Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

Let’s get this party started!

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

By Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher

As I write this, it’s still 2019 and we’re getting ready to close out the year and begin anew. A business can only survive if it is dynamic and willing to make changes when necessary. You probably have already heard about the Vision 20/20 theme of the 2020 WQA Annual Convention & Exposition to be held April 1-3 in Orlando, FL. Perhaps your 20/20 vision for the new year will be inspired by the WQA Boot Camp, maybe by the input of friends and associates. Inspiration in any form should be welcome and helpful to your efforts.

There are a multitude of treatment processes available to overcome the broad range of water quality issues that are becoming more problematic each year. And, all things considered, water scarcity around the globe is also contributing to innovation . Whenever you have a finite amount of anything and need to stretch the boundaries of its useful life, there are challenges to overcome. Klaus Reichardt of Waterless Co., Inc. addresses this in his article about what comes next in the future of water treatment. With the need for new water sources, nothing should be overlooked and any source should be treated appropriate to its usage. Yes, that light at the end of the tunnel can mean progress, not a train wreck headed straight for your business.

Many people in rural America are not able to access water infrastructure and must have private wells and septic systems instead. But what happens when that is financially out of reach? You look to one of the agencies that are working hand-in-hand with drillers, equipment manufacturers, designers and installers to make clean, safe water a reality for everyone. Susan O’Grady of Xylem Corporation presents a recap of a recent project undertaken in Texas to help one such family in need. Overall, the cost effectiveness of small wells versus the cost of installing infrastructure can be eye-opening. Not every location can accommodate a modern infrastructure product so people must have options.

Throughout history, the world has suffered a number of pandemics with catastrophic consequences for entire nations. The loss of populations, productivity, etc., have crippled many an economy in times past. Regardless of all that innovation technology has provided to overcome such crises, one thing that has not been resolved is the distinct possibility of a mass-casualty health crisis, in conjunction with or due to waterborne pathogens. It’s not a lack of know-how, in most cases, but a lack of political will by leaders to put in effect those technologies that would ensure the safety of the world’s water supplies, especially when water is considered the life-blood of our species. Public Health Editor Kelly A. Reynolds, takes an in-depth look at this depressing reality facing the world, if it does not soon deal with these issues adequately.

As we embark on a new year, hoping that success is the hallmark of our efforts, are you making any New Year’s business resolutions? Have you learned anything in the past year that has prompted a change in business tactics? Would you like to share those ideas with others? If so, please contact us so WC&P can present even more tales of success for others to learn from and hopefully inspire further innovation. Until we meet again, be safe and enjoy!

Preparedness Needs to Mitigate Inevitable Global Disease Outbreaks

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

By Kelly A. Reynolds, MSPH, PhD

A new report on the inevitable risk of massive disease outbreaks from environmentally transmitted microbes is a reminder of the need to predict, plan and prepare for the future. The greatest concern is over the next Ebola emergence or a pending mutant influenza strain that will require global preparedness coordination efforts. Less exotic diseases, however, are circulating now, causing substantial illness and death and becoming more resistant to treatments. These diseases are amenable to proactive prevention with familiar control options.

An ounce of prevention
A common theme in this column parallels the saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Spoken by Benjamin Franklin and often restated in relationship to healthcare, the adage comes from his 1736 speech encouraging the formation of the first organized community fire-response team in Philadelphia, also known as the Bucket Brigade.1 The value in an ounce of prevention is not limited to health or fire safety but is also applicable to water quality. Invisible, tasteless and odorless hazards in drinking water are known to cause tens of millions of acute and chronic diseases in the US each year.2

There are over 500 pathogens of concern in drinking water.3 Naturally present water-based pathogens like Legionella, Pseudomonas and Mycobacterium (non-tuberculosis) have emerged as a greater health burden than the frank waterborne pathogens, like Escherichia coli O157:H7 or Cryptosporidium, that are traditionally targeted for monitoring (via indicator organisms) and control. Water-based pathogens have a completely different modus operandi than waterborne pathogens (Table 1). These microbial hazards are naturally present at low levels in water supplies and are amplified through distribution systems and premise plumbing where conditions of stagnation, low disinfectant residuals and heating promote their growth.

Although concentration thresholds have not been defined, control of water-based pathogens is not focused on total elimination but rather growth prevention by monitoring and controlling growth-promoting variables. Drinking-water outbreaks from both waterborne and water-based pathogens are routinely documented and have been increasing in recent years, partly due to a more intentional monitoring effort but also due to some high profile outbreaks.4 Another justification for prioritizing prevention rather that treatment is that opportunistic pathogens are evolving with more antibiotic-resistant genes and becoming more difficult to treat.

Worldwide devastation from microbes
A new report from the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), a team of worldwide public health experts, warns of the potential for a pandemic outbreak of infectious disease from a yet to emerge flu-like illness known as ‘disease X.’ The report, A World at Risk, focuses on the potential for a highly virulent, person-to-person transmitted respiratory virus to rapidly spread and kill an estimated 80 million people in less than two days.5

History proves that such devastating outbreaks do occur. The 1918 Spanish flu infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide, killing 50 million or more, including nearly 700,000 Americans.6 A scenario is anticipated in the future where a mutant virus, able to evade immune defenses, emerges to cause similar devastation unless preparedness measures are placed in advance.

