Osmonics Inc. has announced plans to close its Syracuse, N.Y., facility by the end of the second quarter in order to streamline product lines and reduce excess manufacturing capacity. The major product line, home RO membrane elements, will be relocated to the headquarters facility in Minnetonka, Minn. ?

The Water Education Foundation has released “Water & the Shaping of California,” a “coffee table” book discussing the engineering feats, political decisions and popular opinion that shaped how water is viewed in the state. ?

In December, Danaher Corp., owner of Hach Co., lowered earnings expectations for the fourth quarter of 2001 and 2002 and cited continued economic weakness. The company also said it expects to close 16 facilities and cut another 1,100 jobs this year. ?

AquaCell Technologies, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., scheduled a 30-minute infomercial for its Purific water cooler. The infomercial began airing on Dec. 13 on 50 TV stations in major markets for two consecutive months. The 3,000 spots are planned to reach more than 18 million households a day on both cable and broadcast channels. ?

Ionics Inc. has completed the sale of its Aqua Cool Pure bottled water operations in the United States, the United Kingdom and France to affiliates of Perrier-Vittel, S.A., a subsidiary of Nestle S.A. The transaction’s total is $220 million. ?

Houston-based Enron’s chief financial officer Jeff McMahon, seeking to win creditors over to its Chapter 11 reorganization plan, said the company plans to sell its troubled Azurix Corp. water unit, its wind energy businesses, and other, mainly emerging markets, businesses. ?

Safeway Inc. has selected StonePoint Group Ltd. as a new supplier of private label bottled water. ?

In December, WEDECO AG Water Technology and the project management company, Chongqing Kangda Environmental Protection Inc., signed an agreement for a joint venture company, Chongqing WEDECO-Kangda Water Technology. Co Ltd. ?

Pittsfield Plastics Engineering Inc., of Pittsfield, Mass., has added a high-speed labeling machine, a new press and 20,000 square feet to its facility. It now has 70,000 total square feet. Pittsfield Plastics offers a wide range of products to the textile, coil winding and water filtration industries, among others. ?

Household products maker and owner of Brita water filtration products, Clorox Co. said in December its fiscal second-quarter earnings would be better than expected on stronger volumes in several businesses including bags, laundry products and water filtration. ?

HTH Water Products, of Kennesaw, Ga., has introduced HTH Poolife, a dealer-exclusive line of pool care products. The announcement was made at late November’s International Pool and Spa Expo in Phoenix. ?

CET Environmental Services Inc. reported revenues for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2001, were $4 million, down 48 percent from the $7.7 million recorded in the same period in 2000. CET offers a broad spectrum of services related to water treatment and wastewater processing. ?

Binnie Black & Veatch (BB&V) was awarded in November with two research projects by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation. One project involves membrane filtration in water treatment and the other follows the implications of retention time on water quality in distribution systems. BB&V is part of parent company, Kansas City, Mo.-based Black & Veatch. ?

Paris, France-based Suez reported revenues ending Sept. 30, 2001, increased 26.1 percent over the same period last year. For the third quarter alone, revenues jumped 24.5 percent. ?

Seprotech Systems Inc. has agreed to acquire CMS Group Inc., of Concord, Ontario, Canada. CMS is a manufacturer and distributor of Rotating Biological Contractors equipment in the industrial and domestic wastewater treatment market. ?

Effective Jan. 1, the operations of Good Enterprises, IWW and Custom Water Systems were consolidated into one entity, Good Water Warehouse Inc. The address is 1700 Walnut Ave., Fullerton, CA 92831. The phone number is (714) 441-2893 and the fax is (714) 441-0525. ?

In late December, United Water sold its regulated properties in Florida to JEA—the largest municipal electric, water and sewer utility in Florida—for $219 million. United is one of the largest water service companies in the United States. ?

USFilter will supply filtration and demineralization equipment for Petrolera Ameriven’s Hamaca Crude Upgrader Project in eastern Venezuela. The installation at the Jose, Venezuela refinery will begin in March. ?

AMCON Distributing Co., of Omaha, Neb., a wholesale distributor of consumer products, acquired Hawaiian Natural Water Co. in late December. ?

Matthews, N.C.-based Vital Living Products Inc. said its PurTest anthrax test has been certified by an independent, FDA-registered laboratory. The company has contracted with the lab to perform additional testing and will update as appropriate. ?

