Hall of Fame Award: Jack Lorenzen, CWS-V, and W. Gordon Miller, CWS-V

Key Award: William M. Kavey, CWS-IV
Awards of Merit: Peter S. Cartwright, P.E., CWS-VI; Tony Pagliaro, CWS-I, CI; and Carol Russell
Lifetime Achievement Award: John M. Scott
Lifetime Member: F. Stuart Mitchell
Quality Circle Award: Scott Brane and Bruce Stump, CWS-VI

WQA was informed AWWA…declined to support its position paper on a lack of need for health concern of heterotrophic or HPC bacteria, assuming it amounted to more of an endorsement of POU/POE water treatment equipment, according to WQA technical director Joe Harrison. “We’ve got some work to do there,” he said, referring to enlisting AWWA support for a World HPC Conference—to be organized by NSF International and possibly the World Health Organization—that WQA is pushing for next April in Geneva. The conference—which is to draw together microbiologists worldwide to discuss health implications of HPC bacteria—resulted from meetings in Bologna, Italy, and London last fall and winter to develop a strategy to overcome the continuing stumbling block for harmonization of German/Austrian drinking water standards with the rest of Europe’s as to softening and filtration systems. Aqua Europa chairman Tony Frost gave presentations at several meetings, including one exclusively on the topic.

WQA’s Gold Seal S-series…standards were dropped from publication in the 2001 Universal Plumbing Code overseen by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (www.iapmo.org), although a six-month extension was granted in October and renewed in April. WQA public affairs director Carlyn Meyer said codes have moved to “consensus standards,” and where there’s a choice will opt for independent standards—in this case, choosing ANSI/NSF over WQA. Plumbing code consultant Pat Higgins was to recommend revised language at IAPMO code hearings May 1, arguing for continued inclusion. The issue underscores the need to finalize harmonization of WQA and NSF standards, which differ primarily on how materials safety is determined.

Following its refusal to…attend the Culligan Dealer Association of North America (CDANA) convention in Austin, Texas, in February because four outside core products vendors were allowed to exhibit, USFilter eliminated “Culligan” from its WQA trade show booths. But overheard during the final WQA board meeting was a brief makeup conversation between company president/COO Mike Reardon and new WQA president C.R. Hall, a Culligan dealer in Kansas and Ohio and member of CDANA’s franchise negotiating team. How much was courtesy remains to be seen, but it was a good sign conflict between Culligan and its dealers over a new franchise contract may be moderating.

NSF International took a…few body blows in its battle with Underwriters Laboratories. For one, USFilter Consumer & Commercial Group announced in late February it planned to go with UL exclusively on testing, certification and listing of its softener products since it can earn all UL marks, the WQA Gold Seal and Europe’s CE mark at once. The agreement doesn’t include USFilter’s Everpure or Plymouth Products. Criticism of NSF seemed to bubble up in several WQA meetings, such as for the Consumer Products and Manufacturer/Suppliers sections—although much of it was refuted. (One involved a case of sour grapes where a manufacturer couldn’t transfer data because it let the two-year allowed window expire and another involved complaints NSF didn’t effectively police its listed products when those in question were labeled as “tested to ANSI/NSF standards” and didn’t carry the NSF mark.) In two other meetings—the Ozone Task Force and Commercial/Industrial Section—UL was mentioned in connection with developing new standards proposed, although UL attended neither meeting. Acknowledging NSF’s commitment and investment toward standards development in the POU/POE market, WQA’s Harrison apologized later for any appearance UL was favored: “WQA just wants to be even-handed toward NSF, UL or any other lab, even the WQA Gold Seal Program. We do want to have multiple options for manufacturers to test and certify products and move them more quickly through the process to market.” Still, NSF acknowledged it had some work to do in both customer service and PR.

A few days after the show…WQA found out its bid on a $250,000 AWWA Research Foundation grant to study POU/POE devices efficacy at removing arsenic from drinking water was passed over. Expected to be assisting or consulting WQA on the project were NSF, the Safe Drinking Water Clearinghouse, National Rural Water Association and ASDWA. That’s not to say the study won’t be done. Narasimhan Consulting Services of Phoenix won the AWWARF contract and Harrison said he’s already been informed WQA will likely serve on the steering committee.

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