Pittsburgh-based Professional Analytical and Consulting Services Inc. (PACS) is providing an open house to the local community to coincide with National Drinking Water Week on May 6-10. It will display water and activated carbon testing services as well as explain sampling procedures. ?

Patterson Pump Co., of Toccoa, Ga., merged with Atlanta-based Flo-Pak Inc. in mid-March. Packaged pumping stations, produced by Flo-Pak, will continue to be manufactured and assembled in Atlanta under the name of Flo-Pak, a business unit of Patterson Pump. ?

Poultney, Vt.-based WEDECO-Ideal Horizons Inc. received the Conditional Acceptance Letter from the California Department of Health Services, which allows the use of the company’s TAK55 for the disinfection of filtered wastewater for water recycling. ?

The Environmental Benchmarker and Strategist has released its annual issue dedicated to the international water and wastewater industry. The issue provides detailed competitive information, financial statistics, operational performance metrics and valuation data for all the major publicly traded water service companies. ?

In January, Burrard Technologies Inc. changed its name to BLUE Industries Inc. The Geneva, Switzerland-based company specializes in water treatment in the fields of wastewater treatment, farming industry and potabilization. ?

CPI International, of Santa Rosa, Calif., has received the USEPA’s approval for Colitag, the company’s test method for public drinking water under the Total Coliform Rule. ?

In March, the USEPA released a document titled, “Centrally Managed Point-of-Use Compliance Strategy: Analysis of Implementation Issues.” It compliments the guidance of a POU/POE treatment strategy for arsenic compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. ?

Sparkling Spring Water Group Limited announced record revenues for 2001 of $22.9 million, up 19.3 percent from $19.2 million in 2000. ?

Horizon Engineers has moved its location to 16250 Mustang Drive, Springville, Calif. 93265. The phone number remains the same for the time being. ?

British Columbia, Canada-based International Water-Guard Industries Inc. reported sales had increased by 129 percent in the first quarter of this year. ?

Aqua Clara Bottling & Distribution, of Clearwater, Fla., completed its acquisition of BEVsystems International Ltd., of Miami, in March. ?

Rhino Ecosystems Inc. announced a new dealership for the Columbus, Ohio, area. Rhino Ecosystems manufactures wastewater filtration devices to remove wet waste solids, fats, oils and greases emanating from commercial or residential kitchens. ?

Watts Industries Inc., of North Andover, Mass., has agreed to form a joint venture with Yuhuan County Cheng Guan Metal Hose Factory, of Taizhou, China. With annual sales of $13 million, the factory is a manufacturer of a variety of plumbing products sold both into the Chinese domestic market and export markets. ?

WEFTEC, of Alexandria, Va., launched a new website, www.weftec.org. It provides a streamlined method for users to register for conferences, make lodging arrangements, find particular exhibitors, or preview technical sessions, workshops, facility tours and special events. ?

ZENON, of Ontario, Canada, reported its best ever quarter as its fourth quarter 2001 helped register year-end revenues of $125 million. This represents a 48 percent growth over 2000. ?

Albuquerque, N.M.-based MIOX Corp. was awarded the President’s “E” Award for excellence in exporting in April. A manufacturer of water disinfection equipment, the company has over 500 U.S.-installed systems and over 300 systems installed in 20 other countries. ?

Milwaukee-based Badger Meter Inc. signed a pact with Hydrometer GmbH, of Ansbach, Germany. The arrangement is expected to lead to specific contractual agreements for products and technologies for the North American submetering and water utility market. ?

Donlar Biosyntrex Corp. reported revenues of approximately $880,000 for the first quarter ending March 31, 2002, up roughly 45 percent from revenue reported for the first quarter of last year. ?


McDermott Co., center, is joined by Todd Horsfield, of Trojan Technologies, and Jill McDonald, of Hellenbrand Water Conditioners, as they display an array of Wisconsin state-approved water treatment devices, including a reverse osmosis system modified for POU treatment of arsenic and a UV disinfection unit for pathogen removal. The photo was taken at McDermott’s annual dealer meeting Feb. 12 in Oshkosh, Wis.