Water site gets improvement
Aquacosm.com, an Internet-based marketing center for water systems’ businesses such as plumbing, irrigation and septic system contractors, was re-launched in December with extensive business listings and related information, said its owner, Aquation LLC, of Brooklyn, N.Y. The site lists plumbing contractors, irrigation contractors, water well drillers, pump installers, septic system contractors and water treatment firms located in communities throughout the United States. It also provides articles and web links to relevant information from government sources, trade groups and industry publications on such areas as drinking water quality, water conservation and efficiency and alternative on-site wastewater treatment systems.

Parade highlights WQA
Parade magazine ran a short article in its Sunday, Dec. 16 edition on the importance of water and home treatment options. Parade is an insert in many newspapers across the country. The article referred to WQA’s “Drink to Your Health” brochure featuring Bob Greene, a noted fitness expert and author. Readers were directed to WQA’s website (www.wqa.org) and 800-consumer information hotline for a free brochure. Copies of the brochure can be purchased from the WQA publications department at (630) 505-0160.

ResinTech moves offices
ResinTech Inc. announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters in December. The new 60,000 square-foot facility is located on 20 acres and will house all facets of the business, including production, warehousing, laboratories, and sales and marketing. The Aries division, which manufactures ultrapure DI water loops and disposable cartridges, has also been moved to the new location. The new address and contact information is 1 ResinTech Plaza, 160 Cooper Road, West Berlin, N.J. 08091. The new phone number is (856) 768-9600 and the fax is (856) 768-9601.

House passes major bill
America’s response to bioterrorism moved to the forefront in the nations’ capital as the House passed a $2.9 billion package that increases vaccine stockpiles and protects food and water supplies. The bill, which passed by a 418-2 vote in mid-December, was Congress’ response to September’s terrorist attacks. Congress was the target of at least two anthrax-laced letters mailed in October. A similar, more expensive measure is moving through the Senate. Among other things, the bill would authorize more than $1 billion for states and health care facilities to improve preparedness and train personnel; $450 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and $100 million to develop emergency response plans for drinking water systems.  

N.H. follows suit on MTBE
Like California and New York, New Hampshire is trying to cut its use of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), one of the main “oxygenates” added to make reformulated gasoline (RFG). MTBE breaks down more slowly than any other gasoline component and can seep quickly into groundwater supplies, according to studies including a 1998 University of California report. In December, New Hampshire filed papers to the USEPA that prescribe methods for meeting the standards of RFG without using oxygenates. Meanwhile, one study found no compelling evidence that MTBE should be replaced. The Commission of European Communities released findings from a study of the gasoline additive’s health effects. The commission claimed that MTBE poses very limited risks that can be essentially mitigated by existing control mechanisms such as sound fuel tank management and code enforcement.  

ITT slashes 3,400 jobs
ITT Industries, the U.S. manufacturing group with products ranging from electronic components to valves and pumps, is set to cut 3,400 jobs—approximately 8 percent of the workforce—as it contends with the economic slowdown. The company said the job cuts would affect both the United States and overseas. The news came as ITT said it expected revenues in 2001 to be about 4 percent below 2000 levels. The company said its defense and water/wastewater businesses had held up relatively well.

IBWA study tracks water
Americans consume 17.6 eight-ounce servings of beverage each day. Of that amount, 6.1 servings are water, including 2.3 servings of bottled water, according to an International Bottled Water Association study. The remaining servings are beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol. Seventy-three percent of Americans know that experts recommend drinking eight or more eight-ounce glasses of water daily. Only 34 percent claim they drink eight or more servings per day; 51 percent drink less. Twenty-eight percent drink three or fewer servings, and nearly 10 percent say they don’t drink water at all.

Hall’s expands operations
Hall’s Culligan Water Conditioning, of Wichita, Kan., has expanded its operations by acquiring a Culligan franchise in Cleveland in December. It’s the company’s third and largest acquisition of a Culligan franchise in the past year. Overseeing the operation is Andy Cowan, a six-year employee of Hall’s Culligan and the former manager of its bottled water division. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. In 2001, Hall’s acquired a franchise in Pratt, Kan., in March and a Joplin, Mo., Culligan in June. The latter location serves parts of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. C.R. Hall, president of Hall’s Water Conditioning, says more acquisitions this year are likely. In addition, the company is in the process of moving its operations to new quarters within Wichita. In January, Hall’s was scheduled to move into a new $4.1 million building. The 58,000-square-foot building is being constructed at 10821 E. 26th N. in northeast Wichita.

