Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

Fortiva promotions announced

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Fortiva® Retail Credit announced the promotions of Ed Beldowicz to SVP of Client Development and Tessa Komer to VP of Client Development. As key members of the team, they will be responsible for growing partner relationships, maximizing retail credit program success and providing an overall prime experience. For almost 20 years, Beldowicz has fostered the organization’s largest client relationships, while also working with strategic partners to solidify new business. With his partnership and transaction experience focused on the less-than-prime consumer finance space, Beldowicz has worked to successfully educate hundreds of retailers and partners on the importance of this untapped consumer credit segment.

After seven years directing Fortiva’s retail marketing division, Komer brings over a decade of experience successfully strengthening existing partnership portfolios. Her ability to identify new revenue-driving opportunities for clients, along with her proven marketing perspective, will enhance Fortiva’s already strong relationships by fostering symbiotic long-term growth and strategic-thought partnerships.

Freedman named to WateReuse committee

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

The WateReuse Association has selected Jon Freedman, the global government affairs leader for SUEZ’s Water Technologies & Solutions business unit, to chair its Legislative and Regulatory Policy Committee. The committee supports the Board of Directors in setting an agenda to advocate for policies and funding that increase water reuse. As chair, Freedman will use his expertise in global affairs to lead the committee in developing position papers, letters, congressional testimony, frequently asked questions and other content. The WateReuse Association has been successful in securing laws, policy and funding to support water recycling.

WaterStart Australia leader announced

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

WaterStart Australia, a subsidiary of Nevada-based WaterStart, recently announced the addition of Nick Shewring as its new General Manager in Queensland, Australia. After working as a startup founder for nearly 15 years, Shewring joins the WaterStart Australia team to further water innovation efforts and help attract more international technology companies to Queensland by working with major water utilities and water consumers across the state. Shrewing is currently also the founder and CEO of the ikiFounder Network, which provides mentorship and financial support to venture founders.

King honored with 2019 Stockholm Water Prize

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Dr. Jackie King was named the 2019 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for her game-changing contributions to global river management. She has advanced the scientific understanding of water flows, giving decision-makers methods and tools to assess the full range of costs and benefits when managing or developing river systems. Dr King led the early development of the methods as a researcher at the University of Cape Town, funded by South Africa’s Water Research Commission. Later, she and colleagues Dr. Cate Brown and Dr. Alison Joubert created ecosystem models to demonstrate the ecological and social implications of damming and de-watering rivers. This has enabled objective assessment of the costs of water-resource developments that could emerge linked to benefits such as hydropower and irrigated crops.

WQA awardees named

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

The Water Quality Association honored 12 people with leadership awards during the WQA Convention and Exposition in April. Hall of Fame awards were presented to Douglas C. Haring, MRW, CI, CWR, Clack Corporation and Douglas R. Oberhamer, Culligan of Phoenix. Lifetime Member award went to Vincent M. Kent, CWS, CI, Abendroth Water Conditioning, Inc. An Honorary Member award was presented to The Hon. Richard A. Gephardt, Gephardt Government Affairs and former majority leader of the US House of Representatives. Donald K. McGhee, MWS, Hydro Systems Inc., was honored with the Key Award while Joe Landowski, Culligan of Waukesha, received the Regents Award and the Ray Cross Award was presented to Chris Wilker, EcoWater Systems LLC. Two recipients were honored with the Award of Merit: David Martin, Lenzi Marketing and contributing Editor to WC&P International and Kelly R. Thompson, MWS, CI, Moti-Vitality. The International Award of Merit was received by Michael R. Long, MWS, ELKEN Sdn Bhd and the Next Gen Award was presented to Sterling McNeill of Parker Hannifin and Ryan Prince, GE Appliances.