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that another pandemic flu is inevitable. The GPMB report is critical of world leaders, especially those from some of the wealthiest countries, for neglecting to respond proactively to health emergencies or to invest in preparedness tools. From 2011 to 2018, WHO documented 1,483 events of epidemic disease outbreaks in 172 countries.5 Figure 1 provides a geographic visual of emerging and re-emerging pathogens over the past 50 years. This chart demonstrates the widespread nature of microbial diseases and the need for global engagement in prevention activities. Included are emerging diseases spread by insects (vectorborne) and water routes (see Table 2).

Proactive controls
Because waterborne diseases are often transmitted by specific point sources (i.e., household storage tanks and taps) they can be more easily mitigated than the feared ‘disease X’ agents. We must assume that water-contamination events, permissive microbial growth conditions and treatment failures will happen periodically. Preparing for such occurrences, by proactively treating water supplies to prevent contaminant exposures, is a prudent approach at global, municipal and consumer levels. The timing and frequency of drinking-water contamination events are difficult to predict and thus require consistent management at the point of use.

(1) Union Fire Company, Benjamin Franklin Historical Society. Available at: http://www.benjamin-franklin-history.org/union-fire-company/. (Accessed: 14th December 2019)
(2) Reynolds, K.A., Mena, K.D. and Gerba, C.P. Risk of waterborne illness via drinking water in the United States. Rev. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 192, 117–58 (2008).
(3) Ashbolt, N.J. Microbial Contamination of Drinking Water and Human Health from Community Water Systems. Current environmental health reports 2, 95–106 (2015).
(4) Benedict, K.M. et al. Surveillance for Waterborne Disease Outbreaks Associated with Drinking Water — United States, 2013–2014. MMWR. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 66, 1216–1221 (2017).
(5) Global Preparedness Monitoring Board. Annual report on global preparedness for health emergencies Global Preparedness Monitoring Board.
(6) Spanish Flu–HISTORY. Available at: https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/1918-flu-pandemic. (Accessed: 14th December 2019)
(7) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness. National Health Security Strategy 2019-2022. (2019).

About the author
Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds is a University of Arizona Professor at the College of Public Health; Chair of Community, Environment and Policy; Program Director of Environmental Health Sciences and Director of Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center (ESRAC). 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

Upcoming Adjustment to Lead Reduction Requirement under NSF/ANSI 53

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

By Rick Andrew

Lead in drinking water continues to be a major concern for the general public, especially those served by public water supplies with aging infrastructure. There are several ongoing initiatives to investigate potential lead contamination in these areas, some with focus on the impacts of lead service lines and specific practices of water treatment, seeking data on the amount and form of lead that could potentially be leaching into the water.

As efforts to better understand the nature and the extent of potential lead contamination of drinking water continue, there is also focus on reducing regulatory levels for lead in drinking water. Several states are seeking to reduce regulatory levels for lead in drinking water to five μg/L. Canada has implemented new Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality for lead at five μg/L and the EU is actively working to revise their acceptable level for lead in drinking water to five μg/L as well.

NSF/ANSI DWTU Joint Committee Activities
At the May 2018 meeting of the NSF Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units, in keeping with these developments regarding lead in drinking water, a proposal was made to create a task force to assess the impact of revising the pass/fail criteria for lead reduction in NSF/ANSI 53 from 10 μg/L to five μg/L in the effluent (filtered) water. The proposal requested that the task force focus on four specific activities:

  1. Making a request to the accredited certification bodies to review the impacts to certified products that would occur. In other words, would there be products that would need to be retested or potentially lose certification due to not meeting the five-μg/L criteria, and if so, how many?
  2. Examining and considering the appropriateness of maintaining the current challenge requirements as the change is made. Should the challenge continue to be 150 μg/L lead, with 30 percent of the lead in particulate form for the pH 8.5 test?
  3. Developing a recommendation for timing of the change. Is this something that can be done quickly or are there reasons to delay such a change?
  4. Identify any other consequences of making such a change. Would there be other impacts beyond examining current certifications and the composition of the test water?

The proposal was accepted by the joint committee and the task force was formed.

Results of work by the task force
The task force recommended adding an informational annex to NSF/ANSI 53 for the 2018 version, providing background and additional relevant information regarding lead and the proposed changes to the standard. Annex M was added to NSF/ANSI 53-2018 to raise awareness of the issue and to let users of the standard know that the joint committee intended to change the pass/fail criteria for lead reduction from 10 μg/L to five μg/L in NSF/ANSI 53 in 2019.

Additionally, the task group worked with accredited certification bodies to review the potential impacts to certified products. The review involved examining test reports supporting certifications to see how many lead levels in effluent samples (filtered water samples) were between six μg/L and 10 μg/L, versus those test reports in which all of the effluent samples were five μg/L and below. Any certifications supported by test reports that included all lead levels in effluent samples at five μg/L and below would be unimpacted by the proposed change. Any test reports with effluent levels between six μg/L and 10 μg/L would indicate a need for retesting and, potentially, a risk of loss of certification. With these implications in mind, the review was completed and it concluded that certified products demonstrate the ability to reduce lead concentrations to a level at or below five μg/L.

The task group further recommended no other changes to the current challenge requirements, including maintaining the challenge requirement of 150 μg/L lead, with 30 percent of the lead in particulate form for the pH 8.5 test. Based on the conclusion of the review of potential impacts to certified products and because no other changes to the current challenge requirements were recommended, the task group concluded that there wouldn’t be any other consequences or impacts resulting from changing the standard, and that the changes should be made sooner rather than later.