CDC: Add more fluoride
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 100 million Americans are at high risk for dental disease because their community water supplies don’t contain enough fluoride. The CDC also released guidelines that recommend labeling bottled water for its fluoride content. The CDC said it released the report due to the increase in popularity of bottled water in the last decade. Fluoride has been found to prevent, slow and occasionally reverse tooth decay. The CDC suggests a small amount of fluoride, about 1 part per million, in drinking water.

Parker breaks R&D ground
A new research and development center in Indianapolis has been completed for Parker Hannifin Corp.’s Process Filtration Division. Approximately a third of the 32,000 square foot facility is devoted to R&D. Included is a new technical services laboratory where employees will analyze customer samples and conduct applications testing. Parker Hannifin is a $6 billion a year full-line manufacturer of motion and control technologies. Its Process Filtration Division supplies filters and filtering systems for the process industry.  

Severn gets 2 contracts
Fort Washington, Pa.-based Severn Trent Services (STS) has been awarded a contract to build a new municipal water works park in Detroit. The park will serve 4 million residents while restoring the city’s oldest water treatment facility. In other news, STS was awarded another contract, valued at approximately $1.6 million, to install a water recycling system at Nucor Steel’s sheet metal mill in Crawfordsville, Ind. The company will install two, dual-stage units to provide recycled water to reduce chemical-laden wastewater at the steel plant.

Pentair lowers outlook
Pentair Water Treatment, of Chardon, Ohio, has announced the ISO registration of its CodeLine fiberglass membrane housings operations located in Goa, India. The plant uses the designs controlled by the ISO 9001 certified Chardon manufacturing facility. In other news, the company’s shares fell 7.4 percent after it lowered its fourth-quarter outlook. Pentair manufactures water filtration products, electrical enclosures and professional tools. The company blamed the fourth-quarter earnings shortfall on weak sales of its high-end woodworking tools at home centers and continuing weakness in sales of electrical enclosures. Pentair also said it expects to take a fourth-quarter loss of $35 to $40 million as it restructures its enclosures business.

Calgon sees sales slide
Pittsburgh-based Calgon Carbon Corp. said sales for the third quarter in 2001 were $64.7 million, up slightly from the $64.3 million reported for the third quarter of 2000. The company, however, warned fourth-quarter earnings in 2001 will be lower than the year’s third quarter. It blamed slackening sales and higher-than-expected costs.  

Culligan obtains solutions for H2S and UV
Culligan International Co. has reached a licensing agreement with Sulfur-Tech Water Systems Inc., of Toledo, Ohio. The agreement allows Sulfur-Tech to exclusively supply Culligan dealers with a dual-patented system that removes high levels of hydrogen sulfide without the need for daily chemical additives. The low maintenance system, called the Sulfur-Blaster, claims to remove a range of hydrogen sulfide from 10-to-100 ppm with no bleed-through. In other company news, Culligan has collaborated with PurePulse to develop water purification systems that employ PureBright pulsed light technology to eliminate microbial contamination. PurePulse will initially receive license fees based in part on certain development milestones, and ultimately would receive royalties based on product sales. The PureBright process, which is also used in bioprocessing and medical product sterilization applications, employs brief flashes of broad spectrum pulsed light that’s supposedly 90,000 times more intense than sunlight at sea level to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and other microorganisms that can transmit disease. Culligan is a division of USFilter, which is owned by global water treatment dealer Vivendi S.A.

Lab falsification case yields 8 acquittals
Eight lab workers have been acquitted of falsifying test results in what some officials had called the largest case of fraud in environmental testing in U.S. history. Jurors rejected all 77 federal charges in late November against the former employees of Intertek Testing Services’ Environmental Laboratories. The workers were accused of misrepresenting results in the cleanup of thousands of hazardous waste sites and other environmental cases in a moneymaking scheme. All eight employees worked at the company’s lab in Richardson, Texas, which stopped operating in 1998. Five other employees and the corporation pleaded guilty before trial to falsifying lab reports. As part of its agreement, the corporation will pay a $9 million fine. From 1994 to 1997, the company handled as many as 250,000 samples from more than 59,000 polluted sites nationwide, grossing more than $35 million. The results were used for making decisions at Superfund sites, Department of Defense facilities and hazardous waste sites, and also for monitoring hazards affecting soil and groundwater.