Anthrax issue causes havoc at VLPI; Feds storm offices amid kit concerns
Vital Living Products Inc. (VLPI), of Matthews, N.C., has promised to remove its anthrax test kits from the market, as part of a court agreement to settle false advertising charges by the Federal Trade Commission. VLPI president Donald Podrebarac signed the settlement. In the agreement, the company admits no wrongdoing. It’s not required to pay a fine, partly because no kits were sold. Last October, Podrebarac spoke at the New York’s Friars Club—an odd venue for his topic—and announced his struggling company would soon release a do-it-yourself anthrax-detection kit. At the time, anthrax was a subject on every American’s mind. Instantly, shares of the company’s stock skyrocketed. On Oct. 1, VLPI shares had been trading at a nickel apiece. Soon, the amount ballooned to $2 each, a 4,000 percent increase. This caused a mad rush among thousands of investors hoping to turn tragedy into absurd profits. Just as quickly, however, the dream of VLPI and its investors faded. It climaxed in late November when Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents arrived with search warrants at VLPI’s offices after questions began to emerge about the reliability of its anthrax kits. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also launched an investigation (Podrebarac resigned from the company April 10). And the Feds aren’t stopping at VLPI. In early December, the SEC filed charges against four people and a New York company for manipulating shares of Spectrum Brands by making allegedly fraudulent claims about the company’s purported anthrax-killing chemical product. The four people, one of whom allegedly has ties to organized crime, are also facing criminal charges.

NSF to alter some standards
The NSF Standards Department was busy preparing new editions of Standards 42, 44, 53, 55 and 58, which were expected to be adopted in March. Two of the more significant revisions are in Standards 42 and 53. The change in Standard 42 that will affect the most companies is the removal of classes from the chlorine reduction claim. The claim will now be “chlorine reduction” with a required average reduction of at least 50 percent. Manufacturers may claim higher percentage reductions on performance data sheets or elsewhere in product literature. In Standard 53, a radon reduction claim has been added for point-of-use, carbon-based systems. A candidate system must reduce an influent challenge activity of 1,000 pCi/L to 300 pCi/L. The protocol also evaluates the retention of radon decay products, gamma radiation exposure to the user, and the progeny activity at the end of the filter cartridge’s life. With Standard 55 for ultraviolet (UV) light treatment systems, a thorough revision has occurred. It has been formatted to match the ANSI version, and the materials and pressure testing sections were harmonized with the other drinking water treatment unit standards. Other significant changes include the replacement of Bacillus subtilus with MS-2 coliphage as the surrogate organism for the Class A performance claim. A Cryptosporidium and Giardia inactivation claim has also been added. A general cyst reduction claim is available for systems with a prefilter upstream of the UV treatment unit if the prefilter passes the Standard 53 cyst reduction test. Meanwhile, NSF and the WQA sponsored a meeting of bioterrorism experts at NSF’s headquarters in March. Also represented were the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Army, public utilities, academia and consultants to the water treatment industry.

Arsenic has ties to strokes
Long term exposure to arsenic, a groundwater contaminant in some areas, has been linked to heart attacks, strokes and diseased arteries. Researchers from the National Taiwan University in Taipei for the first time report a strong, dose dependent relationship between arsenic exposure and the development of atherosclerosis—a build-up of plaque—in the arteries leading to the brain. The findings point to arsenic, and perhaps to other pollutants, as risk factors for blood vessel disease throughout the body. The report appeared in late March in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.

Osmonics breaks new ground
Minnetonka, Minn.-based Osmonics Inc. introduces the E-Basics program, a pre-engineered component package designed for process water applications. The program is an extension of the company’s EZ-Kit Series and E-Series RO machines. Components that comprise the E-Basics program include Tonkaflo pumps, Desal membranes’ stainless steel housings and high-pressure piping, pre-filter housings and frames. In other company news, a new website has been introduced by Osmonics. It gives engineers and facility managers three tools to easily compute the savings gained by using a reverse osmosis (RO) system for water purification in their facilities. The website, www.rotools.com, features an RO sizing tool that uses water temperature and desired permeate flow data to recommend the right RO machine. After selecting the appropriate machine, the site then calculates estimated cost of the RO system as well as savings for specific boiler feed applications. Meanwhile, the company has received ANSI/NSF Standard 53 (health effects) certification for its Flotrex GF pleated filters.