Changes on the way
Once the task group had finished its work and shared recommendations with the joint committee, the changes were officially balloted through the joint committee in March, 2019. These changes will be combined with other changes to NSF/ANSI 53 balloted in 2019 and ultimately published in NSF/ANSI 53-2019. Although making these changes to the standard did not impact existing certifications, they are nonetheless very important.

First, the changes assure that any products certified for lead reduction in the future will be capable of reducing lead to five μg/L or below when tested in accordance with the protocols in NSF/ANSI 53. Second, the changes reinforce the message to end users that the standard is very rigorous, requiring reduction of lead to a level below the current US EPA Action Level and consistent with new, more conservative levels being developed in multiple areas. Third, the joint committee is assuring that NSF/ANSI 53 is up-to-date with the latest trends in the regulatory community, maintaining the standard’s relevance as a globally recognized resource for evaluating the quality and performance of filtration technologies.

About 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

Former RainSoft President Proud to Be a ‘Culligan Man’

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

By Donna Kreutz

Robert ‘Bob’ Ruhstorfer started in the water treatment industry as an installer’s helper and delivering salt in the family business in Marlette, MI. He steadily worked his way up through every type of job in the industry, eventually becoming President of RainSoft. Then he retired…briefly. Today he is proud to be called ‘Culligan Man.’
Ruhstorfer wears his Culligan shirts when traveling, which he does regularly from his home in Illinois to his dealerships in Texas. “I was standing in line at O’Hare and the TSA agent says ‘Hey Culligan Man, it’s your turn.’ Another time I was having breakfast in a Dallas hotel and someone came up and said ‘I just wanted to shake your hand so I can say I actually met a real Culligan Man. Two burly contractor guys were in the elevator when I walked in and one hollered out ‘Hey Culligan Man!’ I felt like a celebrity.”
Some might say this was destiny. His father, Robert Sr., got introduced to the water softening business in the 1960s while selling stainless steel milking equipment to farmers who complained to him about the spots caused by hard water. He had to figure out how get rid of them. He found the solution was a water softener, so he became the local Water King dealer. Their neighbor (literally) was Gordon Miller, the local Culligan Man. That was about the same time that a prestigious Los Angeles advertising agency created the now famous ‘Hey Culligan Man’ radio ads.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the challenges and opportunities in solving water problems. I feel this is a great industry, a fantastic industry to build a career around. I’ve only been a water guy—it’s all I know. My brother, Ken, is still in the industry too, running a continuation of the family business in Michigan. We talk all the time about the business and our challenges as dealers. I’m still trying to get him over to the Culligan side,” Ruhstorfer said.

“After initially retiring, I found an opportunity to get back in the industry through buying several Culligan franchises in Texas. Our company operates four locations in Texas. We service the residential, commercial and industrial markets, as well as operate three bottling plants for the HOD (home office delivery) business. Basically my challenge has been turning around two very large corporate-owned, under-performing businesses. They had been run by a centralized command-and-control business model, where decisions were made at the top. Local employees and managers wound up as people with very little say or sense of ownership in their performance. It is hard to change that culture to one where local people are making the decisions and are responsible for the performance of the branch. To try to change the culture of a business—especially a larger business—is a lot of work.
“When I first met with employees, there was a lot of apprehension as to who this new owner was. So when I came in, I told them I had good news and bad news for them. I said: ‘The good news is, I was raised in a brine tank. I know this business inside and out—it’s been my entire career. The bad news is, I’m a water guy and I’ve done every one of your jobs. I know what you’re supposed to do and what a good job looks like, so don’t BS me.’ From day one, I set the standard of what’s expected for performance. About half the total management staff are employees that were with the business when I bought it in July of 2012. And our employees carry a variety of certifications from WQA, TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) and Culligan University. I am personally a WQA Master Water Specialist and have been a supporter of the program since its inception.”

Since then the company has more than doubled in size, Ruhstorfer said. “I would like to grow our business in all sectors and feel we can double the company again in the next five years. I take pride in building a quality organization that believes in providing world-class products and service to its customers, as well as providing my employees with ‘the opportunity to grow as far as their hearts and minds will carry them,’ as my mentor John Grayson used to say.”

Ruhstorfer works closely with his investment partner, Sam Zelnick of Sora Capital. “He’s a very active partner and we talk multiple times a week. He has a wealth of business experience and brings a lot to the table, especially his perspective at the strategic level. He participates in management calls. He’s a real asset.” The leadership team also includes General Managers Brent Chinn and Rick Keck, as well as Sales Managers Scott Murray and Mark Little, all of whom have been in the industry for decades themselves.

Ruhstorfer has long been an active leader in the industry. This year he was elected President of the Culligan Dealers Association of North America (CDANA). “I’ve jumped in with both feet. I’m a Culligan Man through and through now and I’m having a ball.” He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Water Quality Research Foundation and Culligan’s Dealer Advisory Council (DAC), a group of 17 dealers who meet four times a year with Culligan management to develop strategic recommendations for the Culligan brand. A long-time and very active member of WQA, Ruhstorfer served as President for 2002-2003. Many members still remember when he drove a Harley up on the stage to join Elvis (Peter Censky) and Liberace (a hired impersonator) during the Las Vegas, NV convention that year. In 2007, he was awarded WQA’s International Award of Merit and in 2009, its Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the industry. “This is my second career and I find it extremely rewarding. I found the Culligan corporation and dealers very welcoming and accepting of me as an ex-competitor. It feels very natural being here.
“This is a very exciting and dynamic business to be in because we affect people’s quality of life. I tell my people all the time there are a lot of things for consumers to spend their money on, like exercise equipment, fancy big-screen TVs, iPhones. But how many things can you spend money on that actually affect your everyday quality of life (bathing, laundry, drinking) plus the health benefits and the whole issue of ‘emerging contaminants,’ the increased awareness of what’s in our water today. People today are more health conscious and want to live healthier lifestyles. Drinking clean water becomes very basic to that. When I got into the business, if you asked the average person on the street, do you drink tap water? Nine out of 10 would say, ‘sure why wouldn’t I?’ Today if you ask the same question, nine out of 10 people would say ‘no, why would I?’”