Pall posts quarter results
Filtration systems maker Pall Corp., of East Hills, N.Y., said its fiscal first quarter profits fell about 24 percent. For the quarter ending Oct. 27, the company reported earnings of $19.4 million compared to $25.6 million during the same period in 2000. In other company news, Pall’s website was recognized as one of the best by B2B magazine in its Nov. 26 issue. The site was described as a “great source of information” for the filtration business.  

Experts to discuss issues
NSF International and the Water Quality Association will work in tandem to bring together experts in the areas of terrorism and public health protection to provide guidance to the point-of-use/point-of-entry (POU/POE) industry. The capabilities of POU/POE devices and what claims can be made will be discussed. Experts are scheduled to come from the USEPA, the U.S. Army, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organizations will explore the effectiveness and role of POU/POE devices in public protection, the usefulness of existing data, and potential future research needs. No locations or times have been set.  

Test would offset strain
Scientists in California have developed a test that drastically reduces the time it takes to identify a strain of salmonella bacteria known to be a common source of food poisoning. Besides making it easier to investigate salmonella outbreaks, the test—if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—may help prevent illness by identifying sources of salmonella, Reuters Health reported. The strain of salmonella most commonly linked to food poisoning is called Salmonella enteritidis. This strain infects the gastrointestinal system and leads to cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Most people recover but, in rare cases, salmonella infection can cause serious (occasionally fatal) complications in young children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems. The study was conducted at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The researchers report their findings in the November issue of Applied and Environmental Technology.


USFilter markets POU abroad
Responding to the arsenic standard announced Oct. 31 by the USEPA as well as municipality requests, USFilter and Culligan have entered into an exclusive marketing agreement with GEH Wasserchemie GmbH of Germany to market granular ferric hydroxide (GFH) media. It removes arsenic (III), arsenic (V), chromium, lead and uranium. The GFH media has been used in Europe for many years to help municipalities meet the World Health Organization standard of 10 parts per billion. The media will be used in community water treatment plants and within Culligan brand POU/POE systems. These POU systems use membrane technology to reduce arsenic levels plus other contaminants such as nitrate/nitrite, lead and Cryptosporidium and Giardia cysts. “Already stressed community drinking water systems and budgets will be impacted over the next several years. So, it is even more critical to provide the affected communities with a variety of technologies and services—from wellhead arsenic removal systems to microfiltration or reverse osmosis to point-of-use or point-of-entry systems for household and commercial use,” said Andrew Seidel, president and CEO of USFilter.

USFilter will also provide wellhead arsenic removal systems by installing the GFH media in pressure vessels. To ensure system integrity, USFilter will use its nationwide service network to provide cost-effective maintenance contracts that include water analysis, media removal, disposal and replacement. Technologists from USFilter’s North American Technology Center are collaborating on various arsenic research projects sponsored by the American Water Works Association, the USEPA and the Association of California Water Agencies. Explains Dr. Paul Gallagher, director of process development at USFilter, “The selection of technology to apply is influenced by many factors including the nature of the arsenic species, arsenic concentration, presence and concentration of additional contaminants, site flow rate and water source.”

Student team is honored
The Asociación Argentina de Ingeniería Sanitaria y Ciencias del Ambiente (AIDIS-Argentina) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) through its member association—Asosiación Argentina de Preservación del Agua y su Medio Ambiente (APAMA)—organized for the first time in 2001 the Argentine Junior Water Prize. Both AIDIS and WEF selected a young Argentine to participate in the international Stockholm Junior Water Prize. The Argentine competition received 20 submissions. The winning paper was submitted by Claudia Dameris, Diego Menardi, Mario Moreyra, Vanina Pautasso, and Gerardo Peiretti from Ramona, Santa Fe. Their paper, Conciencia y Agua (Conscience and Water), investigated the presence of arsenic in the water supply of the small town of Ramona. The overall winning paper, which was submitted by a Swedish team of students, was announced on Aug. 10.

CWWA talks up certification
At a recent board of directors meeting, the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association discussed the International Water Treatment Alliance, a program developed by the American Water Works Association to provide certification to water utilities. It was decided that the CWWA should be involved with the implementation of the program, with consideration given to requirements for special circumstances in Quebec and British Columbia. In other Canadian news, the federal government has pledged $73 million to launch four Networks of Excellence, including $15 million to create the Canadian Water Network. The network will focus on six key research areas—policy and governance, water resource management, drinking water and health, wastewater management, infrastructure, and groundwater and sediment protection.