STL on the move in Ohio, Delaware, California
Severn Trent Laboratories (STL), of Fort Washington, Pa., an operating unit of Severn Trent Services (STS), has opened a service center in Cincinnati. Michael Thurza will manage the center. He has over 10 years of environmental laboratory experience in the Cincinnati area including bench experience, field services, business development and project management. STL is now located in 44 cities. In other news, STS was awarded a contract with the city of Lewes, Del., to operate its wastewater treatment plant. The three-year contract for turnkey operation of the plant and 22 sewage lift stations is valued at $1 million. In addition, STS was awarded a contract to supply its Universal Aqua Technologies line of RO membrane products for California’s Alamitos Barrier Recycled Water Project Advanced Water Treatment Facility.

Culligan, Millipore see light
Culligan International and Pure Pulse Technologies, a subsidiary of Maxwell Technologies, entered into an agreement to collaboratively develop water purification systems that employ PurePulse’s technology to eliminate microbial contamination. The PureBright process, also used in bioprocessing and medical product sterilization, uses brief flashes of broad spectrum pulsed light 90,000 times more intense than sunlight at sea level to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and other microorganisms that can transmit disease. PurePulse also formed a strategic alliance with Millipore Corp. in April to combine the technology with its virus removal processes.

Kinetico, Pall sign deal
Kinetico Inc., of Newbury, Ohio, has entered into a cooperative agreement with Pall Corp., of East Hills, N.Y., to explore development of new drinking water treatment technologies. Pall is a manufacturer in the fields of filtration, separations and purification. Pall’s business is organized into two broad markets—life sciences and industrial. Fiscal 2001 sales were over $1.2 billion. It has operations in over 30 countries.

Motown offers up big hit
With water bills rising in Detroit, the city has decided to approach its citizens with a new alternative—bottled water. The bottled water would be initially marketed locally, then statewide, and potentially nationally and internationally, reported the Detroit Free Press. The $300 million Water Works II plant, which is expected to open next year, will provide the water. An outside company would bottle the product. Meanwhile, the new  rates—which would go into effect July 1 and be reflected in consumers’ August bills—needed city council approval. It was expected to pass. The proposal would average 13.5 percent more for Detroit residents, and 15.2 percent for suburban customers.

With bottled water, an advantage for consumers is that the water would have to meet state and federal purity standards, which aren’t required for other bottled water products. Ozonation will be used to lessen the need for excessive chlorination, making the water better for consumers and the environment. Ozonation is an electrical procedure that uses oxygen to generate a gas that’s released into untreated water, killing bacteria faster than chlorine. The city’s bottled water would contain fluoride, which has been shown to help build strong teeth and is lacking from most bottled waters. The city said it conducted tests comparing Detroit’s water with several bottled waters, including Evian and Aquafina, and has found the city’s water is just as good or better than store brands.

IBWA announces 4 speakers
The International Bottled Water Association announced in mid-March the keynote panel for the opening general session of the association’s annual convention and trade show in October. The keynote session will be open to all registered attendees and will include an audience Q&A with the presenters. Panel members include Michael Bellas, chairman and CEO of Beverage Marketing Corp., a leading supplier of information, consulting and financial services specializing in meeting the needs of the global beverage industry. Also named were William Dolan, editor of Bebidas magazine, the longest established Spanish-language beverage industry trade publication serving 22 countries in Latin America, Spain and Portugal; Richard Hall, founder and chairman of Zenith International Ltd., a business consultancy specializing in the food, drinks and packaging industries worldwide and publisher of trade magazines such as H2O Europe, BottledWater World and Soft Drink World; and Jonathan Hall, publisher of The Hall Water Report, a bi-weekly newsletter for leading segments of the drinking water industry. The session will occur on Oct. 10 from 11 a.m. to noon in Phoenix.