When It Comes to Water, Yes, There May Be Light at the End of the Tunnel

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

By Klaus Reichardt

“New evidence supports scientific fears that the Middle East and North African regions are at risk of becoming uninhabitable in a few decades,” writes Kamal Baher, an Egyptian-born journalist with the Inter Press Service International, headquartered in Rome, Italy. He bases this on the fact that “accessible freshwater has fallen by two-thirds over the past 40 years.” At the same time, population growth in this area of the world, which comprises 22 countries, is growing, putting an ever greater demand on dwindling water resources. Currently, it is home to more than 400 million people. That is not the end of the stark reality facing the Middle East and North Africa, however. Baher also reports the following:
• Per capita availability of fresh water in this area is now 10 times less than the world average.
• Excessively high temperatures in recent years have shortened growing seasons in the region by an average of 18 days, reducing agricultural yields.
• Climate models provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) indicate that parts of the Gulf region “could be hit with unprecedented events of deadly heat as a result of climate change,” which can further exacerbate water availability and agriculture growing issues.
• Ninety percent of the land in this region is arid or semi-arid, already limiting the amount of land that can be used for agriculture.
• Currently, freshwater resources are among the lowest in the world and are expected to fall over 50 percent in the next 20 years, based on information provided by the United Nations.
It is a difficult situation and unfortunately, it can have a domino effect. Countries in this part of the world will have to determine how much water they can allocate for human consumption, agriculture and business. There is no happy scenario. Reducing water for agriculture, for instance, can further limit food supplies. Limitations on industrial water consumption can put people out of work and damage economies. Making matters worse, political instability may grow and neighboring countries will likely squabble over the limited water resources available.

Global challenges
We will address the potential ways many of these water issues can and are being resolved, putting some light at the end for what appears to be a very long, dark and grim tunnel. Nevertheless, first we need to know that the Middle East and North Africa are not the only parts of the world facing growing, if not urgent, water concerns. For instance, consider the following:
• Because water is also used to power electricity-generating plants, by 2040, there may not be enough water in the world to meet both human consumption and energy demands.(1)
• Related to this, by 2035 the world’s energy consumption is expected to increase by 35 percent; this is expected to increase water use by 15 percent.(2)
• By 2025, the United Nations reports that nearly two billion people will be living in countries or regions of the world with “absolute water scarcity” and “two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water-stressed conditions.” Absolute water scarcity is the result of inadequate water resources to supply a region’s water-related needs.
• For the first time in history, many parts of the world have a significant and growing middle-class; by 2030, it is expected that this middle-class will surge from about two billion to nearly five billion people and with it, increased water consumption.(3)
• Water demand is projected to grow as much as 55 percent in the next 30 years; this includes an increase of more than 400 percent for manufacturing purposes.(4)

Addressing the challenges
If we want to know how the world is going to address this water crisis and hopefully turn it around, all we need to do is take a very close look at what the state of Israel has accomplished in the past 70 years. As we know, the country has dealt with one water crisis after another, not only since its founding, but for centuries.
For instance, according to Dr. David Hazony, Executive Director of the Israel Innovation Fund, “Israel today is a seed-breeding giant…having invested heavily in research [to develop] genetically modified seeds that include a wide variety of water-efficient vegetables.” In other words, we already have at least one solution to all the water-related/agriculture-related concerns discussed earlier. The seeds are now available to grow plants that need far less water and use it more efficiently than traditional seeds.
The country has also been leading the world in addressing other water-related issues as well, such as:
• Developing technologies that can detect water leakage quickly so it can be eliminated
• Developing ways for farmers to use water more efficiently
• Recycling and reusing treated water
• Developing pricing and education policies that encourage water efficiency and responsibility
• And, what has proven most successful, leading the world in desalination innovation
Israel is not alone, however, when it comes to innovative strategies to help reduce water consumption. California is now working with Israeli engineers to develop desalination plants in the state and China also has several desalination projects operating, pumping millions of gallons into their water supplies. Further, many water-efficiency solutions are evolving here, right in our own backyards. For instance, the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA, which has become Platinum LEED-certified, reports many of the steps they have taken to earn this certification were water-related. Among them are the following:
• Installing high-efficiency toilets that use considerably less water than those required by government regulations
• Installing waterless urinals in all men’s restrooms; while there are no estimates as to the urinal-related water savings in a stadium, in a school or office facility, it is estimated that one no-water urinal can save as much as 35,000 gallons of water per year
• Using xeriscaping throughout and planting native, drought-resistant plants that require far less water than other plants
• Selecting mechanicals (such as boilers and HVAC systems) that use water more efficiently than comparable systems
• Installing a 680,000-gallon (2,574,080-liter) cistern to collect rainwater, which can then be used for cooling the facility or irrigation
• Storage of more than two million gallons (3,785,411 liters) of water underground so that it can be used for irrigation and other purposes, reducing the amount of water it needs from Atlanta utilities
Further, the stadium planners took steps to address water-related issues in the neighborhoods surrounding the facility. As an example, steps were taken to help reduce water-drainage issues, which historically has contributed to flooding in areas surrounding the new stadium. More than one million gallons (3,785,411 liters) of this water are now stored underground.