Danaher picks up UK unit
British water company Pennon sold its Viridor Instrumentation unit in December to U.S. toolmaker Danaher Corp. In addition, Pennon said it would return cash from the sale to shareholders. Pennon and Danaher released statements stating different values for the contract, but it’s reported to be between $135 million and $147 million. Pennon also supplies water and sewage services to around 1.5 million people through its South West Water subsidiary. Danaher owns Hach Co, of Loveland, Colo., a water instrumentation company.

IWG gets order for units
Canadian-based International Water-Guard Industries Inc. has received a $270,000 order for its NPS-A3 aircraft potable water treatment units from Bombardier Aerospace. The equipment will be installed on Bombardier’s long-range Global Express business jets. The units will be installed as part of the aircraft’s potable water system and are designed to ensure that passengers and crew are protected from waterborne pathogens like bacteria and viruses.  

Morton signs deal in China
Morton Salt has entered into an agreement for 45 percent ownership of a new salt joint venture with the Chinese government, represented by Shanghai Salt Co. Ltd. This venture will be based in Shanghai and will operate as Morton National Salt Co. Ltd. The venture marks the first time that a western company has been allowed to form an endeavor with the China National Salt industry, a government controlled monopoly. The targeted startup date for the blending and packaging plant in Shanghai is April. In related news, Iris Wang was named general manager of the new company. Previously, Wang held several positions with Rohm and Haas China. Rohm and Haas, based in Philadelphia, is Morton’s parent company. Wang was instrumental in obtaining the necessary permits and winning support of the Chinese industry for the concept and scope of the venture.

Calgon wins UV contract
Calgon Carbon Corp., of Pittsburgh, has received an $800,000 contract from EPCOR to supply a UV disinfection system for the E.L. Smith drinking water treatment plant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A UV light technology will be used to inactivate Cryptosporidium, E. coli and other pathogens that could pose health threats to Edmonton residents. The system will treat up to 95 million gallons of water per day.

Trojan meets NSF standard
In early November, Canadian-based Trojan Technologies’ Trojan UVMax Pro Series met the requirements of NSF International’s Standard 55 Class A, which verifies the disinfection performance of UV systems. In other news, Trojan has entered into an agreement with an underwriting group led by Canaccord Capital Corp. for the sale of 2,000,000 units (shares)—at $7.50 per unit—for gross proceeds of $15 million with potential for another $1.5 million. The money will be used to pay off loans.

Cholera claims 81 lives
A cholera outbreak in seven Mozambican provinces has killed 81 people and infected thousands more, but the government said it was bringing the epidemic under control. The Zambezia province was hardest hit with 48 deaths and more than 3,500 cases in November and December. The rainy season had just begun and fears were heightened that the waterborne disease could spread even faster. Hundreds of deaths due to cholera have also been acknowledged recently in neighboring countries in East Africa.

New program down under
A program entitled Vision 2020: The Right to Sight—Australia that addresses eye diseases was launched in Australia, where 100,000 people have trachoma. It’s a communicable disease that leads to irreversible blindness from scarring on the cornea, or clear front part of the eye. Most of those with the disease live in remote communities with poor quality water and sewage. While trachoma is present in 54 countries, Australia is the only developed country in the world where it’s still a health problem.

Simple approach works well
Clay pots containing filtration materials are a cheap and effective way to remove dangerous levels of arsenic commonly found in well water in Bangladesh, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report. It estimates that between 35 million and 77 million country residents are at risk of drinking arsenic-contaminated water. The results of the study were presented in Atlanta at October’s annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. The filtration system consists of three unglazed clay pots that can hold 15 liters of water, stacked on top of each other. The top two pitchers contain filtering material consisting of sand, iron chips, brick nuggets and charcoal. The bottom pitcher collects the filtered water, which is then used for drinking and cooking. The study claims that the water filtration system removed 95 percent of the arsenic. The cost of each filtration system used in the study was $6.10.

Zenon stocks rise on news
Shares of Canadian-based Zenon Environmental Inc. have enjoyed a profitable third quarter with the help of November’s announcement of a $5-million deal to supply the largest municipal wastewater treatment plant of its kind in the world. The German plant uses membrane filtration instead of conventional methods.


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