers, a customer walked in with a complaint and the dealer treated the customer so rudely and disrespectfully that my father decided right then that he would start up a business where customers would be treated fairly and with respect. He quit his job the next day and started the Addie company.

“I remember as a young person I would get sent out to a job to work on a unit or piece of equipment that I had never worked on before. I would tell my father, ‘I’ve never serviced anything like that.’ His answer was, ‘You will figure it out.’ After 31 years, my brother Rich and I, along with our staff, are pretty good at figuring out the right solutions to fix the problem at hand.”

Jul2016_DP_Image 3_The FleetDecades of hands-on experience

Addie has lived his whole life in Janesville, a Wisconsin town about 30 miles south of the capitol of Madison, a region that has plenty of water challenges. “Our service area is a 100-mile radius that includes southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. We see a lot of high iron, high sulfur and hardness issues, plus state-mandated arsenic testing. With our tech support team, we size up the treatment and build the proper equipment that will work best for each individual situation. We buy from all the major component manufacturers, so we are able to build the best equipment for each application to do the job right. We also custom assemble equipment for water treatment dealers who like their products built a certain way. We’ll build whatever someone wants. We’re still small enough to do that. It’s exciting—something different every day.

Addie Water Systems’ installations

Addie Water Systems’ installations

“The really neat thing about us is we have a lot of basic knowledge. I’ve worked in every position in the company, from delivery of salt and water to installations, technical support, buying, accounting, sales and everything in between. Rich has worked in salt and water deliveries, installations, tech support and sales. We do training classes each year to keep our employees current with issues in the industry. In addition, seven employees hold state of Wisconsin plumbing licenses, which require continuing education credits. We are hands on, boots on the ground on a daily basis. It is a big advantage when a dealer calls and you can provide not only the right book answers, but also give them the perspective that only comes from being in the field. That adds value for our customers, wholesale and retail.”
Jul2016_DP_Image 6_Installation_Excalibur Laundry

Problem solving is his forte. “Just give me a box of tools and let me get to work.” Recent challenges included livestock dying and restaurants running out of ice and cold water at peak times. “A farmer’s calves were dying. We did some testing and found high nitrate issues in the water they were mixing with their calf milk solutions. They were having 50-percent calf mortality. We sized up a nice system for them and not a calf has died since. That was pretty neat.

“Not long ago, a restaurant called us. They were using RO systems for ice cubes and drinking water. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (their busiest days) they were running out. They had called their brand-name company at least 10 times. Then they called us and we looked to see what they had. It was totally undersized for what they were doing. You base your equipment needs on the worst-case scenario—in this case their busiest days. We made a recommendation and they’re happy as a lark. Because of that one job, we got three other restaurants with the same problem and we sized up the commercial equipment properly. It’s very rewarding when we solve a customer’s water problems, especially when you are the second or third company to try. We’ve grown mainly by word of mouth because of the great customer service we give.”

Jul2016_DP_Image 4_Installation_ABC SupplySatisfied customers refer others

Addie Water Systems’ growth is steady, at a rate of 10 to 15 percent a year. “We set up one dealer with equipment, then do two or three more. People talk. A vast majority of our growth is word-of-mouth. We work with businesses that have multiple companies, multiple dealerships. Of course, we advertise in trade magazines and we’ve picked up some really good customers through trade on the wholesale side of the business. On the retail side, we try to stay active in the community with local radio and newspapers. We support school functions, youth sports, scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters and walk/run functions that come along.”
Jul2016_DP_Image 7_Installation

Addie was so passionate about the family’s water business that he regularly worked 12 hours a day. That’s when his wife signed him up for competitive water skiing with the Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show Team. “It was a way to get me out of here, by joining a club that meets at 5:30 p.m. All our kids were on water ski teams and one daughter even skied professionally for a year. It was time we got to spend with the kids that we wouldn’t have if we weren’t part of something like that. We do acts and build pyramids and put on shows. It’s cool. Our club holds the world record for a barefoot line of 28 people behind one boat. My joke is I make water soft but I like water hard to barefoot water ski.”

Addie is optimistic about the future. “The water treatment industry is only going to get better and grow. As more and better ways of testing water are developed, more treatment issues will arise. Meeting the challenge of those issues with new technology and training will be a never-ending task for water treatment professionals.”

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