Singh appointed to CEO position with SUEZ

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

SUEZ announced the appointment of Yuvbir Singh as CEO of the Water Technologies & Solutions Division, beginning April 8. A graduate of the University of Pune with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in electronics, Singh joined GE in 1995, holding various engineering, sales and marketing roles. Between 2004 and 2015, he worked for GE Water, where he gained extensive knowledge of the water industry, played an integral role in a series of transformative acquisitions and ultimately led the Engineered Systems team. In 2015, Singh was promoted to VP of the global locomotive business for GE Transportation and as VP of equipment in 2018.

Scarborough named to IAPMO team

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

IAPMO® has added beltway veteran Jim Scarborough to its Washington, DC team as Senior Manager of Government Relations. He will focus primarily on state and local issues of interest to IAPMO, particularly with regard to the adoption of the Uniform Codes. Scarborough brings more than 30 years of state and local policy experience, most recently with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as Senior Manager of State and Local Government Relations for the past six and a half years.

The Politics of Lead in Chicago’s Drinking Water…the Long and Short of It

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

By David H. Martin

In Chicago, IL, lead in drinking water is more than a public health issue. It is also a political issue and the solutions are both long- and short-term.

An article in the April 2016 issue of Journal AWWA, “National Survey of Lead Line Occurrence,” estimated the number of lead service lines per state. Illinois ranked number one, with more than 700,000 lead water service lines. By comparison, Missouri was number two with 330,000. According to Anne Evens, CEO of Elevate Energy, a Chicago-based non-profit agency that has worked on lead issues in Chicago for several years, “When it comes to childhood blood lead levels, Illinois kids have long had some of the highest rates in the nation. City officials have also consistently resisted calls for a systematic removal of Chicago’s 360,000 lead water service lines that connect homes to water mains and are the primary source of lead in Chicago drinking water.”

What is the price of decades of political delay?
Exposure of generations of Chicago children to possible permanent neurological damage is well known, according to a 2018 Chicago National Public Radio station report. In Chicago, lead water service pipe was for many decades a sacred cow, protected by the politically connected Chicago plumbers union until 1986, when new installations were finally banned. (Other major cities had enacted bans years earlier and have since begun infrastructure programs to eventually eliminate all lead service pipes in the ground.)

To this day, lead service pipe replacement remains a political football in Chicago. The last three mayors have refused to deal with it, putting politics before public health. (Some people call it ‘The Chicago Way!’) For decades in the Windy City, there has been no political resolve, no definable goals, budgets or deadlines to remediate lead contamination in the public water supply. During the recently completed mayoral election campaign (won by Lori Lightfoot), former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas accused retiring Mayor Emanuel of inaction on the lead issue. Vallas proposed that the city provide POU water filters and set up a fund to help subsidize in-home filtration, as well as lead service line removal.

More recently, the newly proposed Illinois Senate SB 21460, Lead in Drinking Water would require municipal and private water utilities to plan for the replacement of all service lines in the state. With the city alone facing an estimated lead pipe replacement cost of billions of dollars, this tall task could take many years. (A second bill supports lead testing at Illinois parks.) On April 10, the Illinois Environmental Council led a group of volunteer lobbyists from all over the state to discuss a proposed lead bill with legislators at the state capitol in Springfield on Clean Water Lobby Day. All concerned agree that lead service pipe replacement is the long-term solution.

In a way, water worries over buried lead pipes have been tempered by a continuous coating of protective orthophosphates, added to the water at the city’s two central treatment plants. Some experts say it’s an inadequate program and no substitute for lead pipe replacement. Subsidized, lead-rated POU filters can provide a short-term solution, says the non-profit, which is launching a program for Chicago day-care centers.