Earlier, I mentioned that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I did so because I did not want this to be another dire warnings article about the future, this time regarding water. I wanted to make sure, however, that we also know that there are ways we can address water concerns today and in the future. The water crises we are facing and the many problems projected around the globe are spurring innovation very fast. The future may be far brighter when it comes to water than what we realize today.

(1) Aarhus University. “Worldwide water shortage by 2040.” Science Daily. July 29, 2014. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729093112.htm.
(2) “Will Water Constrain our Energy Future.” The World Bank. January 16, 2014.
(3) “The Coming Global Water Crisis,” by Stewart Patrick. The Atlantic, May 9, 2012.
(4) “Hot, Crowded and Running out of Fuel: Earth of 2050 a Scary Place,” by James Holloway, ARS Technica. March 28, 2012.

About the author
Klaus Reichardt is CEO and founder of Waterless Co., Inc., Vista, CA. He founded the company in 1991 to establish a new market segment in the plumbing-fixture industry with water efficiency in mind. Reichardt is a frequent writer and presenter, discussing water conservation issues. He can be reached at klaus@waterless.com.


Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

WQA convention speaker announced
Be the Spark leader, speaker and author Simon T. Bailey will deliver the keynote address at the 2020 Water Quality Association Convention & Exposition. The author of 10 books on being fearless and creating your future, he will headline the convention’s Opening General Session. A former Sales Director for Disney Institute, Bailey was named one of ‘25 Successful People Who’ll Help Change Your Life’ by Success magazine two years ago. He has worked with more than 1,700 organizations in 46 countries, engaging and inspiring team members through his workshops, books, online courses and speeches.

Cartwright to present at Filtration Congress
Peter S. Cartwright, PE, of Cartwright Consulting Co., LLC, will be the Keynote Membranes Track presenter at the 13th World Filtration Congress (WFC13). Along with all the industry’s leaders in all areas of filtration and separation, he will be giving plenary, keynote or technical presentations. Cartwright, a founding member of the WC&P Technical Review Committee, has been in the water/wastewater treatment industry for 43 years and has had his own consulting engineering company since 1980. He has delivered over 300 lectures and written the same number of articles on water/wastewater treatment technologies. Cartwright was the 2016 Distinguished McEllhiney Lecturer for NGWA and is an active member of most of the water-related organizations.

IAPMO engineers hired
IAPMO Uniform Evaluation Services (UES) announced the hiring of Sid Danandeh, PE, CBO, CA, SECB and Adam Barefoot, PE to serve clients with their evaluation reports. Danandeh brings 40 years industry experience as civil engineer, building official and plan-check engineer serving major metropolitan governmental agencies in southern California. Barefoot brings nearly 20 years’ experience, beginning as a technical engineer specialist for the Army National Guard Corps of Engineers and later stints as a structural design engineer, senior project engineer and senior evaluation engineer in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

New AMTA Director named
The American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) has welcomed Deena Reppen as its incoming Executive Director. She has extensive experience with executive and organizational management, including nearly 20 years in the non-profit/public sector. Reppen is currently the COO for the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Tallahassee, having previously served as their Chief of Staff and VP. She has previous experience as the Legislative Director for the Florida Association of Counties and served as Chief of Staff and Deputy Executive Director for the South Florida Water Management District. She earned her BS Degree (with honors) in zoology from King’s College London and an MS Degree in public administration from the University of North Florida.

IUVA leaders announced
The International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) has welcomed Ron Hofmann (Professor at the University of Toronto) as President, serving a two-year term. He assumes the position from Oliver Lawal (President of AquiSense), who is now the association’s Immediate Past President. Jennifer Osgood (Associate, CDM Smith) has been named incoming President. IUVA also elevated two current board members to new positions in leadership, with the addition of Richard Joshi (Director of Technology and Innovation–UV, atg Evoqua) as Secretary and Ted Mao, (VP, Research at Trojan Technologies) as co-VP of the Americas.

Otoo, Meeranaik honored by IWA
The International Water Association announced the winners of its 2019 Development Awards, honoring Dr. Miriam Otoo and Sikandarsab Meeranaik for their contributions to progress on water needs in low- and middle-income countries. Dr. Otoo is Research Group Leader-Resource Recovery and Reuse at the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka. Her research work in the area of resource recovery and reuse (RRR), with a focus on business models that work for low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), was considered by the award jury as being crucial to the progress of the sector. Meeranaik, CEO of the Sankalpa Rural Development Society, started a non-governmental organization (NGO) that installs rainwater-harvesting recharge systems in bore wells in rural India. To date, he has implemented the system across India in over 1,500 bore wells.

PHTA leader announced
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) announced the appointment of Mark C. Milroy, CAE as PHTA’s first VP of Education. He brings more than 30 years of extensive association, education and certification experience to his new role and will be responsible for PHTA education initiatives and the continued unification of Legacy Association of Pool and Spa Professional and Legacy National Swimming Pool Foundation education, as well as the oversight for proposed course updates to continue industry-leading programs. Milroy has led his own consulting practice and also served as the Managing Director, Global Education at the American Industrial Hygiene Association and as VP, Learning at the American Society of Association Executives. He previously held senior-level positions at APICS; the Association for Operations Management; the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and John Carroll University in University Heights, OH.