MYCELX names distributors
MYCELX Technologies has announced San Antonio-based Steve Mechler & Associates and Engineering Sales Associates, of Charlotte, N.C., as full-line distributors of MYCELX products. The company’s filters bond to hydrocarbons to make them hydrophobic and viscoelastic, removing them from the water stream entirely. In addition, the filters are said to remove pollutants—PCBs, hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents and pesticides—from water to below detectable limits in a single pass.

USFilter signs contracts
Indianapolis has selected USFilter Operating Services Inc. to manage the city’s waterworks system under a 20-year public-private partnership valued at approximately $1.5 billion. The move by the nation’s 12th largest city marks the largest public-private partnership for water services in the United States. With a service area that encompasses a 25-mile radius around Indianapolis, the waterworks system serves about 1.1 million people and employs more than 460 people. The system includes four surface water treatment facilities with daily water production averaging 143 million gallons per day. In related news, state utility regulators in late March unanimously approved Indianapolis’ proposed $515 million purchase of the Indianapolis Water Co.

USFilter was also busy signing two more contracts. The company will provide the largest nanofiltration plant in the world for the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District in Fountain Valley, Calif.
The $25-million Memcor continuous microfiltration-submerged system will be a crucial part of an advanced water reclamation project. The second contract will provide AES Granite Ridge’s 720-megawatt natural gas-fired power station in Londonberry, N.H., with cooling tower, boiler feedwater and demineralization systems. The ACTIFLOC system, a clarification and filtration water treatment system, will be used to pre-treat makeup water for the power station’s plume-abated cooling tower.

In other news, USFilter Distribution Group and SpeedRead Technologies, of Indianapolis, have reached an agreement whereby USFilter will distribute SpeedRead’s fixed network Automatic Reading System to water utilities and municipalities throughout Indiana and western Ohio. Meanwhile, USFilter’s John Meunier Products received ISO 9001:2000 certification on Dec. 10, 2001, more than two years before the final deadline for organizations to meet the new standard.

Parkson makes purchase
In March, Parkson Corp., of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., purchased Waterlink Separations Inc., of Lake Bluff, Ill and its Hycor product line. Parkson’s corporate marketing department relocated to the Lake Bluff offices and will handle all marketing activities for Florida and Illinois. Parkson Corp. provides technology for water and wastewater treatment to the municipal and industrial markets.

Perrier changes name, focus
The Perrier Group of America Inc. changed its name to Nestle Waters North America Inc. in April. The Perrier Group has been part of Nestle SA since 1992, and reported directly to Perrier Vittel SA, the water division based in Paris, France. This division has also changed its name to Nestle Waters, which now accounts for nine percent of Nestle’s revenues. Nestle Waters markets 72 bottled water brands in 160 countries around the world. Global revenues from bottled water last year totaled $4.5 billion. The new name also symbolizes the shift of the bottled water industry from a focus on imported sparkling water to domestic, non-carbonated brands. The Perrier Group of America grew 23.5 percent last year while posting revenues of $2.1 billion.

Hydromatix bought by BOC
BOC Edwards, a leading supplier of chemical and exhaust gas management systems for the industrial and microelectronics industries, acquired in March Hydromatix Inc., a manufacturer of high-efficiency, process-critical liquid purification systems. Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based Hydromatix technology is being integrated into BOC Edwards’ Chemical Management business to form a liquid abatement group. Hydromatix helps companies in the surface finishing industry to recycle rinse waters with a minimum amount of waste, allowing them to attain zero-discharge status. Located in Wilmington, Mass., BOC  employs nearly 43,000 people, operates in over 50 countries, services 2 million customers and had sales of $6.2 billion in 2001.

International

Report paints grim picture of water; UN and WHO team up on initiative
Lack of sanitation will kill 20 million of the world’s poorest children over the next decade unless governments take urgent action, according to a development report. The Human Waste report by British development agencies Tearfund and WaterAid was published to coincide with the United Nations World Water Day. The report said 2.4 billion people—or 40 percent of the world’s population—were without adequate sanitation. Nearly 6,000 children die each day from conditions like diarrhea caused by a lack of clean water and adequate toilet facilities.