New program helps Chicago child-care providers
The aforementioned non-profit service provider is now offering free resources to help home-based, child-care providers in Chicago address lead in drinking water. “It’s important for child-care providers to test their drinking water for lead and take action if lead is found because there is no safe level of lead exposure in children.” While lead exposure has health implications for all people, the effects are especially concerning among infants and children under the age of six. Exposure at even low levels can damage the brain and nervous system, impair a child’s development and contribute to learning and behavior problems, in and out of the classroom. The non-profit agency offers Chicago home-based, child-care providers a program that offers reimbursement for lead in drinking-water testing costs (up to $150), free water pitchers (certified to reduce lead in drinking water and free faucet-mount filters), also certified to reduce lead in drinking water.

In Illinois, all licensed day-care homes, day-care centers and group day-care homes built on or before January 1, 2000 and serving children under the age of six, must test their water for lead. Children spend a lot of time at child-care facilities and likely drink tap water and eat food prepared with water in these homes or buildings. Testing drinking water for lead helps providers identify potential lead sources and take appropriate action to protect the children in their facilities. If providers find lead at any drinking- or cooking-water source at 2.01 ppb or above, they will need to develop a mitigation plan and ensure children are provided with a safe drinking-water supply until permanent mitigation actions can be developed. Providers can use the water pitchers and sink-mount filters provided through the program as a short-term solution for addressing lead in drinking water.

Lead, violence and incarceration
Chicago children, who grow up with high levels of lead in their blood and live in communities with high rates of violence and incarceration, suffer as adults. That’s according to a new Harvard University study that examines data from Chicago children who grew up in the 1990s. The analysis was published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Co-authored by PhD student Robert Manduca and sociologist Robert Sampson, the study aimed to go beyond a more traditional focus on poverty and tease out possible correlations between specific environmental factors and adult outcomes. The researchers refer to the three factors of incarceration, violence and lead exposure as creating “toxic neighborhood environments.” And they found that these factors were associated with disparities between groups in areas of incarceration, more teen pregnancy and lower wages.

Political considerations should never trump public health considerations, even in Chicago. While lead service pipe replacement is the long-term solution to the city’s lead contamination problems, POU filtration can provide a recognized short-term answer: final barrier protection.


  1. “How political clout and union power created Chicago’s lead water problem.” July 21, 2018. WBEZ Public Radio Report.
  2. “City Council sidelines hearing on lead in Chicago water.” April 19, 2019. The Chicago Tribune.
  3. Conversations with Anne Evens, CEO, Elevate Energy. www.elevateenergy.org.

About the author
David H. Martin earned his BA Degree in English/psychology from the University of Dayton (Ohio) in 1965. He worked as a copywriter, creative director and advertising account supervisor at three national ad agencies from 1965-1978. Some of the major accounts Martin served include Frigidaire, Whirlpool, GE Appliances, the Hoover Company and Johnson Controls. He was a partner in two regional advertising agencies in Chicago from 1978-84; Owner of Martin Marketing from 1985-1987; Director of Marketing for Hurd Windows Inc. from 1987-1990 and has been President of Lenzi Martin Marketing since 1990. As WC&P Contributing Editor, he has served as a WQA Member and observer on the WQA Marketing Communications Committee since 2016. Martin received the WQA Award of Merit at the 2019 convention in Las Vegas. He can be reached at (708) 848-8404 or by email at dmartin@lenzimartin.com

North America: Grundfos honored by Frost & Sullivan

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Grundfos won the award for Company of the Year in the global water and wastewater pumps market at the annual awards show Frost & Sullivan. In the award report, Frost & Sullivan cited superior offerings of sustainable solutions for a better world and commitment toward a customer-centric service, coupled with market foresight and innovation-driven growth.

Asia: University faculty bring water to Nepal

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Ball State’s Kirsten Nicholson is leading another trip by Ball State University faculty to the Mount Everest region of Nepal, as they continue to help local residents in their search for clean water. Nicholson, a geological sciences professor, is part of a group who have partnered with Action for Nepal to build a water plant and filtration system to help two small communities in the Sagarmatha National Park of Nepal. The area has long suffered from tainted water supplies, which come from the glaciers at Mount Everest. These glaciers are contaminated by hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the mountain range each year.

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