CGA Recap

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Water Well Project Benefits Texas Family in Need

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Photo courtesy of Goulds Water Technology

By Susan O’Grady

Relocating to be closer to relatives, Luis and Nancy Salazar moved their family to a small plot of land in Bulverde, TX, near San Antonio, nearly 25 years ago. Over time, the Salazars made the property their home, but like many low-income, rural Americans, access to a reliable, clean water source eluded the family. Caring for their daughter Nissi (who has cerebral palsy) on the Salazar’s modest income hindered the family’s ability to finance and build a well. For more than two decades, the Salazars made do with sharing water from the well located on the neighboring property owned by Nancy’s parents. “My parents have been gracious,” said Nancy. “But they have their limits.”

Because of the shared well’s limited yield, the idea of a long, hot shower was a luxury. The Salazars could neither plant a garden nor wash their cars. “I’ve never known what it’s like to have really good water pressure,” said Nissi Salazar. “I’ve never known what it’s like to take a nice hot shower—like a really nice, hot shower. It’s just not part of my life.” As Nancy’s parents grew older, they began urging the Salazars to dig their own well, fearing that when they passed away, the family would no longer have a source of water.

Photo courtesy of Steve Boettcher

Seeking assistance
In February 2019, Nancy began researching how to finance a private residential well. During a Google search, she came across the website for the Water Well Trust (WWT), a non-profit arm of the Water Systems Council established to provide wells for low-income Americans who do not have a safe drinking-water supply. When Nancy initially called the office, she was told the WWT did not have funding for projects in Texas and she was placed on a waiting list. Around the same time, a major water treatment equipment manufacturer contacted the WWT to express interest in volunteering on a water well project in Texas. The WWT immediately called Nancy, who filled out an online application. Shortly thereafter, the Salazar family qualified for a grant due to their need and income status.

Photo courtesy of Steve Boettcher

A group effort
The equipment manufacturer enlisted help from an area pump distributor who assembled a team of volunteers and helped coordinate product donations from several manufacturers. A local contractor provided drilling services at a discounted labor rate and additional materials for the new well. An executive for the pump distributor commented on the eagerness of people to donate their time, services or funds. “It was surprising how many people were looking for an opportunity to help,” he said.

In July 2019, a crew from the drilling contractor assessed the Salazar property and identified the best location for the well. Geology and underground water levels ultimately dictated the need for a 500-foot (152-meter) well. Along with product donations secured by the pump distributor, the equipment manufacturer provided the well pump, control box and holding tank for the project and supported the WWT with a $5,000 grant through its corporate citizenship program.

The well was outfitted with a 7-gpm (26-L/m) 1.5-HP, 4-inch (10.16-cm) submersible pump, a control box and an 83.5-gallon (316-liter) tank. Crews also laid down more than 400 feet (121 meters) of new piping and 500 feet of new electrical wiring. To prevent damage to the motor and pump, a pump protection unit was installed to protect against dry well conditions, low and high voltage, over- and under-current, rapid cycling, dead-heading and jammed impeller.

Photo courtesy of Steve Boettcher

A cost-effective alternative
Overall, with assistance from WWT and the equipment manufacturer, as well as donations of products and services, the final project cost came in around $6,500. In contrast, hooking up to the closest public water supply would have cost nearly $85,000. “This project is a perfect example of why the Water Supply Costs Savings Act is so important,” said Margaret Martens, Executive Director, WWT. “Signed into law in 2016, the act aims to reduce local, state and federal costs of providing high-quality drinking water to millions of Americans in rural communities by increasing the use of cost-effective alternatives such as water well systems.”

Making a lasting impact
Following the installation of the new well system, more than 35 volunteers joined together to clean up the Salazar’s yard and build a chicken coop for the family’s flock of chickens. The cleanup effort involved hauling away scrap metal and bringing other debris to the local dump during a record heat wave with temperatures hovering around 100°F (37°C). After spending five days helping the Salazar family, project volunteers left with a strong sense of fulfillment, having shared their skills and expertise to help a deserving family in need, all the while building relationships and making a meaningful impact on the community.

The Salazar family is beyond grateful to have access to safe, clean water on their property for the first time ever. “Water is freedom, freedom and independence,” said Nancy.

About the author
Susan O’Grady is Director of Marketing at Xylem Inc. and has more than 20 years of experience in the residential and agriculture pump market. She consistently works to make a positive impact on the water quality industry through Watermark, Xylem’s corporate citizen program. O’Grady holds degrees from Pepperdine University and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. As an active member of the Water Systems Council, she partnered with Water Well Trust Executive Director Margaret Martens to oversee the Holly Ridge water well project with the help of Xylem’s Goulds Water Technology, Merrill Drilling & Water Resources in Penrose and Hughes Supply in Statesville.

About the company
Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to developing innovative technology solutions to the world’s water challenges. The company’s products and services move, treat, analyze, monitor and return water to the environment in public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services settings. Xylem also provides a leading portfolio of smart metering, network technologies and advanced infrastructure analytics solutions for water, electric and gas utilities. The company’s more than 16,500 employees bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on identifying comprehensive, sustainable solutions. Headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, with 2017 revenue of $4.7 billion, Xylem does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands. The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting the engineering efficiency of a water-centric business by linking it with the best water transportation of all: that which occurs in nature. For more information, please visit www.xylem.com.

Niches You Might Be Missing

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

By David H. Martin

It’s a new year and the beginning of a new decade. Don’t look back! Look around you. You might be overlooking a market niche that could offer an important new opportunity to grow your business in the year to come. Here are two to consider.