The United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) all paid special tributes to World Water Day with separate announcements March 22.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan noted fierce competition for, and continued mismanagement of, water resources in a world whose population is booming and weather patterns shifting made multinational cooperation toward sustainable development key to averting future world conflicts and ensuring global security. As such, he touted a program of 23 UN agencies to develop a World Water Development Report, the first edition of which is to be released at the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan, in March 2003. He also pointed to the importance of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Aug. 26-Sept. 4. For more information, see www. waterday2002.iaea.org, www.wsp.org/spanish/index.html or www.johannesburgsummit.org

Meanwhile, the WHO cited statistics showing that waterborne diseases kill at least 3.4 million people every year, making them collectively more lethal than AIDS, urging greater international effort to improve water, hygiene and sanitation conditions of the world’s poor.

And, three months after winning approval for an almost $500 million budget increase because of the anthrax scare following terrorist attacks Sept. 11 and fear of bioterrorism, the CDC launched an international plan to fight global epidemics: “Protecting the Nation’s Health in an Era of Globalization: CDC’s Global Infectious Disease Strategy.” For details, see www.cdc.gov/globalidplan/

Calgon keys on Crypto, GAC
Calgon Carbon Corp., of Pittsburgh, has been granted a Canadian patent for controlling Cryptosporidium in drinking water using ultraviolet light. The company has been previously granted patents for controlling Crypto in the United States and the Netherlands. It has also applied for patents in Asia, Australia, Europe and South America. In other news, the company is holding discussions with Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. to form an alliance for sales and reactivation of granular activated carbon (GAC) in Japan. Mitsubishi is the largest producer of GAC in Japan. Calgon Carbon is the world’s largest manufacturer of GAC and operates a reactivation facility in Fukui Prefecture, Japan.  

Pentair endorsed for PED
Pentair Water India, manufacturer of CodeLine brand membrane housings, has been recommended for the PED conformity certificate by an independent third-party inspector, Hartford Steam Boiler International GmbH. The PED certification is a European Community directive applied to products to establish a regulatory framework for pressure-related risks.

Azurix returns concession
Azurix, a unit of bankrupt energy trader Enron, handed back a water and sewage concession in Argentina’s most populous province in late February. Azurix’s concession provided services to 2.5 million people and employed 1,300 workers. Meanwhile, Argentina is in the throes of a four-year recession that has pushed unemployment beyond 20 percent and left 45 percent of the population in poverty. The move comes after Buenos Aires had its credit rating slashed after admitting it was having trouble meeting obligations on its bonds. Problems became worse after the government unpegged the value of the peso from the dollar, the fallout of which created a financial crisis that spawned riots and pressured resignations of successive presidents. Azurix won the concession in 1999 with a $438 million bid to provide drinking water and sewers to 72 cities in Buenos Aires for 90 years.

Cholera hits Malawi hard; Congo tries to corral disease
A cholera outbreak has killed more than 500 people and sickened 18,000 in Malawi. Authorities blame a food crisis and flooding for the dramatic increase. Last year, 2,000 cases were recorded. The food shortage has forced many to resort to eating roots and leaves to stay alive, making them more susceptible to the highly contagious waterborne disease. The bacteria cause diarrhea and kill by dehydrating the victim. It’s estimated that nearly 80 percent of Malawian farming families ran out of food at the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, a deadly cholera outbreak, which has killed hundreds of people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, is finally being brought under control, health officials said in March. The central African country has been involved in a three-year war. There had been 5,021 cases and 407 deaths from the illness in southeastern Katanga since November. Cholera is spread through contaminated food and water. More than 2 million people have died over the past three years in Congo, mostly from starvation and diseases such as malaria, AIDS and cholera. Another 2 million have been displaced by fighting, mostly in the east.

ADI wins Chinese contract
Canadian-based ADI Systems Inc. has been contracted by a recycle paper mill—Hua Run Paper Co. Ltd., of China—to furnish process designs and major equipment for a wastewater treatment system. Located in Shandong Province, the mill is expanding production and the existing wastewater treatment system is unable to meet discharge limits. ADI already has a presence in China with a wastewater treatment plant operating at a similar mill near Shanghai. Through its partner in China, ADI was able to negotiate a contract and expects installation this spring.

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