Smart home water control and leak detection. Water treatment dealers need to be aware of sales opportunities in the rapidly expanding world of smart-home technology. Start your smart-water research at www.phyn.com. The exploding use of smart phones and apps has consumers excited about the future of home tech. A new marketing study reveals reasons why consumers bought their first smart-home device:

  • 12 percent want better control of the home
  • 10 percent thought it would make the home safer
  • 10 percent said to increase convenience
  • 10 percent thought it was affordable and wanted to try it out
  • Nine percent thought it would improve quality of life
  • Seven percent thought it would help them be more productive
  • Six percent want to save money on home bills
  • Five percent like its ability to sync with other tech devices
  • Three percent wanted to be able to track personal info
  • One percent thought it would boost the value of the home

The most positive news for marketers of smart-home gadgetry is that those who have bought in, love their devices. Almost all (98 percent) consumers are satisfied with their smart-home device and of those, most (74 percent) are very satisfied.

The growing Hispanic market
As you probably know, Hispanics are the largest minority in the United States: 13 percent of the population. This represents a marketplace the size of a European country. Targeting the $540-billion buying power of this fast-growing market can expand your customer base and boost sales, if you do it right. You don’t have to be Hispanic to market water treatment to Hispanics in your geographic market, but it helps. Do you have any Hispanic employees? Maybe you should.

The Hispanic residential water treatment market is one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry. As a result, marketers are scrambling harder than ever to address this market, which (in addition to its impressive size) is unified by a common language. Are you getting your share? In the Hispanic family, quality water is of primary importance to the ones they love and with whom they live. Mexican immigrants have a strong distrust of tap water learned from heavy chlorination practices in Mexico. When they settle in the US, Hispanics have a carry-over distrust of chlorinated water. Companies that cultivate relationships with these consumers today will be in a position to profit strongly in the future. Here’s how, according to a new review of current research into the demographic.

Use English and Spanish in your messaging
One of the most effective and powerful means of connecting with the demographic is through language, eMarketer says. More than half of Spanish-dominant speakers (53 percent) and nearly one-third (27 percent) of English-dominant Hispanics endorsed the statement. “When I hear a company advertise in Spanish, it makes me feel like they respect my heritage and want my business.” Similarly, 50 percent of Spanish-dominant and 24 percent of English-dominant Hispanics declared themselves “much more loyal toward companies that show appreciation for our culture by advertising in Spanish.”

Digital video is becoming an increasingly important part of the entertainment mix for Hispanics, in part because of the opportunity to tune into more culturally relevant programming. eMarketer forecasts that 76 percent of Hispanics will be digital-video viewers this year, versus 71 percent of the total population. YouTube has a strong following among Hispanics. Morning Consult’s September 2018 polling identified 73 percent of Hispanics as YouTube users, versus 60 percent of total respondents, in part because of the option to view Latino-focused music and content.

Many Hispanics also pay for digital video in the form of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD). Nielsen identified 70 percent of Hispanics as SVOD users in its Q3 2018 audience research, for example, in part because there is more Hispanic-oriented content on Netflix, Hulu and others than on network TV. That said, Hispanics watch plenty of traditional television. Nielsen’s Q1 2019 research showed Hispanic adults averaging just under 22 hours per week of live/time-shifted TV versus 31 hours for the total population. So television advertising is a solid means of getting in front of the demographic.

Addressing the Hispanic market
Spanish-language media includes magazines and newspapers, local radio and TV in select markets. Telemundo and Univision are the two largest TV networks. Research shows that Hispanics prefer television and radio over newspapers and magazines. Spanish-language television and radio are your most effective vehicles for targeting this market.

When asked about advertising effectiveness, 38 percent of Hispanics surveyed found English-language ads less effective than Spanish ads in terms of recall and 70 percent less effective than Spanish ads in terms of persuasion. Many younger and acculturated Latinos mix languages into a form of ‘Spanglish,’ in which they speak English peppered with Spanish words. But when it comes to selling, 56 percent of Latino adults respond best to advertising when it is presented in Spanish.

Television. The visual aspect of television advertising is extremely important, especially so for Spanish-dominant Hispanics. Forty-nine percent of US Hispanics who watch television during prime-time hours also watch Spanish-language programs. Forty percent of Spanish-dominant Hispanics regularly watch English-language programming. Thirty percent of English-dominant Hispanics regularly watch Spanish programming.
Radio. Radio is a proven, effective medium in targeting Hispanics. The most unique aspect of Spanish-language radio stations is the time spent listening. The Hispanic population often listens to the radio all day. The entire family may listen to one station and tune in, on average, 26-30 hours per week. This ranks more than 13 percent above the general population.
Print. Spanish-language newspapers are an inseparable part of the local minority community. They deliver what no mass medium can: news that is specifically geared to the needs and concerns of individual minority communities.
Event marketing. Events create excitement, reinforce image and allow you to hand-deliver your marketing message face-to-face with your target audience. Many company’s efforts at selling themselves to Hispanics, however, are limited to sponsoring the occasional Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Direct-response marketing. The process of acculturation influences the Hispanic consumer’s perception of direct marketing. While most consumers in the general market dismiss direct-marketing materials as junk mail, Latinos—particularly recent immigrants—welcome it as a means of becoming a more informed consumer. Overall, Hispanic households are 3.5 times more likely to respond to a direct-mail solicitation than a non-Hispanic household. Seventy-two percent say they always read their mail, including direct marketing. Sixty percent of the direct mail sent to homes is in English. Fifty-two percent of the respondents speak only Spanish in their homes.

The importance of Spanish-speaking employees
When planning a sales and marketing strategy that addresses the Spanish-speaking, be sure to include one or more Hispanic employees in the planning process. Consult with them on advertising copy, bilingual signage and telemarketing scripts. Be aware that different product attributes are deemed important by Hispanic consumers. Ask your employees to help develop the right messages in Spanish. Direct translations of English language messages and themes might not work nearly as well as custom-tailored ones.

¿Habla usted español?
Laura Sonderup, Managing Director at Hispanidad, suggests that you not only hire Hispanics, but also engage Hispanic vendors, sponsor Hispanic events, and donate time or money to support charitable efforts. “By becoming more involved in the Hispanic culture, Hispanic customers will become more involved in your business.”

It’s a new decade. Look for a new niche to expand your business in 2020 and beyond. Stay tuned for more marketing insight throughout the upcoming year!

About the author
David Martin, President of Lenzi Martin Marketing, has more than 30 years experience in the water quality industry working with dealers, distributors and manufacturers. He can be reached at (708) 848-8404 or dmartin@lenzimartin.com.

Global Spotlight

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

North America
WQA Code of Ethics updated
The Water Quality Association’s revised Code of Ethics, which guides members in the use of marketing terms aligned with those published in the WQA Knowledge Base Glossary, went into effect January 1. One specific concern addressed by the revisions is companies using the term ‘water softener’ inconsistently with the way industry professionals understand and use it. To give the industry time to adapt to the change, WQA posted the revised code on its website (https://www.wqa.org/about-us/governance/code-of-ethics-whistleblower-policy) last spring and has been answering questions, proactively contacting companies misusing terms and providing expertise on the issue to its members as needed throughout 2019. The revisions will be explained and discussed again in detail in a session planned for the first day of the 2020 WQA Convention & Exposition.

WFC13 conference information
The 13th World Filtration Congress (WFC13) has released its complete and detailed program that includes educational and technical offerings unparalleled among international filtration conferences. Hosted by the American Filtration and Separations Society (AFS), WFC13 includes seven plenary sessions, 30 keynote lectures, 285 oral presentations and panel discussions, 11 short courses and dozens of student and industry posters. Content is organized into four tracks (Solid/Liquid, Air/Gas, Membranes, Filter Media), three symposia (Energy, Environment, Health) and a full day of short courses. Experts from 23 countries will share their valuable perspectives, discoveries and insights in sessions that range from introductory to highly advanced. For full details, visit https://www.wfc13.com/v2/.

IAPMO news
Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan, a new report produced by DigDeep and the US Water Alliance (with advisory assistance from IAPMO), reveals that more than two million Americans today live with no running water, indoor plumbing or sanitation service, and recommends a series of remedies. The report makes several recommendations to help close the water gap in the US. They include re-introducing US Census questions about whether homes have working taps and toilets, as well as changes to how the federal government funds and regulates water systems to support rural and unincorporated areas. There are also several recommendations for the philanthropic and global WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) sectors to drive community empowerment, deploy innovative technologies and apply successful WASH models from abroad here in the US. Read the full report at closethewatergap.org.
IAPMO has published ANSI/CAN/IAPMO/ISO 30500:2019, Non-Sewered Sanitation Systems—Prefabricated Integrated Treatment Units—General Safety and Performance Requirements for Design and Testing as an identical National Adoption Standard for both the US and Canada. The standard is available for purchase at the IAPMO bookstore in both English and French, at the website. The standard specifies general safety and performance requirements for design and testing, as well as sustainability considerations, for non-sewered sanitation systems (NSSS). An NSSS, for the purposes of this document, is a prefabricated, integrated treatment unit, comprising front-end (toilet facility) and back-end (treatment facility) components.

Water Tower project announced
The Water Tower, Gwinnett County, GA’s new water innovation center, has joined forces with Silicon Valley start-up Aqaix to provide utilities with new technology for digitizing water operations and financing water infrastructure projects. The Water Tower has licensed two innovative products from Aqaix: a private-labeled version of its online finance marketplace, which allows utilities to showcase their water projects to potential funders and track environmental ROI, and a private-labeled version of its water-data integration hub.

ResinTech new headquarters
In summer 2020, ResinTech will be moving to a new headquarters and production plant in Camden, NJ. The company is now accepting pre-orders. Contact your representative or email info@resintech.com

Latin America
Toray products selected
Toray RO and UF membrane technologies have been selected for a new seawater desalination facility in Brazil, which is set to become the largest in the country. Expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2020, the plant will have an initial capacity to treat 12,000 m3/day, expandable to 24,000 and 36,000 m3/day and with an estimated value of US$10 million dollars. The principal objective of the plant is to decentralize the steel manufacturer’s reliance on the state’s water supply and contribute to water security to surrounding communities that rely on the same freshwater source.

Chennai RO plant erected
IDE Technologies announced it has completed the erection phase of the Tertiary Treatment Reverse Osmosis plant for Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) at the facility’s location in Koyambedu, City of Chennai, State of Tamil Nadu. The Chennai area has very challenging water circumstances due to severe and prolonged drought conditions. CMWSSB needed a suitable partner to design, build and operate (DBO) a 45-million liter/day tertiary treatment reverse osmosis (TTRO) plant in Koyambedu, including supplying and laying of a transmission pipe for conveying product water to various industries situated in Irungattukottai, Sriperumbudur and Oragadam.The DBO project also includes a 15-year operation and maintenance period.

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